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February, Hulett, Elkington and Noguera Take Titles at Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

April 9th, 2017 No comments
Michael February (Kommetjie) flew to victory in the QS1,000 Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Michael February (Kommetjie) flew to victory in the QS1,000 Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Ian Thurtell

The inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong wrapped up three days of high performance surfing action on Sunday with Michael February (Kommetjie) and Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) taking out the Men’s and Women’s titles respectively while Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Kayla Nogueira (Durban) clinched the Junior men’s and Women’s crowns.

The first internationally rated World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) events to be staged in Port Elizabeth enjoyed contestable and testing surf for the three days and featured 128 competitors, including South Africa’s top exponents and entrants from the USA and Australia.

February demonstrated why he is country’s highest ranked QS surfer by dominating throughout, leaving his opponents in combination situations and needing to replace their best two scores at the end of heats, including the Men’s final. Surfing with unparalleled speed, power and flow, the 23 year-old Capetonian effortlessly connected long rides all the way to the beach, cruising over flat sections and performing powerful manoeuvres when ever the opportunity presented itself.

Fellow QS campaigner Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) kept pace for the first half of the 25 minute final, but an excellent 8.67 by February late in the heat left Lightfoot, third placed Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) and fourth placed Beyrick de Vries, the 2016 WSL Africa champion, all requiring 16.01 points for victory.

“Super happy with that result. I haven’t won an event for a couple of years and that’s my first QS1,000 event title,” said February. “The final was tricky, the waves were really far out and you couldn’t hear what the situation was, but after I’d had two decent rides I stayed close to Dylan (Lightfoot) and Jarred (Veldhuis) and used my priority to keep them off the good ones.

“It’s good to be home and be able to pick up the maximum points available and move up the rankings. I’m feeling positive and motivated for the rest of the events here and to wearing the rankings leader’s jersey next week.”

February pocketed R10,000 and 1,000 coveted rankings points that will see him vault from 91st into the top 40 on the QS leaderboard and he will wear the Skullcandy zebra striped ranking leader’s vest at the next event on the City Surf Series in East London next weekend.

Hulett, who scraped into the women’s final after losing half of one of her scores when she incurred an interference penalty in her semifinal match-up. But the youngest competitor in the last four went on to defeat her more experienced rivals, posting the highest score of the encounter, a 7.67 out of 10, before adding a mid-range 4.27 to clinch her first WSL QS event title.

“That’s my first big win and It’s a kind of weird feeling,” said Hulett. “To compete against my idols and people I look up to like Faye (Zoetmulder) and to match them is amazing. I’ve done the hardest training ever and this win has given me so much confidence. And I’m really pleased about the amount of support for women’s surfing – it’s wonderful!”

The Junior Men’s final was dominated by the Elkington brothers from Kommetjie, with younger brother Max leading until the last minute when Jake rdoe the highest scoing wave of the final to grab victory.

“I got that 7.23 in the last 30 seconds and I was really stoked to overtake Max and get my first WSL Junior title,’ said Jake. ‘I gives me the early lead in the WSL Africa junior rankings and will hopefully help me to secure a place in the squad for the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January. The win has really given me confidence and I’m looking forward to East London next weekend.

Nogueira has been on roll for the past three weeks with the 13 year-old Durbanite surfing to victories winning both the U14 and U16 titles on successive weekends before capturing the18-and-under title today. She stuck to her strategy and made sure that she caught to waves that gave her the opportunity to score a pair of five point rides.

“My first JQS win felt really good and hopefully I’ll be able to do it again,” said Nogueira. “I don’t feel intimidated by the older girls, I’ve surfed against them a couple of times before, but this a real boost to my confidence and it feels really great.”

The winners were presented with their trophies and cheques by Athol Trollip, the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Athol Trollip. The Mayor also presented special commemorative trophies to the 2016 WSL Africa champions Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis), Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock).

More than 50 excited youngsters had the time of their lives at the event today as part of a Surfing South Africa Outreach initiative that saw them participate in a Tag Team surfing event and a coaching clinic, as well as relay races and an Easter egg hunt at the beach.

Run by SSA Development Officer Danielle Johnson and SSA Event coordinator Shirley Fairall, the participants came from Missionvale, Motherwell and Jeffreys Bay and were supported by Volkswagen and the National Lotteries Commission.

Results, images and video footage from the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

Men’s Final
1. Michael February (Kommetjie) 1,000 pts
2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 750 pts
3. Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) 560 pts
4. Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) 525 pts

Women’s Final
1. Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 1,000 pts
2. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 750 pts
3. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 560 pts
4. Tayla Hanak (Australia) 525 pts

Junior Men’s Final
1. Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) 1,000 pts
2. Max Elkington (Kommetjie) 750 pts
3. Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) 560 pts
4. Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) 525 pts

Junior Women’s Final
1. Kayla Nogueira (Durban) 1,000 pts
2. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 750 pts
3. Julia Ploughman (Cape Town) 560 pts
4. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 525 pts

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for all disciplines of surfriding 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

#labcomm

Michael February Produces Sensational Performance on Day 2 of Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

April 8th, 2017 No comments
Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) dominated the first two rounds of the Junior Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) dominated the first two rounds of the Junior Men’s event at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Men, Women and Junior Men Post Excellent Scores at the Pipe in Port Elizabeth

Michael February produced a sensational performance at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong in Port Elizabeth today, starting his quarterfinal heat with an excellent ride of 9.57 and then backing that up with the first perfect 10 point ride of the event for a near perfect heat tally of 19.57 out of 20.

