Record Setting Eight South Africans in Top 100 on 2018 Yearend WSL Rankings

December 12th, 2018 No comments

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) carves off the top of meaty Sunset Beach wave on his way to ninth place in the Vans World Cup of Surfing in Hawaii Photo: WSL / Keoki

– Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) Highest Ranked Saffa at No. 30
– McGillivray, David van Zyl, Adin Masencamp and Dylan Lightfoot Crack Top 100 for First Time

A record-setting eight South African surfers have ended the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) ranked in the Top 100, improving on the five in 2017, three in 2016 and just two in 2015.

The annual rankings are based on each surfer’s best five results after 64 events rated from QS1,000 to QS10,000 on all five continents and featured a total of 1384 surfers. The top 10 in the rankings automatically qualify for the following year’s elite Championship Tour (CT). Qualification for the limited fields in the biggest QS events for the first half of 2019 also will be based on the 2018 rankings.

Matt McGillivray is the country’s highest ranked QS campaigner, ending the season at No. 30. Thanks to his victory in the first event of the year, a QSS3,000 in Israel, the Jeffreys Bay surfer was well seeded in events through the first half of the year. He finished 17th in the QS6,000 Burton Automotive Pro in Australia and won the QS1,500 Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay.

McGillivray went on to take 17th place in QS10,000 EDP Pro Ericeira in Portugal and finished the season strongly with 9th place, and a season’s best haul of 3,800 points, in the QS10,000 Vans World Cup held in giant waves at Sunset Beach in Hawaii last week.

Jordy Smith (Durban) has been a fixture among the world’s Top 32 on the CT for the past 11 seasons and only competed in three QS events this year, finishing No 38 overall after grabbing fifth and 13th place results in the two QS10,000’s in Hawaii along with a low 73rd place for his token appearance at the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong in June.

Currently CT No. 6 on the CT, Smith is out of contention for the world title heading into the season ending Billabong Pipe Masters, but still has a mathematical chance of becoming the first South African male to clinch the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) title if he can better his career best fifth place result at Pipeline.

Smith was awarded the VTCS Rookie of the Year title in 2007, while back in 2001Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) won the VTCS women’s crown and she remains the only Saffa to claim the accolade which is second only to the World Champion title in status.

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) retained his position in the Top100 for the sixth consecutive year, finishing 49th this year after being the country’s top QS surfers from 2013 to 2016. The KwaDukuza based 25 year-old’s strong performances in Hawaii, where he famously scored a perfect 10-point ride for what has been described as the ‘best tube ride in a contest at Sunset Beach’, saw him maintain his seeding for the major events next year.

Indeed, the Hawaiian performances of all the Saffas was really encouraging as the QS season wraps up with back-to-back QS10,000’s where career-changing qualification hopes and preferential seeding can be realised or dashed on a single heat result.

McGillivray’s familiarity with the powerful island waves has developed exponentially thanks to the amount of time he spends with his Hawaiian girlfriend Zoe McDougall on the North Shore of Oahu and this will stand him in good stead for future campaigns. Hawaiian based Capetonian Benji Brand is a standout there and has already won several events and also earned a coveted wildcard into last season’s Billabong Pipe Masters.

Michael February (Cape Town) will complete his rookie CT season at Pipeline over the next week and the difficulty of competing on both tours showed in his QS results as he dropped from 15th to 50th this year, while David van Zyl (Glenashley) has become a force to be reckoned with at both the Hawaiian venues of Haleiwa and Sunset Beach.

QS rookie Adin Masencamp (Strand), who clinched the WSL Africa junior title in 2017 and franked his contest credentials by claiming the region’s open men’s title this year, showed great promise in his maiden visit to Hawaii and has ensured he will qualify for big events next year with 87th place ranking.

Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) secured his Top 100 status with his 49th place result in the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa while Slade Prestwich (Durban) showed the benefits of his busy international travelling schedule and earned his best points haul when he reached the final of QS3,000 HIC Pro at Sunset, finishing fourth behind third placed Beyrick de Vries.

The significant improvement in the ranking of South African surfers can be attributed to the expanded series of regional events organised by WSL Africa Operations Manager Colin Fitch whose tireless efforts to provide local surfers with the opportunities to make surfing their career have really paid off in the last two years.

After more than five years as WSL Africa’s marketing agents, Accelerate Sport have created an exciting package for local businesses which has seen six events added to the regional calendar, encompassing juniors (18-and-under), open and longboard events for both men and women.

The WSL Africa membership base has also increased dramatically to more than 150 and the prize-money on offer has kept pace with over R6 million up for grabs this year. Much of that comes from the QS10,000 rated Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong which crowned it’s 50th champion this year and has the distinction of being the world’s longest running professional surfing event.

With the likes of Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) clinching the 2018 WSL World Longboard Surfing title, Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (Durban) heading the WSL Big Wave Tour rankings with just one event to go, Jordy Smith a perennial threat for the WSL Men’s World Title and rapidly improving results being achieved by the QS warriors, professional surfing in the region heads into 2019 in robust good health.

See www.worldsurfleague.com for more information

2018 WSL Qualifying Series (QS) – Yearend Rankings
1 Kanoa Igarashi JPN 26800
2 Griffin Colapinto USA 24300
3 Seth Moniz HAW 22300
4 Ryan Callinan AUS 21660
5 Peterson Crisanto BRA 20750

South Africans (Top 150)
30 Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 11550
38 Jordy Smith (Durban) 9450
49 Beyrick De Vries (uMhlanga) 8080
50 Michael February (Cape Town) 8050
60 David Van Zyl (Glenashley) 6900
87 Adin Masencamp (Strand) 5350
93 Benji Brand (Kommetjie/Hawaii) 4910
98 Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 4695
115 Slade Prestwich (Durban) 3860
129 Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) 3435

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Grant “Twig” Baker Wins Nazare Challenge in Giant Waves in Portugal!

