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World’s Longest Running Professional Surfing Event Celebrates Golden Jubilee at Ballito in June

April 26th, 2018 No comments

Jordy Smith (Durban) celebrates his victory in the 2017 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong Photo: WSL / Cestari

The world’s longest running professional surfing event will celebrate its Golden Jubilee in KwaDukuza this year when many of the world’s best surfers take to the surf in the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong at Willard Beach on 25 June.

The event that started out as the Durban 500 in 1969, evolved into the Gunston 500 in 1971, became the Mr Price Pro in 2000 and moved to Ballito in 2009 has always been a key event on the annual World Surf League (formerly ASP) schedule and is set to commemorate its 50th anniversary this year as the premier event in the continent’s biggest beach festival.

For the tenth consecutive year the region will host the world’s best men in a WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event with a prize-pool of R3.1 million and the highest available ranking points at stake.

The women will showcase their talent in the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong while the historic 21st edition of the Billabong Junior Series pres. by BOS includes events for men and women aged 18-and-under at Ballito for the third year.

“We’re excited to host the Ballito Pro for the 10th consecutive year,” says the Mayor of KwaDukuza, Cllr Ricardo Mthembu. “This event is a significant economic multiplier, which presents opportunities for local businesses and communities alike in the region. On the other hand, it is undisputedly an A-list sports tourism event and entertainment scene in South Africa.

“We welcome all participants and I am convinced all guests will enjoy our positive waves and grand culture of Ubuntu. I encourage the more than 50 million streamers who will be following the event from all corners of the world to visit this iconic town ‘Heartbeat of the North Coast’. We wish the event a happy 50th edition and are jovial that it has been dedicated to ‘Living the Legacy’ of Nelson Mandela.”

This year’s edition will be bigger and better than ever as it again welcomes the support of global apparel and equipment giant Billabong.

“Billabong is once again proud to be presenting the Ballito Pro for 2018,” said Chad D’Arcy, Group Marketing & Sales Manager for Billabong South Africa. “Our relationship with KwaDukuza continues to flourish and we look forward to another amazing chapter in this event’s rich and storied history.

“The 2018 edition marks a number of impressive milestones as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the event, the 10th year of KwaDukuza hosting it and also the 21st year of the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS, which will be the pre-cursor to the main event. We look forward to presenting another world class surfing festival and helping South African surfing thrive. On behalf of Billabong I would like to welcome all of the competitors and spectators from across the globe to our amazing coastline.”

Last year’s men’s field included a dozen of the world’s elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers and was won for a second time by South Africa’s own Jordy Smith (Durban). Runner-up Willian Cardoso (BRA), third placed Michael February (Cape Town) and the likes of Jesse Mendes and Yago Dora (both Brazilians) all went on to qualify for the prestigious 2018 CT thanks to the significant number of ranking points they earned in Ballito.

The 112-man entry for the event provides local WSL Africa members with invaluable experience competing against the world’s best, along with opportunities to earn prize-money and coveted rankings points which assist them in gaining entry to the higher rated events internationally and also count towards the annual WSL Africa title.

Competitors in the Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong also earn prize-money and points on both the international and regional rankings while the18-and-under competitors in the Billabong Junior Series pres. by BOS will be striving for the prestigious event titles and selection for the WSL Africa squad that is invited to the annual WSL World Junior Championship.

“My sincere thanks to KwaDukuza Municipality, the residents, Billabong and Ballito for continuing to be a part of our global surfing family for another three years,” said WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch. “The nine years the event has been in Ballito has been nothing short of fantastic.

“Not only have we seen growth in the event and festival but also the growth of our surfers like Michael February, who has progressed from surfing the junior event all the way to becoming the first South African surfer of colour to qualify for the WSL Championship Tour. Thanks to the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong we now have two male surfers on the Championship Tour and along with celebrating the 50th edition of the event in 2018 we can proudly say that we are an Africa Force”.

The Ballito Pro Surf Festival kicks off with the Billabong Junior Series pres. by BOS from June 22-24 before the crown jewel of the festival, the QS10,000 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong, and the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong take centre stage from Monday to Sunday, June 25 – 1 July.

Alongside the surfing, visitors will be spoiled for choice with non-stop activities providing even more entertainment throughout the Ballito festival site. South Africa’s hottest musical acts appealing to all tastes – rock, pop, hip hop, kwaito, electro and dance – will be performing live on Salt Rock Beach over the last weekend. Beach and extreme sports, culinary contests as well as quality retail and food stalls will captivate visitors to this coastal holiday highlight.