Greeted by wild conditions with 1 to 2 metre waves breaking 150 metres offshore and onshore winds, organisers delayed this morning’s start. This paid off with conditions cleaning up as the tide filled in and two rounds of Men, Women and Junior Men were completed,

While February (Kommetjie), the top seed in the QS1,000 rated Men’s event, was the day’s star performer, Women’s top seed Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) also stood out by delivering two rides in the excellent category (over 8 points out of 10) for a 16.50 heat total, while Luke Slijpen (Cape Town was the top points scorer among the Junior Men.

“I started the heat super far out and that first one just popped up next me,” said February of his quarterfinal. “I did a couple of turns and the wave kept delivering so I rode it all the way to the beach. It was a long paddle back but I heard that I got a nine something, so I just needed decent backup. Then I went left on a wave that allowed me three big turns and was stoked to be awarded the10!”

February was joined in tomorrow’s first semifinal by fellow Kommetjie residents Jordy Maree and Jarred Veldhuis, along with Brandon Jackson (Durban North). The second semifinal will be determined after the remaining two quarterfinals are completed on Sunday morning.

Pallet, who spent a month in Australia earlier this year competing in WSL events, overcame her nervousness about the conditions and the ability of her opponents to record the best return in the Women’s event by getting an early mid-range score before racking up her pair of eight plus rides.

“I was pretty nervous before the long paddle out because the waves were really messy and I had Australian Tayla Hanak in my heat,” said Pallet. “I had one ride and then my coach Quintin Jones put me in good spot and I caught that right that gave me an 8.33. Then Sophie (Bell) just missed one and I caught it further in and I managed to get an 8.17.

“I’m so glad that the girls are going to have seven events in South Africa this year. It’s great being able to earn points here at home so we can qualify for the big events overseas. And I’m really excited about tomorrow.”

Pallet faces Hanak again in the semifinals, along with 2016 WSL Africa women’s champion Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) and Tarryn Chudleigh (Cape Town). The second semifinal includes Teal Hogg (uMhlanga), Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay), Tasha Mentasti (Durban) and Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay).

The Junior Men’s event was dominated by Slijpen who delivered the two highest scores of 14.83 in Round 1 and 15.10 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis. Others to shine in the JQS1,000 rated event for surfers 18-and-under included Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach), Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) and Sebastian Williams (Durban).

The opening round of the Junior Women’s event was held over to Sunday and will be run before the semifinals and finals of all the events sees the champions crowned at the event site.

The Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Athol Trollip, will present the winners with their trophies and cheques. He will also present special commemorative trophies to the 2016 WSL Africa champions Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Faye Zoetmulder, Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock).

Organisers will meet at Pollock Beach at 7.15 am local time on Sunday to make a call on when to get the contest underway, with a 7.30 am start anticipated.

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

See Day 2’s full results at:

QS1,000 Men: http://bit.ly/2pcvQux
QS1,000 Women: http://bit.ly/2nVKwO8
JQS1,000 Junior Men: http://bit.ly/2nW1MDe

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for all disciplines of surfriding 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

$labcomm

Top Seeds Dominate Opening Day of Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

April 7th, 2017 No comments
Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) takes to the air as he advanced to the last 16 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth Photo: Ian Thurtell

Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) takes to the air as he advanced to the last 16 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth Photo: Ian Thurtell

Men’s Round 1 and Half of Round 2 Completed at The Pipe in Port Elizabeth

The top seeded surfers dominated proceedings in today’s opening rounds of the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong, the first of eight events on the South African Qualifying Series (QS) leg that will crown the 2017 WSL Africa champions in September.

Organisers completed Round 1 and four of eight heats of Round 2 in the QS1,000 rated men’s event which was held in lumpy, wind affected but highly contestable waves that saw the 64-man field reduced to just 32.

Top seed Michael February (Kommetjie) got his campaign underway with a hard fought second place in the first heat of the day, but made amends in Round 2 where he posted the highest scores for a single ride (9.33 out of 10) and for his heat total of 16.0 out of 20.

“That first heat was a bit sketchy, but it woke me up,” said February. “In the second heat I found that proper wave at the start and was happy with a couple of my backup rides. It’s great to back at Pipe where I competed in five Grommet Games about 10 years ago.”

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), the 2016 WSL Africa champion and No. 2 seed, was wearing the Skullcandy WSL Africa rankings leader’s zebra striped vest in the first event of the year. De Vries made no mistakes in his opener, racking up an excellent 8.0 and a 6.33 to advance and he will be in the first heat when Round 2 of the Men’s event recommences.