November 16th, 2018 No comments

Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (Durban, centre) holds aloft the trophy for winning the Nazare Challenge in giant waves in Portugal today  Credit: WSL / Poullenot

8 to 13 Metre (25 to 40 foot) Waves Test the World’s Best Big Wave Surfers

South African Grant ‘Twig’ Baker today won the Nazare Challenge, the first event on the 2018 / 19 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT), in huge 8 to 13 metre (25 to 40 foot) waves at Praia do Norte (North Beach), Nazare in Portugal.

Baker, the 2013 and 2016 WSL BWT world champion and at 45 the oldest competitor in the event, claimed the fifth BWT event title of his storied career and he now holds the early lead in this year’s BWT rankings.

“I’m really happy to win here at Nazare,” said Baker on exiting the water. “I have spent the last six weeks here with my family, Kate and Billi, surfing every day in one foot to 20 foot (0.5 to 6 metre) waves and it has certainly helped me know more about the break.

“I’d like to thank all my fellow competitors. We all love riding big waves and the vibe out there was incredible. Everyone was sharing waves, everybody knew whose turn it was, it was epic.”

The Durbanite squeaked through his Round 1 and Semi-final heats, placing third in each and in danger of being eliminated from the event if he had been overtaken as the time ran out in the 45 minute encounters.

Baker caught the first ride in the 60 minute final, earning a score of 5.33 out of 10, and he followed that up almost immediately with a 4.93. With two scores in his pocket he had the luxury of being able to position himself to wait for the biggest waves to arrive while the other five finalists needed to chase around the break trying to record their counting scores.

Despite replacing his 4.93 with 6.07, Baker was overtaken by hard-charging Portuguese local Naxto Gonzalez, who had posted the only perfect 10-point score of the event for a ride deep inside an enormous 10 metre tube in the semis, and defending event champion and eventual 2018 event runner-up Lucas ‘Chombo’ Chianca (BRA).

With 10 minutes remaining the horizon went black as a set of massive waves came thundering through ultra-deep underwater canyon that refracts the world’s biggest rideable waves into the surf zone at Nazare. Baker held his nerve and as the biggest wave of the day was about to break on his head he swung around, paddled in and dropped down the face.

Grant Baker drops into a big wave on his way to winning the Nazare Challenge in Portugal Photo: WSL / Poullenot

Holding his line as the wall of water estimated at 13 metres (40 foot) in height by the commentators towered over him, Baker guided himself around the tons of crushing white-water and onto the shoulder, raising his arms in exultation as he cut-out over the back of the wave.

The judges awarded Baker 8.67, the highest scoring ride of the final, and when he added a 7.70 in the dying minutes, the title was his.

“That wave was coming right to me and Lucas was on the shoulder so I had do some manoeuvring, but I had to go,” said Baker on the podium. “Out at Nazare you’re not too sure where it’s going to break so I had to wait, and wait, and wait. So when I eventually turned and went, it was pretty late and it was really steep, but I made it to the shoulder, and now I’m the champion!”

The Nazare Challenge was given a Silver coefficient by BWT Commissioner Mike Parsons based on the waves being in the 35 foot (12 metre) range which means that Baker earns 11,000 points on the rankings, 10% more than the10,000 points awarded to the winner of a Bronze coefficient event.

Nazare Challenge
Final Results
1. Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (ZAF, Durban)
2. Lucas ‘Chombo’ Chianca (BRA)
3. Natxo Gonzalez (Basque)
4. Alex Botelho (PRT)
5. Joao de Macedo (PRT)
6. Russell Bierke (AUS)

The 2018/2019 Big Wave Tour (BWT) hosts three events: the Nazaré Challenge, the Jaws Challenge, and the Mavericks Challenge. All holding periods for this season are now open and will await the biggest waves until the season’s close on March 31, 2019. For the Jaws Challenge and Mavericks Challenge, the world’s best male and female big wave surfers will prepare for conditions that will produce waves in the 30-to-60-foot range. Once the decision is made to run the event, a “Green Alert” is issued and competitors will have 48 hours’ notice to be ready to compete.

The WSL Big Wave Tour is proudly supported by Surfline, and Corona, with special thanks to Nazaré Challenge partners Jogos Santa Casa, Visit Portugal, Portuguese Waves, The City of Nazaré, MEO, Hertz, and Praia do Norte.

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Grant “Twiggy” Baker Ready for Giant Surf as Nazare Challenge Called ON for Friday

November 15th, 2018 No comments

Nazare, Portugal, home to the biggest waves ever surfed, will see the world’s best big wave surfers compete on Friday 16 November in the first event on the 2018/19 WSL Big Wave Tour (BWT) Credit: WSL / Masurel

6 to 10 Metre (20 to 35 foot) Waves Predicted for Portugal on Friday

Former two-time world big wave champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker is ready to take on the giant surf at Praia do Norte (North Beach) in Portugal on Friday after the Nazare Challenge was given the Green Light to run at the home of the biggest wave ever surfed.