World surfing champion Shaun Tomson (1977) will be attending the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the event he won an unprecedented six consecutive times from 1973 to 1978. The former Durbanite, now an internationally acclaimed author and motivational speaker, will also conduct a Positive Wave Tour with business, council and the various high schools in KwaDukuza leading up to and after the festival that will all culminate in a Mandela Day celebration on 18 July.

For more information, visit:
Website: www.theballitopro.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/theballitopro/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheBallitoPro
Instagram: www.instagram.com/TheBallitoPro
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theballitopro
Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro

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

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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

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

For more information about the beach festival, music concerts and culinary contests please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

 

Kai Woolf and David van Zyl Clinch Titles at Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong

April 4th, 2018 No comments

Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) won both the women’s and junior women’s World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) titles while David van Zyl (Glenashley) clinched the QS 1,500 men’s event at the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong in Port Elizabeth on Easter Monday Photo: WSL / Thurtell

– Woolf Doubles-Up with Junior Women’s Win
– Dillon Hendricks Grabs Junior Men’s Crown

Kai Woolf of Jeffreys Bay was the standout performer in the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong in Port Elizabeth over the Easter weekend, clinching both the women’s and junior women’s titles while David van Zyl (Glenashley) won the men’s event and Dillon Hendricks, also from Jeffreys Bay, captured the junior men’s crown.

The first of 13 events on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Africa regional tour, the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro featured Qualifying Series (QS) events for men and women alongside Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for men and women aged 18-and-under.

Woolf, 16, was unbeatable in the beach break conditions, winning every heat she contested in both events while racking up double digit heat scores with her impressive repertoire of high performance manoeuvres.

In the QS 1,000 women’s event, the teenager defeated reigning WSL Africa champion Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) in the one-on-one final, catching two waves early in the final and delivering scores of 6.25 and 7.25 (each out of 10). A howling SW ‘wind that sprang up midway through the heat altered the lineup significantly and Pallet was left the near impossible task of finding an excellent 8.50 in the deteriorating conditions.

Earlier Woolf was equally dominating in the four-person JQS 1,000 women’s final. She again posted her best scores early in the encounter to leave Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), the 2017 WSL Africa junior women’s champ, requiring a solid 7.0 when the siren sounded to end the heat. Anna Jellema-Butler (Cape Town) and Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) took third and fourth places respectively.

Van Zyl justified his top seeding for the QS 1,500 men’s event in PE and was in a class of his own, averaging heat scores of 13.56 (out of 20) during his first event of the year. Ranked No. 67 on the QS at the end of 2017, and No. 2 on the WSL Africa leaderboard, van Zyl narrowly overcame Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in their quarter-final duel and posted an outstanding 8.75 to pip Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) in their semi clash.

In the final van Zyl opened his account against Adin Masencamp (Strand) with a well ridden 7.50 and surfed with power and flow to consistently add to his total in the testing conditions. He earned three scores in the six-point range before a 7.0 closed the door on his opponent hopes and saw van Zyl pocket the R40,000 winner’s cheque and 1,500 precious ranking points.

Masencamp, in his rookie season in the open ranks following a stellar junior career, had a confidence-boosting run in the event, but could not match van Zyl’s finesse in the final. The 18-year-old from the Strand defeated Australian Ty Watson in the quarters and then 2017 Ballito Pro Trials winner Richard Kidd (Ballito) in the semis to set up his first man-on-man QS final in South Africa.

Hendricks, 17, came into the event seeded outside the top 10 but cut a path through his more fancied opponents to earn his first JQS title. He outpointed Daniel Emslie (East London) and Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) this morning to reach the final where he relegated multiple event winner Max Elkington (Kommetjie) to the runner-up spot by the narrowest of margins.

Both surfers scored heat totals of 13.50 out of 20, but Hendricks got the nod thanks to a highest single score of 7.75, which he earned on a mid break wave where he belted the lip multiple times. Elkington’s best of 7.50 was enough to see finish ahead of Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) and Bryce du Preez (East London) who had to settle for third and fourth places respectively.

The Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro, which is also the first of five events on the 2018 City Surf Series (see schedule below), enjoyed great conditions for Saturday and Sunday before experiencing four seasons in eight hours on the final day.

Alongside the red hot surfing action, Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, ran activities coordinated by SSA Development Officer, Danielle Powis, designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background. Other onsite activities included a kids’ “Trash to Treasure” craft section, a group Clean-the-Beach activity and a plastic awareness talk (see more below).