Only one of the seven internationally ranked surfers is still in the event. James Tyler (USA) is yet to surf his Round 2 heat while his compatriots Braden Jones and Austin Neumann progressed to Round 2 but were eliminated there.

Other standouts on the opening day included Jason Harris (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jordy Maree and Jarred Veldhuis, all three of whom won their Round 3 match-ups to reach the last 16.

The men’s QS1,000 rated Nelson Mandela Surf Pro presented by Billabong offers a total prize-purse of R30,000 and coveted points on the regional and international rankings lists.

Saturday’s second day will see action in the QS1,000 women’s event plus the JQS1,000 men’s and women’s events for surfers aged 18 and under. Organisers will meet at Pollock Beach at 7.15 am local time to make a call on when to get the contest underway, with a 7.30 am start anticipated.

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for all disciplines of surfriding 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

#labcomm

Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro Launches City Surf Series in Port Elizabeth

April 6th, 2017 No comments
Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) will be competing in both the men’s and junior men’s events in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth  Photo: Grant Beck

Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) will be competing in both the men’s and junior men’s events in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth  Photo: Grant Beck

The most exciting and lucrative series of professional surfing events ever staged in South Africa will be launched in Port Elizabeth on Friday when the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong hosts a huge field of local and international competitors at The Pipe on Pollock Beach.

Comprising World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated events for men and women, plus Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for men and women aged 18-and-under, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 plus points counting towards international and regional rankings lists.

The historic event has notched up a slew of landmarks including being the first professional surfing contest to be staged in the city; the first of five similar tournaments in the inaugural City Surf Series, which will also visit East London, Durban (twice) and Cape Town; the first of four JQS events in the 20th annual Billabong Junior Series and the first event counting towards the crowning of the 2017 WSL Africa regional champions in September.

The QS1,000 rated men’s event features a 64 man field including the cream of South Africa’s surfers. The top seed is Michael February (Kommetjie), currently the country’s highest QS ranked surfer at No. 65, followed by 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Braden Jones (USA).

The men will be battling for a share of the R30,000 on offer with the winner pocketing R10,000 and 1,000 precious ranking points on the 659 man WSL QS leaderboard.

The QS1,000 women’s seeding is headed by Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) and Fay Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) with Tayla Hanak (AUS) the only international among the 24 competitors.

Reigning WSL Africa Junior champion Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jake Elkington and Ford van Jaarsveldt are the top four in the JQS1,000 junior men’s event, while the JQS1,000 women’s field is headed by Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Taghiti Gericke (Mossel Bay) and Olivia Izzard (Umhlanga).

The rankings points accumulated in the JQS events determine the top four men and top two women who will represent WSL Africa at the annual WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January.

The three day event starts with two rounds of men’s competition on Friday, followed by the earlier rounds of the women’s and junior events on Saturday and concludes with the champions being crowned on Sunday.

Outreach programs designed to foster and encourage newcomers to surfing will be run during the event by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport.

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.World SurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona and the City of Port Elizabeth.

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for all disciplines of surfriding 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

 

#labcomm

Max Elkington Continues Winning Streak in Billabong Junior Series

March 26th, 2017 No comments
Max Elkington (Kommetjie) on his way to victory in the U16 Boys division of the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Billabong / McGregor

Max Elkington (Kommetjie) on his way to victory in the U16 Boys division of the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel in Port Elizabeth on Sunday Photo: Billabong / McGregor

Max Elkington continued his phenomenal winning streak by claiming his 15th national age group event title when he clinched the U16 Boys crown in the Billabong Junior Series presented All Aboard Travel at Loch Ness in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.

The first of four surfing events that will crown champions in five age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year in October was held in good waves at the Pipe in Port Elizabeth on Saturday before small waves and onshore winds saw organisers move to the open ocean ‘wildside’ where the finals were completed in tricky head-high surf.

Elkington, 15, caught the best wave that came through in the final and belted a series of radical manoeuvres to register his sixth consecutive Billabong Junior Series event win, pocketing R1,200 and taking the early lead in the series rankings. Fellow Kommetjie resident Eli Beukes hung onto second place ahead of Bryce Du Preez (East London) and Dillon Hendriks (Jeffreys Bay) who were third and fourth respectively.

In the U16 Girls’, Kayla Nogueira turned the tables on fellow Durbanite S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (who won the series title last year) in a tightly fought duel where the winning points were scored on the last ride of the final. Tayla de Coning (East London) and Zoe Steyn (Kalk Bay) took the minor places.

The U14 Boys was another tight affair with Daniel Emslie, up from the U12 division last year, found the best backup wave after all four finalists registered one good ride each. Nate Spalding (Durban), Mitch du Preez (East London) and Travis Pearce finished in that order.