The first of three events on the 2018 / 19 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) schedule takes place at Nazare, a Portuguese town that has embraced big wave surfing, and Baker has spent considerable time there acclimatising himself and fine-tuning his equipment after finishing fifth in last season’s edition of the event.

“I’ve been in Europe for 6 weeks with the family getting ready for the event, surfing Nazare in all different conditions, so I’ve put in the time to give myself the best possible chance to do well,” said Baker after hearing the event had been called ON for Friday. “I have some great boards over here and I’ve been working on my positioning in the lineup and have a better idea of what a good wave looks like out there.

“Hopefully I can use that to catch the best waves in the middle of the peak and surf them to the best of my ability. Defending event winner Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (BRA), reigning Big Wave Tour champion Billy Kemper (HAW), renowned waterman Kai Lenny (HAW) and Nathan Florence (USA) have been the standouts lately and I’m looking forward to competing against the hungry youngsters,” commented Baker, who at 45 is the oldest competitor in the field.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is predicting:

A developing storm near Greenland is expected to produce a strong WNW swell for Friday. Confidence is medium to high for a swell to provide good surf throughout the day. We expect to see wave face size in the 20-30’ range (through the day on Friday), with the very largest sets of the morning up to 35’.

While this isn’t a giant swell, especially by Nazare standards, local wind and conditions look about as good as it gets on Friday: light+ offshore ESE wind through the morning, trending more SE (still offshore) for the early afternoon hours, generally below 10 knots. Furthermore, the two previous days (Wednesday-Thursday) are also expected to see light offshore wind and small swell, which should mean conditions are extra clean on Friday.

According to Baker the swell is likely to get even bigger over the weekend and he feels that the world record wave height of 80 feet (23.77 meters), set by Rodrigo Koxa (BRA) when he was towed into a wave by a jetski at Nazare recently, may even be broken. The BWT events only allow waves to be caught paddling in with arm-strength although there will be numerous jetskis in the surf zone to conduct rescue and safety duties.

“There is a huge swell coming this weekend that will probably see the World tow record broken,” said Baker, the 2013 and 2017 BWT champion. “We have to work around this swell and the event has been called for the beginning of it all. Hopefully we get some giant waves with epic conditions and Nazare at its best for paddle surfing.

“There is so much support for surfing here with everyone in the town showing us a welcoming spirit. The government has opened a surf training centre with a gym, pool and other facilities. It’s an amazing place to visit and surf.”

The WSL Nazaré Challenge will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page starting at approximately 9.30 am South African time.

2018/2019 Nazaré Challenge Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Billy Kemper (HAW), Lucas Chianca (BRA), Greg Long (USA), Nathan Florence (HAW), Francisco Porcella (ITA), Antonia Silva (PRT)
Heat 2: Ian Walsh (HAW), Tom Lowe (GBR), Will Skudin (USA), Russell Bierke (AUS), João De Macedo (PRT), Rodrigo Koxa (BRA)
Heat 3: Kai Lenny (HAW), Jamie Mitchell (AUS), Natxo Gonzalez (EUK), Jojo Roper (USA), Pedro Calado (BRA), Andrew Cotton (GBR)
Heat 4: Makuakai Rothman (HAW), Alex Botelho (PRT), Grant Baker (ZAF), Nic Lamb (USA), Nic von Rupp (PRT), João Guedes (PRT)

The 2018/2019 Big Wave Tour hosts three events: the Nazaré Challenge, the Jaws Challenge, and the Mavericks Challenge. All holding periods for this season are now open and will await the biggest waves until the season’s close on March 31, 2019. For the Jaws Challenge and Mavericks Challenge, the world’s best male and female big wave surfers will prepare for conditions that will produce waves in the 30-to-60-foot range. Once the decision is made to run the event, a “Green Alert” is issued and competitors will have 48 hours’ notice to be ready to compete.

The WSL Big Wave Tour is proudly supported by Surfline, and Corona, with special thanks to Nazaré Challenge partners Jogos Santa Casa, Visit Portugal, Portuguese Waves, The City of Nazaré, MEO, Hertz, and Praia do Norte.

ENDS

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Elkington & Steyn Clinch Pro Junior Titles at Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS

September 30th, 2018 No comments

Max Elkington and Zoe Steyn won the U18 Men’s and Women’s titles at the Billabong Junior Series pres. by BOS in Seal Point on Sunday Photo: Thurtell

Slijpen and Woolf Clinch 2018 WSL Africa Junior Crowns

Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – Breezy onshore conditions and a slight surge in swell greeted competitors on the final day of competition at the Billabong Junior Series Finale, and the first heat of the day – the U12 Girls Final – was sent straight out into the Seal Point lineup..

Gabi Herbst was the surfer of the morning with a few incredible rides in the mixed up conditions, including an excellent 8.0 out of 10 for one ride which secured the title. Sarah Scott was the runner up.

Kai Hall was the champion in the U12 Boys final, banking one huge score for two critical turns on a big set wave for a near-perfect score of 9.33 and an unassailable lead. Hall was closely followed by Joel Fowles who surfed impressively on his backhand.

The U14 Girls division was a slow heat, with low scores and at the end of the heat it was Aimee Du Preez who emerged as the winner, with Olivia Winter in second place.

Luke Thompson caught 11 waves in his Final heat to defeat James Ribbink in what was an exciting U14 Boys heat. Thompson’s strategy of hard and fast surfing, catch anything that moved, proved to be the winning formula, with Ribbink, Daniel Emslie and Brad Scott filling up the minor slots.

As the tide dropped out and the onshore waves continued to pour through relentlessly, the U16 Girls headed out for their final, and it was an action-packed exchange with three of the girls on their backhand and one on her forehand. Zoe Steyn emerged victorious with a convincing win against her counterparts Kayla Nogueira, Ceara Knight and Caroline Brown who placed second, third and fourth respectively.

The U16 Boys was another final dogged by few waves and low scores. Tide-Lee Ireland snagged the win from York Van Jaarsveldt with a combined score of less than 9 points. Mitch Du Preez and Reilly Mare’ finished off the results with third and fourth spots.

The World Surf League (WSL) Junior Women’s final a nail-biting affair as Zoe Steyn and Kai Woolf took centre stage. Both surfers had been surfing phenomenally all event and it was going to be about the surfer who caught the best waves. That was Steyn, and she won the final by a close margin from Woolf.

Then Max Elkington and Luke Slijpen took to the water to battle it out for event honours in the WSL Junior Men’s event. It was all about Elkington who took the win and broke his year-long victory drought with his first place.

“I haven’t had a win this year, and for a bit of last year, so I am really happy with the win today,” said a stoked Elkington. “I also won it last here two years ago, so just very happy with the win.”

Billabong Junior Series Seal Point pres by BOS
Final Results:

U12 Girls
1. Gabi Herbst
2. Sarah Scott
3. Anastasia Venter
4. Meka Loots
U12 Boys
1. Kai Hall
2. Joel Fowles
3. Ntokozo ‘Surprise’ Maphumalo
4. Asha Steytler
U14 Girls
1. Aimee Du Preez
2. Olivia Winter
3. Adrian Wolmarans
4. Kaylee Shaw Nell
U14 Boys
1. Luke Thompson
2. James Ribbink
3. Daniel Emslie
4. Brad Scott
U16 Girls
1. Zoe Steyn
2. Kayla Nogueira
3. Ceara Knight
4. Caroline Brown
U16 Boys
1. Tide Lee Ireland
2. York Van Jaarsveldt
3. Mitch Du Preez
4. Reilly Mare
WSL Junior Men
1. Max Elkington
2. Luke Slijpen
WSL Junior Women
1. Zoe Steyn
2. Kai Woolf
VonZipper Expression Session
Luke Slijpen
BOS Highest Heat Score Award
Zoe Steyn

2018 Billabong Junior Series Results (Including Ballito & Seal Point)
U12 Girls
1. Gabi Herbst
2. Anastasia venter
U12 Boys
1. Ntokozo Maphumalo
2. Joel Fowles
U14 Girls
1. Aimee Du Prees
2. Olivia Winter
U14 Boys
1. Luke Thompson
2. Dan Emslie
U16 Boys
1. Mitch Du Preez
2. York Van Jaarsveldt
WSL Junior Women
1. Zoe Steyn
2. Kirsty McGillivray
WSL Junior Men
1. Luke Slijpen
2. Max Elkington

2018 WSL Africa Junior Men’s Rankings (After Billabong Junior Series Seal Point –event 8 of 8)
1 Luke Slijpen 4060 points 2018 Champion
2 Max Elkington 3090
3 Eli Beukes 2634
4 Luke Thompson 2440
5 Bryce Du Preez 2435

2018 WSL Africa Junior Women’s Rankings (After Billabong Junior Series Seal Point –event 7 of 7)
1 Kai Woolf 4750 points 2018 Champion
2 Zoe Steyn 3870
3 Sophie Bell 2815
4 Kirsty McGillivray 2685
5 Kayla Nogueira 2380

2018 WSL Africa Junior squad to attend the WSL World Junior Championships (Taiwan in December)
Men – Luke Slijpen, Max Elkington, Eli Beukes, Luke Thompson.
Women – Kai Woolf, Zoe Steyn.

Full results, images and news for the WSL JQS events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

Results and more for the other divisions are available at www.surfingsouthafrica,co.za

Facebook:

Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Contacts.
Chad D’Arcy:
1. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
2. 079 519 5990
or

Jason Mendonca
1. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
2. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
1. info@craigjarvis.co.za
2. 082 376 4443

 

Distributed by

Life’s a Beach Communications
C: 082 423 1964
E: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Excellent Surf for Day 2 of the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS

September 29th, 2018 No comments

Zoe Steyn was the top performer in the WSL Africa JQS women’s event at the Billabong Junior Series pres. by BOS and has advanced to the final where she will meet Kai Woolf on Sunday Photo: Thurtell

Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – Excellent one metre waves with offshore conditions greeted the surfers on day 2 of the Billabong Junior Series Finale pres. by BOS, and the Pro Junior (U18) divisions were sent straight out in the early morning light.

It was high action from the get-go, and Bryce Du Preez and Calvin Goor were the Men’s standouts along with Ceara Knight and Zoe Steyn in the Women’s division. Steyn was awarded a 9,33 out of a possible 10 points for her best ride, in which she executed a series of radical turns along the inside, ending up on the rocks.

“I just saw such a good section on that wave and managed to hook it all the way past the rocks,” said Steyn. “There wasn’t priority at that stage so I had to hussle a bit to get that wave.”

In the U14 Boys James Ribbink dominated his heat and although it was a bit wave-starved he banked two good scores for the heat win.

“There weren’t too many waves out there in that heat, so I got an insider just to quickly open up my score,” said Ribbink. “Then I saw another decent looking wave and paddled further out and got it. I managed a couple of carves on it and so had two decent scores quite early on in the heat.”