Kayla Nogueira secured her second title at the event when she dominated the U14 Girls division, winning each heat she contested including the final where the Durbanite finished in front of Lisa van Heerden (Strand) and Aimee du Preez (EL). Caroline Brown (CT) incurred a priority interference penalty that saw her lose one of her two counting rides and she dropped from second to fourth place.

The U12 Boys title went to Kyra Bennie (Durban) who convincingly beat local pair Nathan Plomaritis and C-Jay Posthumus with Ethan Currin in fourth. The U12 Girls result was also affected by an interference call that saw Lisa van Heerden relegated to second spot behind winner Zia Hendriks, with Emma Bedser and Luanne Hurst collecting third and fourth places.

The newly introduced U10 division was completed in tricky waves at the Pipe before the event was moved and was dominated by Sergio Nogueira (Durban). Davey Emslie, Michael Russel and Josh Malherbe finished second to fourth in the youngest division in the series events, which is supported by Sea Harvest.

Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) boosted the best aerial manoeuvre during the VonZipper Airshow and took home R2,000 from the winner-takes all 30 minute heat, while Davey Emslie was awarded the Billabong Best Claim of the Contest and a hamper of Billabong products.

Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel – Event #1 – Port Elizabeth
Final Results

U/16 Boys
1 Max Elkington (Kommetjie) R1,200
2 Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) R800
3 Bryce du Preez (East London) R600
4 Dillon Hendriks (Jeffreys Bay) R400

U/16 Girls
1 Kayla Nogueira (Durban) R1,100
2 S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) R750
3 Tayla de Coning (East London) R550
4 Zoe Steyn (Kalk Bay) R350

U/14 Boys
1 Daniel Emslie (East London) R1,200
2 Nate Spalding (Durban) R800
3 Mitch du Preez (East London) R600
4 Travis Pearce (Cape Town) R400

U/14 Girls
1 Kayla Nogueira (Durban) R1,200
2 Lisa van Heerden (Strand) R750
3 Aimee du Preez (East London) R550
4 Caroline Brown (Cape Town) R400

U/12 Boys
1 Kyra Bennie (Durban) R1,200
2 Nathan Plomaritis (Port Elizabeth) R800
3 C-Jay Posthumus (Port Elizabeth) R600
4 Ethan Currin R400

U/12 Girls
1 Zia Hendriks (Jeffreys Bay) R1,000
2 Lisa van Heerden (Strand) R700
3 Emma Bedser R500
4 Luanne Hurst R300

U/10
1 Sergio Nogueira (Durban) R900
2 Davey Emslie (East London) R450
3 Michael Russel R350
4 Josh Malherbe (East London) R300

Special Awards

VonZipper Airshow – R2 000
Luke Slijpen (Llandudno)

Billabong – Best Claim of the Event – Product Hamper
Davey Emslie (East London)

See all the results and a gallery of images from the event at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by All Aboard Travel, BOS, VonZipper and Zigzag.

The event is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the recognised governing body for the sport of surfing in South Africa and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

ENDS

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

For more details contact

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

Grant Beck
e. grant.beck@billabong.co.za
t. 079 332 9434

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443
Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

Billabong Junior Series Gets Underway in Port Elizabeth this Weekend

March 24th, 2017 No comments
Reigning Billabong Junior Series U16 Boys’ champion Max Elkington (Kommetjie) heads the lineup for the opening event of the 2017 series in Port Elizabeth this weekend  Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

Reigning Billabong Junior Series U16 Boys’ champion Max Elkington (Kommetjie) heads the lineup for the opening event of the 2017 series in Port Elizabeth this weekend  Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

The Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel gets underway at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth this weekend with the first of four surfing events that will crown champions in five age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year.

The world’s longest running junior surfing series has nurtured the competitive careers of countless local surfers including 2016 world title runner-up Jordy Smith and former CT campaigners Bianca Buitendag, Travis Logie, and Rosy Hodge along with current QS standouts Beyrick de Vries, Michael February and Matt McGillivray.

Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 March, this weekend’s event features 3A rated Surfing South Africa (SSA) events for U16, U14, U12 and U10 boys and girls with prize-money in all divisions and ranking points counting towards both the Billabong Junior Series and South African Surf Tour (SAST) 2017 titles.

“We are excited to be launching the 20th annual Billabong Junior Series in Port Elizabeth,” said Billabong Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “It’s a great time to be a junior surfer in South Africa at the moment, and Billabong is proud of our junior surfing legacy.”

All Aboard Travel, the new presenting sponsor for the series, will up the ante by providing tickets to Bali for the overall series winners of the U18 Men’s and Women’s JQS Pro Jnr divisions. BOS Ice Tea will enhance their long standing support for junior surfing by taking the title sponsorship for the second event in the series, the BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong in Cape Town in May.

The U10 division, supported by Sea Harvest, makes its debut in the Billabong Junior Series and has been introduced to foster and encourage youngsters to become involved in competitive surfing as early as possible.

The huge entry from the country’s top surfers aged 16 and under for this weekend is headed by Max Elkington (Kommetjie), Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) and S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) in the U16 Boys and Girls’ divisions. The U14, U12 and U10 divisions are filled by the best competitors from all points of the coastline.

Competitor registration takes place at the event site from 2pm on Friday and continues on Saturday morning.

See the provisional Event Format (subject to change) and the heat draws for all divisions at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by All Aboard Travel, BOS, VonZipper and Zigzag.

The event is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the recognised governing body for the sport of surfing in South Africa and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

ENDS

About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

For more details contact

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

Grant Beck
e. grant.beck@billabong.co.za
t. 079 332 9434

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443
Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

 

2016 Billabong Junior Series Champions Crowned at Seal Point

October 2nd, 2016 No comments
Adin Masencamp (Strand) takes to the air on his way to clinching the U18 boys’ Billabong Junior Series title and the WSL Africa Junior crown event at Seal Point on Sunday Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

Adin Masencamp (Strand) takes to the air on his way to clinching the U18 boys’ Billabong Junior Series title and the WSL Africa Junior crown event at Seal Point on Sunday Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

The 19th annual Billabong Junior Series champions were crowned at Seal Point in Cape St Francis after the second and final event in 2016 series was completed in highly contestable one metre waves and a stiff onshore breeze on Sunday.

Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) clinched the coveted U18 boys’ and girls’ Billabong Junior Series titles. The pair also topped the World Surf League (WSL) regional rankings lists and were crowned 2016 WSL Africa Junior champions.

The U16 boys’ and girls’ series titles were won by Max Elkington (Kommetjie), who was the only surfer across all divisions to win both the Ballito and Seal Point events, and Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay), who accumulated the same total as Bell over the two events, but won the title after a count-back.

Durbanites dominated the younger divisions with Tide-lee Ireland and newcomer S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu claiming the U14 series titles and Luke Thompson is the 2016 U12 boys’ series champion.

Masencamp secured both his titles after posting a phenomenal 17.93 heat total, including a near-perfect 9.33, in his semi-final victory over Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie). Masencamp went on to fall on two of his three rides in the final, finishing runner-up to 16 year-old Sebastian Williams (Durban), but his second place in the event was enough to earn the series crown and to overtake Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) on the WSL Africa Junior rankings.

Williams won his first WSL sanctioned junior event with great display of innovative surfing and rocketed into second place on the season-ending Billabong U18 series standings. He will join Masencamp, Maree and Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) in the four man squad who will represent WSL Africa at the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January 2017.

Bell won the U18 girls’ event today with Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) the runner-up. The pair finished in the same order in the Billabong and WSL Africa rankings and will join the four boys in Australia early next year.

Max Elkington defeated his SA junior teammate Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) in the U16 boys’ final today. The 15 year-old from Kommetjie has now claimed a phenomenal 14 national age group titles and this is his fifth consecutive Billabong Junior Series crown.

In the U16 girls, Woolf emerged victorious over Bell to frank the tremendous form she has shown over the past couple of years. McGillivray ended third and rising star Anna Jellema Butler (Kalk Bay) in fourth place.

The U14 boys’ event title went to Nate Spalding who finished ahead of fellow Durbanite Ireland, York van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) and Sam Bennie (Vredehoek). Emerging talent S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu won the U14 girls with Kayla Nogueira (Durban), Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) and Gabi Lailvaux (Westbrook) taking second to fourth places.

Thompson won the U12 boys’ event, overcoming James Ribbink (Durban North) who was one of the standouts in yesterday’s action. The winner of the Ballito event, Daniel Emslie (East London), finished third and Christian Venter (Melkbosstrand) took fourth.

With the finals completed and the tide dropping, the VonZipper Air Show was moved to the beach break where Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) landed the best aerial manoeuvre and pocketed the R2 000 winner-takes-all prize-purse.

Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) won the BOS ‘Best Carve of the Event’ and a surfboard, with Mitch Du Preez (East London) claiming the R2 000 for the Neff ‘Forever Fun’ award and James Ribbink earning an additional R2 500 for the Skull Candy ‘Stay Loud’ award.

Full results for all divisions can be found at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and the scores and results for the U18 boys’ and girls’ divisions can be found at http://bit.ly/2dLc5Zb.

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

2016 Billabong Junior Series
Final Rankings

U/18 Boys
1 Adin Masencamp (Strand) 1750 pts
2 Sebastian Williams (Durban) 1300
3 Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) 1145

U/18 Girls
1 Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 1560 pts
2 Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 1500
3 Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) 1120

U/16 Boys
1 Max Elkington (Kommetjie) 2000 pts
2 Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) 1470
3 Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) 1400

U/16 Girls
1 Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) 1860* pts 15.33
2 Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 1860* 12.17
3 Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 1285

U/14 Boys
1 Tide Lee Ireland (Durban) 1860 pts
2 Nate Spalding (Durban) 1670
3 York Van Jaarsveld (Kommetjie) 1590

U/14 Girls
1 S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) 1730 pts
2 Kayla Nogueira (Durban) 1720
3 Gabi Lailvaux (Westbrook) 1670