Ribbink advanced along with Connor Slijpen. Other surfers who shone in this division were Christian Venter, an on-form Daniel Emslie and Brad Scott. Ribbink went on to win his semi-final and will compete in Sunday’s U14 Boy’s Final.

In the highly competitive U16 Boys division, Mitch Du Preez and York Van Jaarsveldt advanced to the Final, leaving Aya Gericke and Josh Daniel in their wake. The second Semifinal in this division was a close affair, with Tide-Lee Ireland winning ahead of Reilly Mare. Sam Bennie and Nathan Perris were both eliminated in the process.

The U16 Girls division was a spirited affair with Zoe Steyn showing her skills to advance along with Kayla Nogueira in the first Semifinal heat. The inform Ceara Knight was the winner of the second Semifinal and marched on to the final with Caroline Brown.

The Pro Junior Divisions took much of the action today, completing three rounds, all the way to the man-on-man Semifinals. Excellent surfing by the best U18 surfers in the country resulted in massive turns, innovative and polished routines and some huge scores along the route to the finals.

When the spray settled at the end of the day’s surfing it was Max Elkington and Luke Slijpen set to duel it out tomorrow in the Men’s Pro Junior final, while in the Women’s Pro Junior division final, Kai Woolf will come up against the dynamic Zoe Steyn.

Full results, images and news for the WSL JQS events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com, which webcasts live scoring while the events are running

Results and more for the other divisions are available at www.surfingsouthafrica,co.za

Facebook:

Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Contacts.
Chad D’Arcy:
1. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
2. 079 519 5990
or

Jason Mendonca
1. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
2. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
1. info@craigjarvis.co.za
2. 082 376 4443

 

Distributed by

Life’s a Beach Communications
C: 082 423 1964
E: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

Small Wave Skills Displayed on Opening Day of Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS

September 28th, 2018 No comments

Zoe Steyn in action on the opening day of the Billabong Junior Series Seal Point pres. by BOS Photo: Thurtell

Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – A calm morning soon turned into a blustery day as Seal Point – the venue for the Billabong Junior Series Final pres. by BOS – felt the brunt of a passing cold front and was hit with rain and wind during the early morning. The rain soon stopped however, and the surfing continued unabated in the good point-break conditions.

The surfing kicked off with the U16 Boys, and stand-outs included Josh Daniel and Brett Taylor as well as Manoa Robb and Nathan Perris, with Robb the highest scorer of this round.

The U14 Boys were next in, and there was some great surfing in this competitive division, with young Leo Faclier the stand-out with an excellent heat total of 13.17 (out of a possible 20 points). Other surfers excelling in this division were Luke Van Wyk, Connor Slijpen and Nate Colby.

In the U12 Girls Semifinals, Anastasia Venter and Meka Loots, along with Sarah Scott and Gabi Herbst, all surfed excellently to advance through to the finals in their division, while in the U14 Girls it was Aimee Du Preez and Kaylee Shaw Nell who advanced to their respective final, along with Adriel Wolmarans and Olivia Winter.

By the time the WSL Africa junior men’s event took to the water, the surf had improved considerably, and there were several great performances by the best 18-and-under surfers in the country.

York Van Jaarsveldt put on an excellent opening heat performance, winning his heat and advancing along with Karl Steen. Both surfers were on form and surfed with style and maturity.

Aya Gericke advanced along with Brad Scott in the second heat, and Bryce Du Preez and Thomas Lindhorst emerged successfully from their encounter, eliminating Daniel Orpen and James Ribbink in the process.

The final heat of Round 1 was won by Luke Thompson whose surfing showed a maturity beyond his years. Along with rising young East London star Daniel Emslie, the pair eliminated Samuel Loppnow and Manoa Robb from the event.

The opening heat of the WSL Junior women’s JQS 1,000 rated event saw Ceara Knight beat runaway rankings leader and event favourite Kai Woolf with fast and dynamic surfing as both girls advanced into the next round.

“It was so much fun out there despite the wind,” said Knight after her heat. “There were actually some really good waves to be had. I just had to make sure that I surfed them in such a way that I didn’t get blown over the back of them.”

Kayla Nogueira also won her opening encounter, taking heat runner-up Kirsty McGillivray along with her to the next round. Zoe Steyn put on a polished performance on her backhand to win her heat, and advanced along with Tayla De Coning, while Aimee Du Preez and Olivia Izzard survived their encounter and will be back in the water first thing tomorrow morning.

The forecast for Saturday looks promising, and the event organisers have their sights set on an early start. A slight lift in the swell, less wind and an afternoon high-tide could all come together for an amazing day of surfing.

Full results, images and news for the WSL JQS events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com, which webcasts live scoring while the events are running

Results and more for the other divisions are available at www.surfingsouthafrica,co.za

Facebook:

Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Contacts.
Chad D’Arcy:
1. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
2. 079 519 5990
or

Jason Mendonca
1. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
2. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
1. info@craigjarvis.co.za
2. 082 376 4443

 

Distributed by

Life’s a Beach Communications
C: 082 423 1964
E: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

Champions to be Decided at Billabong Junior Series in Cape St Francis this Weekend

September 27th, 2018 No comments

WSL Africa Junior Men’s rankings leader Luke Slijpen is the top seed for the Billabong Junior Series U18 division, Photo: WSL/ Cestari

Event: Billabong Junior Series Seal Point
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – The best junior surfers in the country are arriving in Seal Point for the final event in the 2018 Billabong Junior Series. The surf forecast for the contest has signs that it might be an epic weekend of surfing at the ever-consistent Seal Point, with plenty of swell around for the competitors to display their top surfing skills to the judges.