U/12 Boys
1 Luke Thompson (Durban) 1610 pts
2 Daniel Emslie (East London) 1548
3 James Ribbink (Durban) 1315

Billabong Junior Series – Event #2 – Seal Point
Final Results

U/18 Boys
1 Sebastian Williams (Durban) R8 000
2 Adin Masencamp (Strand) R4 000
=3 Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) R2 500
=3 Ford Van Jaarsveld (Kommetjie) R2 500

U/18 Girls
1 Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) R4 000
2 Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) R2 000
=3 Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) R1 000
=3 Taghiti Gericke (Wilderness) R1 000

U/16 Boys
1 Max Elkington (Kommetjie) R2 000
2 Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) R900
3 Karl Steen (Durban North) R600
4 Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) R500

U/16 Girls
1 Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) R2 000
2 Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) R900
3 Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) R600
4 Anna Jellema Butler (Kalk Bay) R500

U/14 Boys
1 Nate Spalding (Durban) R2 000
2 Tide Lee Ireland (Durban) R900
3 York Van Jaarsveld (Kommetjie) R600
4 Sam Bennie (Vredehoek) R500

U/14 Girls
1 S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) R2 000
2 Kayla Nogueira (Durban) R900
3 Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) R600
4 Gabi Lailvaux (Westbrook) R500

U/12 Boys
1 Luke Thompson (Durban) R1 000
2 James Ribbink (Durban North) R450
3 Daniel Emslie (East London) R300
4 Christian Venter (Melkbosstrand) R250

Billabong Junior Series – Event #2 – Special Awards

VonZipper Airshow – R2 000
Eli Beukes (Kommetjie)

BOS – Best Carve of the Event – Surfboard
Calvin Goor (Salt Rock)

Neff – Forever Fun Award – R 2 000
Mitch Du Preez (East London)

Skull Candy – Stay Loud Award – R 2 500
James Ribbink (Durban North)

More information and images are available at

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

Twitter:
Billabong South Africa: twitter.com/@billabongsa
Billabong Women’s South Africa: twitter.com/@bbwomens_za

Instagram:
Billabong South Africa: @BillabongSA
Billabong Women’s South Africa: @Billabongwomens_za

Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

For more details contact

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

Grant Beck
e. grant.beck@billabong.co.za
t. 079 332 9434

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443
Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

Billabong Junior Series Titles to be Decided at Seal Point this Weekend

September 29th, 2016 No comments
Adin Masencamp (Strand) heads the chase for the U18 boys’ title in the 2016 Billabong Junior Series after winning the opening event in Ballito in June Photo: WSL / Cestari

Adin Masencamp (Strand) heads the chase for the U18 boys’ title in the 2016 Billabong Junior Series after winning the opening event in Ballito in June Photo: WSL / Cestari

The 19th annual Billabong Junior Series titles will be decided this weekend when the country’s best surfers aged 18-and-under will take to the fabled waves of Seal Point in Cape St Francis to compete for the coveted titles along with prize-money and rankings points.

The world’s longest running junior surfing series has nurtured the competitive careers of countless local surfers including current World No. 4 Jordy Smith, WSL Women’s No. 12 Bianca Buitendag, former CT campaigners Travis Logie, Royden Bryson, Ricky Basnett, Rosy Hodge and Nikita Robb along with current QS standouts Beyrick de Vries and Michael February.

Scheduled for Friday to Sunday, September 30 – 2 October, the Billabong Junior Series features World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 rated events for U18 boys and girls, as well as 3A rated Surfing South Africa (SSA) PST events for U16 and U14 boys and girls as well as U12 boys.

“We are excited to be crowning the 19th annual Billabong Junior Series champions at Seal point this weekend,” said Billabong Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “It’s great to be a junior surfer in South Africa at the moment, and Billabong is proud of our junior surfing legacy.”

Jordy Maree, who recently moved to Kommetjie, heads a strong 24-man field of entries in the U18 boys’ event where the points earned count towards the 2016 Billabong Junior Series and WSL Africa Junior titles as well as selection for the squad who will attend the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January.

Maree faces tough opposition from WSL Africa rankings No. 2 Adin Masencamp (Strand), who heads the Billabong Junior Series rankings after winning the opening event of the series in Ballito in June. They will be under pressure from the likes of Kommetjie based brothers, Jake and Max Elkington; Bevan Wills (Umdloti), Jeffreys Bay’s Joshe Faulkner and Sebastian Williams (Durban).

Kirsty McGillivray from nearby Jeffreys Bay is in pole position for both the WSL regional and Billabong series U18 girls’ titles after Ballito, but will be wary of the challenges presented by Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), Natasha van Greunen (Muizenberg), Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) and Cape St Francis local Crystal Hulett.

Max Elkington and Sophie Bell in the U16 boys and girls, Tide-Lee Ireland and Gabi Lailvaux in the U14’s and Dan Emslie in the U12’s will be determined to add to their victories in Ballito and clinch the prestigious series titles in their respective divisions.

The finals of all the divisions will be run on Sunday when an exciting lineup of speciality awards will also be decided:

• VonZipper Airshow – surfer landing the best aerial manoeuvre – R2,000
• BOS Award – Best Carve of the Contest – wins a surfboard
• Neff – Forever Fun – “The surfer that spits out something new, exciting and has the most fun doing it” – R2,000
• Skull Candy – #StayLoud Award – “Takes risks, steps away from the herd, expresses themselves in their surfing style and lives life to full volume” – R2,500

Competitor registration takes place at the event site from 2pm on Thursday and continues on Friday morning.

Organisers will meet at first light on Friday and a decision will be made at 7am, with the possibility of a 7.30am start to the event. See the provisional Event Format (subject to change) and the heat draws at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za/2016-billabong-junior-series-seal-point/

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

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

Twitter:
Billabong South Africa: twitter.com/@billabongsa
Billabong Women’s South Africa: twitter.com/@bbwomens_za

Instagram:
Billabong South Africa: @BillabongSA
Billabong Women’s South Africa: @Billabongwomens_za

Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

For more details contact

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

Grant Beck
e. grant.beck@billabong.co.za
t. 079 332 9434

For media queries contact
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
t. 082 376 4443
Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

Billabong Junior Series Final to Crown 2016 WSL Africa Junior Champions

September 28th, 2016 No comments
Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), pictured here at Ballito in June, leads the WSL Africa Junior Girls rankings heading into the final event of the year this weekend  Photo: WSL / Cestari

Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), pictured here at Ballito in June, leads the WSL Africa Junior Girls rankings heading into the final event of the year this weekend  Photo: WSL / Cestari

The 2016 World Surf League (WSL) Africa regional Boys and Girls Junior Champions will be crowned at the Billabong Junior Series Final to be held at the high-performance right hand point break of Seal Point in Cape St Francis this weekend.

Scheduled for Friday to Sunday, September 30 – 2 October, the event showcases South Africa’s top 18-and-under surfers and, along with the prestigious event and series titles, the outcome will also determine the WSL Africa squad of four boys and two girls who receive coveted invitations to compete in the World Junior Championships in Australia in January 2017.

After two events earlier in the year, the chase for the WSL Africa boys’ title is headed by Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) who holds a slender rankings lead over Adin Masencamp (Strand) with Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) close behind in third place on the leaderboard.

Maree has accumulated 1,750 points by winning the Vans Pro Junior Surf Classic at Lamberts Bay in April and finishing runner-up to Masencamp in the Billabong Junior Series event at Ballito in June. Masencamp has 1,560 points from his win in Ballito and a third place result on the West Coast while Elkington has 1,310 from second and third place finishes in the two events.

The next half-a-dozen ranked surfers can each force their way into the reckoning for a sought-after place in the WSL Africa squad for Junior World Champs with a high placing this weekend. They include Bevan Willis (Umdloti), Max Elkington (Kommetjie), Liam de Villiers (Richards Bay), Sebastian Williams (Durban), Alexander van Rijswijck (Port Elizabeth), Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) and Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie).

The battle for the WSL Africa girl’s crown, and places in the squad for Australia, is even closer with only the first Billabong Series event in Ballito already counting. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) heads the standings with Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), Natasha van Greunen (Muizenberg) and Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) in close pursuit.

“WSL Africa is proud to end another regional tour with the Billabong Junior Series at the world famous Cape St Francis,” says Colin Fitch, Operations Manager for WSL Africa. “The surfers love this event and there’s a still an opportunity for some of our future surfing stars to qualify for the top four men and top two women to attend the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia at the start of 2017. Our sincere thanks to Billabong and their support sponsors for keeping Africa on the global surfing map.”

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) and Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) clinched the 2016 WSL Africa Men’s and Women’s crowns respectively after the final WSL Qualifying Series (QS) events in the region, the Quiksilver Pro Casablanca and the Roxy Pro Casablanca in Morocco earlier this month.

The U18 Boys’ and U18 Girls’ events at the Billabong Junior Series, the world’s longest running series of junior events, are WSL JQS1,000 rated events sanctioned by WSL Africa. The U16 and U14 Boys’ and Girls’ events and the U12 Boys’ are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport.

The results and live scoring during the WSL Africa events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

ENDS

Note: High resolution images are available on request for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

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

#labcomm

Australia’s Connor O’Leary wins Ballito Pro :: Moves to No. 2 on QS Rankings

July 3rd, 2016 No comments
Connor O’Leary (AUS) in winning form during the Ballito Pro where he defeated Joan Duru (FRA) in the final in pristine waves at Willard Beach on Sunday Photo: WSL / Cestari

Connor O’Leary (AUS) in winning form during the Ballito Pro where he defeated Joan Duru (FRA) in the final in pristine waves at Willard Beach on Sunday
Photo: WSL / Cestari

Connor O’Leary (AUS) won the Ballito Pro presented Billabong in epic 1m – 1.5 waves at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza today, defeating Joan Duru (FRA) in the final held in front of a packed beach basking in warm mid-winter sunshine and windless conditions.