This event is possibly one of the most crucial junior surfing tournaments of the year, with much at stake for the competitors. Firstly there are the stand-alone event results, with surfers wanting to win this contest for points and prize money. Leading on from this, there are the Billabong Junior Series winners. Two event results count for these winners – from both the Billabong Junior Series Ballito and Seal Point events.

This event will also crown the World Surf League (WSL) Africa Junior champions, which will also lead on to the qualification for the WSL World Junior Championships, including the top four men and top two women surfers who will compete in the World Junior Championships in Taiwan in December 2018. It promises to be an action-packed and dramatic weekend of surfing.

The WSL Africa Men’s Junior Tour is currently being led by Luke Slijpen, with Eli Beukes and Max Elkington hot on his heels, and Dillon Hendricks and Bryce Du Preez not far behind. Slijpen has had an excellent competitive year and has a healthy lead in this division, with Beukes more than one thousand points behind him.

In the WSL Africa Women’s Junior Tour rankings, Kai Woolf is out in front with a comfortable lead over second ranked Zoe Steyn, with Sophie Bell in third place going in to this event. Kirsty McGillivray and Kayla Nogueira make up the remainder of the top five positions.

Both divisions contain a number of surfers who have improved dramatically over the last year, and there is every possibility of an upset in either division from the likes of Karl Steen and Daniel Emslie in the men’s, and Ceara Knight and Sne Makhubu in the women’s divisions respectively, to name a few.

In the U16 Boys division, all eyes will be on Tide Lee Ireland, York Van Jaarsveldt and Mitch du Preez, while in the U16 Girls division Zoe Steyn, Kayla Nogueira and Gabi Lailvaux are just three surfers who look set to dominate.

“It has been a good year for Junior Surfing in the country, and the Billabong Junior Series has been a great success,” said Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “We’re immensely proud of this series as it finishes its 21st year in the country, and we are looking forward to another positive year next year for both Junior Surfing as well as the Billabong Junior Series.”

The Billabong Junior Series runs from Friday to Sunday when all the event and series champions will crowned at the awards ceremony on the beach.

Facebook:
Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens

Instagram
@billabongwomens_za
@billabongsa
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Chad D’Arcy:
e. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
t. 079 519 5990
or

Jason Mendonca
e. jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
t. 079 698 7456

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443

Michael February Delivers Career Best Result with Fifth Place in Tahiti Pro

August 20th, 2018 No comments

Cape Town’s Michael February (ZAF) finished fifth in the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o on Sunday and moved up to No. 27 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) rankings Credit: © WSL / Poullenot

– Gabriel Medina Earns Second CT win at Teahupo’o
– Filipe Toledo Retains Jeep Rankings Leader Jersey

TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Sunday, August 19, 2018) – South African Michael February delivered his career best result on Sunday when he finished fifth in the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o, event No. 7 of 11 on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).

February, who had not progressed beyond Round 3 in his previous seven events on the elite 34-man tour, was eventually ousted by Jeep Rankings Leader Filipe Toledo (BRA) in their quarter-final match-up.

The CT rookie from Cape Town had earlier defeated compatriot Jordy Smith (Durban) in Round 3 and then won his three-man Round 4 heat over Wade Carmichael (AUS) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW). The 4,745 points he earned saw February jump four places to No. 27 on the CT rankings and within 2,000 points of a qualifying spot for the 2019 elite tour with four events remaining in the 2018 season.

Gabriel Medina (BRA) claimed his second Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o title and his first event win of 2018 by defeating Owen Wright (AUS) in the final held in clean but inconsistent 1 – 1.5 metre waves at the famed South Pacific reef pass.

“I’m just so happy to win here again and, first, I just want to thank God,” Medina said. “I came here and trained a lot, and I was just waiting for the victory. I love Tahiti and I’ve had some great Finals here. I’ve won here before, two second-place finishes, and another win now.”

Since his first Tahiti Pro win in 2014, the Brazilian superstar has never dropped below third place at the event. His win over Wright came after he ousted Jeremy Flores (FRA) in the semi-finals and fellow Brazilian Italo Ferreira in the quarters.

“Now I can kind of start thinking about winning a World Title. I think anything is possible. There’re a couple of events to go and I just want to keep giving it my best.”

Medina’s victory moves him up from 3rd to 2nd on the Jeep Leaderboard, 6,300 points behind Toledo and well within striking distance of capturing a second WSL Title this year if he maintains strong results in the final four events, two of which he won last year.

Medina added. “I’m really happy right now, but I know Owen’s got the same feeling I had last year, which was horrible for me, but it’s competition and that’s why we love competing. I feel blessed to have been in the right spots at this event and now I’m going to enjoy this moment, then I’m focusing on the next event.”

Wright’s runner-up finish today marks his best result in Tahiti and his best result of the season. To make his first final in Tahiti the Australian took down Jeep frontrunner Toledo in the semis and Carmichael in the quarters. Before Tahiti, Wright sat at 11th on the Jeep Leaderboard, but his result now boosts him up to 6th.

“It’s a sting, but it’s just nice to be back in the final,” Wright said. “Right now, it’s a hard loss to take a second, but it’s been an incredible week. It all came down to those last two waves. I made the wrong decision and I’m already feeling that deep burn and drive. I’m stoked for Gabby, well-deserved win for him after it got taken off him by Julian (Wilson) just last year. Congratulations to Gabby.”