In a high scoring final where the lead constantly changed hands, both surfers posted excellent rides on their backhand in the long right-handers before O’Leary etched his name on the winner’s trophy with an explosive ride punctuated by three vertical re-entries for a 9.20 and a 17.30 vs. 15.80 victory.

“It’s surreal. I feel like it hasn’t actually happened and it hasn’t hit me yet. I’m just over the moon,” said O’Leary. “It’s one of my best results so far. To make the final I was beyond stoked and to take the win just tops it off. Joan’s surfing has been amazing recently and he’s one of my favorite surfers on the QS, so to have a final with him was amazing.”

Victory in the first World Surf League (WSL) QS 10,000 rated event of the year earned O’Leary US $40 000 (about R600 000) and his haul of 10 000 points saw the 22 year-old move up 13 places to No. 2 in the rankings.

Duru, ranked No. 8 on the QS coming into the Ballito Pro, franked that form by racking up several of the highest single ride and heat scores during the event.

“That final was close and it was the guy that got the best wavs that was going to win. I got one good one and then I lost priority,’ said Duru. “It’s one of best results in my career so far. Every year I get good results but never as good as this one, so I’m really happy with second place. You surf against some of the best guys in the world, so if you lose one heat it’s okay.”

The Frenchman used his lethal backhand to eliminate local favourite Beyrick de Vries (ZAF) in the quarters and his runner-up finish elevated him to No. 3 on the QS rankings.

Ezekiel Lau (HAW) finished equal third in the Ballito Pro after an outstanding run that saw him oust elite Championship Tour (CT) competitors Stu Kennedy and Jack Freestone, both from Australia, before losing to O’Leary in their semi-final clash.

“For sure it’s my best result on the road and the furthest I’ve been I a QS 10 000, so I’m happy with the result,” said Lau. “I’m disappointed because I wanted to make the final really badly but that’s just how it goes. Connor has been surfing well, with some of the highest scores of the event, and I decided to go for the airs, but I came unstuck.”

Jeremy Flores (FRA), in his tenth year at the highest echelons of competition surfing, narrowly lost out in a see-saw, high scoring semi-final duel with compatriot Duru. Flores delivered two excellent scores of 8.93 and 8.70, but ultimately could not match Duru’s 9.30 and near-perfect 9.90 (the highest single ride score of the event), and had to settle for equal third place.

“Before coming here, if someone had told me that I would be in the semi-finals I would have taken it. It’s definitely a good result and hopefully I keep building from now on,’ said Flores. “I haven’t had any of the results that I wanted in the CT and now I have to back it up with some QS, which is definitely not easy at all because the QS is so hard. This semi-final result is definitely a keeper for me and a good confidence boost.”

The 6 500 points Flores collected for third place in his first QS event of the year resulted in him leapfrogging straight into 14th place on the rankings, underlining the value the Ballito Pro provides on the world stage.

Beyrick de Vries (ZAF) produced the best performance by a South African and his fifth place finish saw his ranking jump from 98th to 12th, moving him into contention to qualify for the 2017 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour. The uMhlanga local also collected an additional R50 000 by winning both the Monster Energy ‘Wave of the Week’ video award and the Zigzag Expression Session to cap one of the best weeks of his career.

“It’s just been an awesome week, one of the best weeks in a long time, maybe in my life,” said de Vries. “It’s just a crazy transition of emotions and the beach support was amazing. I feel like my best work is done when I’m having fun and I wanted to take a break from professional surfing and focusing on being a surfer again. And now this happens.”

Highlights from the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Final Results
1. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 17.30
2. Joan Duru (FRA) 15.80

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Semi-Final Results
Semi1. Joan Duru (FRA) 19.20 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.63
Semi2. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 16.74 def. Ezekiel Lau (AUS) 14.60

Ballito Pro presented by Billabong Quarter-Final Results
Quarter1. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.24 def. Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 13.17
Quarter2. Joan Duru (FRA) 18.67 def. Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 16.34
Quarter3. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 15.83 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.57
Quarter4. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 15.50 def. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.56

WSL Qualifying Series Rankings (After Ballito Pro)
1 Fioravanti,Leonardo ITA 17530
2 O’Leary,Connor AUS 14700
3 Duru,Joan FRA 13040
4 Silva,Deivid BRA 11530
5 Lau,Ezekiel HAW 10120

South Africans (Top 100)
12 De Vries,Beyrick ZAF 7130
48 Smith,Jordy ZAF 3700
53 February,Michael ZAF 3610
57 McGillivray,Matthew ZAF 3395
96 Lightfoot,Dylan ZAF 2345

While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring the ‘Fire up your stoke: Night of food & wine’, an extreme sports programme and an exciting retail area, while the Five Star Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.

See more information at www.theballitopro.co.za

The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy 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.

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 Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

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