Toledo fell just short of his third final of the year, losing to eventual runner-up Wright in a hard-fought semi-final bout. The rankings leader’s form was impeccable throughout the event, including a brilliant quarter-final win over rookie Michael February (ZAF), and he will retain the Jeep Leader Jersey going into the next stop, the Surf Ranch Pro.

“I feel really happy and proud of myself with all the hard work I put out here, and a semi-final result in Tahiti is definitely a keeper,” Toledo said. “I’ve been on the Tour for six years now and this is one of those years where everything is clicking and everything’s happening. I’m just making sure to capitalise and get the job done. It’s important to just keep the focus on what I’ve been doing – my training, my surfing – and not worrying about the outside world.”

The next stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Surf Ranch Pro pres. by Hurley in Lemoore, California from September 6 – 9, 2018.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Tahiti Pro Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.50
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07

Tahiti Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.60 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.03
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.17 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.10

Tahiti Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.43 def. Michael February (ZAF) 8.60
QF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.00 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.57
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.57. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.57
QF 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.34 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.74

WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Tahiti Pro):
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 41,985 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 35,685 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 32,380 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 30,160 pts
5 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 25,550 pts

South Africans
7 – Jordy Smith (Durban) 23,575 pts
27 – Michael February (Cape Town) 11,000 pts
43 – Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 420 pts

ENDS

About WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

 

 

 

Lawler and Nonaka Take QS Titles at Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill

June 17th, 2018 No comments

 

Jordan Lawler (Australia) and Minami Nonaka (Japan) captured the prestigious World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) Men’s and Women’s titles respectively in the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill which ended in small but contestable 0.5 to 1.0 metre waves at Big Bay in Bloubergstrand on Sunday.

Lawler played a patient game at the start of the Men’s final, but he fell behind his three South African opponents so he decided to get busy and it paid off. First he added a 7.0 to an earlier 6.0 to overtake Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) who had led the 25 minute encounter from the outset.

Shortly thereafter the Australian caught a wave that reformed on the inside and, surfing to the judging criteria, he performed several manoeuvres with speed, power and flow to be rewarded with an 8.25, the only score in the excellent range (8 points or more out of 10) and the highest score of the final.

His two wave heat tally of 15.25 left Adin Masencamp (Strand) needing a near-perfect 9.25 for victory, while McGillivray and Chad du Toit (Durban) each needed to replace both their counting rides as the clock wound down.

“I’m so stoked! It has been a while since I won a QS and I am over the moon,” said Lawler who has been in South Africa since the opening event of the WSL Africa Qualifying Series at the end of March. He has accumulated several good results, including a runner-up finish in Port Alfred, but this is his first QS victory since 2014 in Australia.

“I really love it here so much, every South African I have met is just the coolest guy ever and everybody is so nice. It definitely plays a role in my surfing over here,” he added.

The diminutive Nonaka is just 16 but posted the highest heat total, 15.50 points out of 20, in the women’s opening round held in pounding overhead surf at Melkbosstrand on Friday. Although she was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Junior Women’s event on Saturday, she kept advancing in the women’s event and went on to clinch her first QS victory.

She defeated two of South Africa’s top female talents, multiple event winner Sarah Baum (Durban) and reigning WSL Africa Women’s Champion Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), as well as local rising star Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) in a hard fought final.

Baum dominated the early exchanges of the matchup with a pair of six-point rides, consistently making the connection to the inside section and displaying great wave selection. But the petite Japanese girl found a runner that she worked over nearly all the way to the beach for a confidence-boosting 7.75 and then slammed the door on her rivals with a 6.50 in the dying minutes of the encounter.

“I just wanted to catch the best waves I could during the final,” said Nonaka through a translator. “I was in second place when I picked the best wave and got the 7.75 and that gave me the confidence to find the 6.5 at the end that gave me the win.”

Baum had to settle for second spot while Pallet and Nogueira took third and fourth respectively.

The next event, the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley, starts in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday and features a QS 3,000 Women’s event, a QS 1,500 Men’s event, Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 Men’s and Women’s events for surfers 18-and-under, and Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events for Men and Women.

Full results, photos and video footage for the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill – QS 1,000 Men’s Final Results
1. Jordan Lawler (Australia) 15.25 points
2. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 11.85
3. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 9.50
4. Chad du Toit (Durban) 9.25

Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill – QS 1,000 Women’s Final Results
1. Minami Nonaka (Japan) 14.255 points
2. Sarah Baum (Durban) 13.0
3. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 8.35
4. Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) 7.30

ENDS

About WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for Surfing in South Africa by the Department of Sport and Recreation. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

 

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

McGillivray, Bulard and Beukes Take Titles at Vans Surf Pro Classic

June 3rd, 2018 No comments

Cannelle Bulard (Reunion Island), Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) and Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) took the Women’s, Junior Men’s and Men’s titles in the 2018 Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay on Sunday Image: WSL / Van Gysen

YoYo’s Fires and Performances Soar on Final Day

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Cannelle Bulard (Reunion Island) and Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) took the Men’s, Women’s and Junior Men’s titles respectively at the 2018 Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lamberts Bay on Sunday.

The final day produced incredible high-scoring encounters as YoYos delivered pumping 1.5 to 2 metre waves in clean offshore conditions and even though the wind freshened into a Southerly crosswind later in the day, the final heat of the day saw the event’s highest score.

The men’s event was upgraded to a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500 rating for 2018 and the 64-man field was whittled down to the last eight all of whom had hopes of taking home the R40,000 prize purse and the precious 1,500 points on the international leaderboard.

The final saw Jeffreys Bay buddies and training partners Dylan Lightfoot and Matt McGillivray go head to head with Lightfoot starting the stronger, leaving McGillivray needing to better 14 points before he’d even caught a good wave.

But once McGillivray did get his first lined up righthander, he went ballistic with a couple of strong turns on the outside and then going for broke with a high risk aerial on the inside. The country’s highest QS rated surfer then went from strength to strength, overtaking Lightfoot with a 7.5 and then slamming the door with another gigantic aerial that the judges rewarded with a 9.65

Although Lightfoot was surfing really well, the 19.16 requirement was a bridge too far and it was McGillivray who claimed the title and moved back into the top 10 spot on the QS rankings he has held since winning the first QS3,000 event of the year in Israel.

“The final went really well, the waves were pulsing which gave us plenty of opportunities,” said McGillivray. “Dylan started really well and got two good waves, but I just tried to block that out and focused on my own performance.

“My first good score I did a some turns out the back and then there was a nice section for an air on the inside and although I probably should have played it safe, I decided to risk it and it paid off and I’m really stoked I managed to land the air and get a 9.5. That helped me relax and I took the lead with my next ride and then I added that 9.65 for the win.

“This is another keeper result to help my seeding for the second half of the year and hopefully it will get me a wildcard for the Ballito Pro and then I can work towards the wildcard for J-Bay. Nice to know I’m making progress towards my goals, but there’s still lots of hard work ahead. I’d like to thank the Lord for the wonderful waves he gave us for the whole event, and for helping me. And also Graham, my surfboard shaper, it was cool to have him here giving me advice and being able to bounce ideas off him, and my girlfriend Zoe McDougall for her support and always being there for me.”

McGillivray defeated an inform David Van Zyl (Glenashley) in their semi-final clash and earlier ousted red hot Brazilian junior Eduardo Motta in the quarterfinals. Lightfoot had overcome another Brazilian in Luan Carvalho in the quarters and then event top seed Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) in their semi duel.

The 560 points Van Zyl earned for his third place finish was sufficient for him to overtake Jordy Maree (Cape Town) at the top of the men’s regional rankings heading into stop No. 6 on the WSL Africa Qualifying Series, the Jordy Smith Cape Town Pro, later this month.

The QS1,000 women’s final was a tightly contested encounter that was only decided in the dying seconds when Reunion Island’s former star Cannelle Bulard posted a 7.0, the highest scoring ride of the 25 minute matchup against Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), the WSL Africa rankings leader.

“It was really hard out there and we couldn’t hear anything, so neither of us had a wave at the start,” explained the ever-smiling Bulard, who had been a standout in the powerful Lamberts Bay surf from the outset of the event on Friday.

“I had my first wave on the left and after that long paddle I was so tired I had no more arms. But then I got that good one at the end, a seven, in the last 20 seconds. I’m so stoked, I’ve won some points and some money, it’s so cool!”

Bulard, who was competing in her first event in five years, and Pallet each earned 9.0 point rides in their respective semi-final victories with the Reunion Islander defeating an rising star Natasha van Greunen (Muizenberg), who produced one of her best results. Pallet outpointed perennial rival and former WSL Africa women’s champion Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis)

The Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 event for men 18-and-under was a hometown victory of sorts as Eli Beukes, who grew up in Lamberts Bay, but now reside with his family in Kommetjie, beat all comers to clinch a title he had wanted to win for years by successfully landing a Hail-Mary aerial manoeuvre after the siren had sounded.

“I’ve always wanted to win this event because I grew up here in Lamberts Bay so to finally win it is amazing,” said Beukes after his first JQS event win. “I started off making a couple of mistakes because the wind was pretty strong and it was difficult to do turns. But once I got priority I was a bit more confident and then I went for it on that final air.

“I’m stoked to come away with the win and super stoked that I’ve jumped up the rankings because one of my goals for the year is to make it into the top four who go to the World Junior Championships in Australia.”

Like the men’s event, the junior draw resulted in four South Africans and four internationals in the last eight. Beukes defeated Dylan Groen (Germany) in the final after accounting Eduardo Motta (Brazil) in the semis. Groen needed an excellent 8.25 and a 7.50 in his semi-final to oust Brazilian Daniel Templar, who had delivered the highest score of Day 1’s action.

The 2018 Vans Surf pro Classic will be remembered for the huge surf that forced the organisers to move the action inside the shelter of the harbour wall on Friday, and for the outstanding surfing and exceptionally high scores when the event was moved back to YoYo’s on Saturday and Sunday.

Full results, along with news, images and video footage will be available at www.worldsurfleague.com.

The Vans Surf Pro Classic is proudly supported by Vans, Zigzag, Hydro Flask, WSL and SSA.

Vans Surf Pro Classic (Yo-Yo’s, Lamberts Bay, Western Cape)
Results

Men’s QS1,500 Final Results
1. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 19.15 R40,000 1,500 pts
2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 15.70 R20,000 1,125 pts

Women’s QS1,000 Final Results
1. Cannelle Bulard (Reunion Island) 11.75 R8,000 1,000 pts
2. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 8.40 R4000 750 pts

Junior Men’s JQS1,000 Final Results
1. Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) 12.40 R8,000 1,000 pts
2. Dylan Groen (Germany) 9.80 R4,000 750 pts

ENDS

About WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for Surfing in South Africa by the Department of Sport and Recreation. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

 

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za