Full results, news, photos and video footage from the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong can be found at:

QS1,500 Men: https://bit.ly/2pWk35r
QS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2GtxpNC
JQS1,000 Junior Men: https://bit.ly/2GsIimY
JQS 1,000 Junior Women: https://bit.ly/2H0uZXS

Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Results

QS 1,500 Men’s Final
1. David van Zyl (Glenashley) 14.50
2. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 11.50

QS 1,500 Men’s Semi-Finals
SF1: David van Zyl (Glenashley) 14.25 def. Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) 12.15
SF2: Adin Masencamp (Strand) 11.25 def. Richard Kidd (Ballito) 9.65

QS 1,000 Women’s Final
1. Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) 13.50
2. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 9.00

QS 1,000 Women’s Semi-Finals
SF1: Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 11.25 def. Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) 8.50
SF2: Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) 12.15 def. Zoe Steyn (East London) 8.75

JQS 1,000 Men’s Final
1. Dillon Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay) 13.50 (tie-breaker – best single ride – 7.75 vs 7.50)
2. Max Elkington (Kommetjie) 13.50
3. Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) 8.90
4. Bryce du Preez (East London) 6.30

JQS 1,000 Women’s Final
1. Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) 11.75
2. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 9.15
3. Anna Jellema-Butler (Cape Town) 7.45
4. Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) 6.60

2018 WSL Africa Schedule of Events

Completed Port Elizabeth – *Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Apr 6-8: Port Alfred – Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver
Apr 13-15: East London – *Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits
May 18-20: Durban – *ZigZag Durban Surf Pro pres. by G-Force Surfboards
Jun 1-3: Lamberts Bay – Vans Surf Pro Classic
Jun 14-17: Cape Town – *Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill
Jun 19-24: Port Elizabeth – *Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
Jun 22-24: Ballito – Billabong Junior Series #1
Jun 25-1 Jul: Ballito – Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong
Aug 29-2 Sep: Dakar, Senegal – Senegal Pro (Tentative)
Sep 4-9: Casablanca – Anfaplace Pro Casablanca
Sep 27-30: Cape St Francis – Billabong Junior Series #2
Jan 1-31 Dec: Durban – Cell C Good Wave

* City Surf Series (CSS) events

See more details on all the WSL Africa events at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App

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).

Volkswagen driving local surfing forward
Volkswagen South Africa was proud to bring surfing fans the first event in the 2018 City Surf Series; the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong, as well as the final event in the series, the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing, coming back to Port Elizabeth in June.

Volkswagen South Africa’s remains committed to the City Surf Series first and foremost because of their passion to help drive local surfing and surfers forward. The ‘People’s Car’, with a long-standing history in the surfing culture believe in the opportunity the series presents to local surfers; giving them the chance to score accredited World Surfing League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) points, the log that leads to a spot on the WSL’s Championship Tour.

Amidst cheering on local surfers and displaying the best in surf ready vehicles – such as the Volkswagen California Beach camper van, Caravelle and Transporter Crew Bus – Volkswagen was also out to drive a critical ocean awareness message. Together with their longstanding partners, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT), Volkswagen South Africa set up a giant Recycled Plastic Surf Wave for spectators to pose with to highlight the ocean’s plastic waste crisis. Other activities included a kids’ “Trash to Treasure” craft section, a group Clean-the-Beach activity and a plastic awareness talk at the Learn to Surf Initiative with Surfing South Africa.

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

HAWAII’S JOHN JOHN FLORENCE CLAIMS BACK-TO-BACK WSL TITLES AT BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS

December 19th, 2017 No comments

John John Florence (HAW) deep inside the barrel at Backdoor on his way to clinching the 2017 world surfing title at the season ending Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons in Hawaii on Monday Photo: WSL / Poullenot

25-YEAR-OLD BECOMES FIRST MALE SURFER SINCE ANDY IRONS TO DEFEND A MAIDEN TITLE
– JEREMY FLORES TAKES SECOND BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS EVENT WIN
– GRIFFIN COLAPINTO CLAIMS VANS TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING
– MORE AVAILABLE AT WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 18, 2017) – John John Florence (HAW) clinched the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Title on Monday at the Billabong Pipe Masters, making him the first male surfer since the late Andy Irons (HAW) to successfully defend a maiden world title (Irons was ’02, ’03). Mark Richards (AUS, ’79 & ’80), Tom Carroll (AUS, ’83 & ’84) and Tom Curren (USA, ’85 & ‘86) are the only other male surfers to have achieved this feat.

“It’s been my dream to win here at home,” Florence said. “There’s been a nervous build up to this event and I just don’t know what to say, I’m shaking. So many people have been here for me this year and it’s been awesome. It’s been an awesome year and I’m just so stoked.”

Florence’s season started out with strong results during the Australian leg, including his first event win of the year in Margaret River. After two 13th place finishes in Rio and Fiji, Florence steadily improved his results through the remainder of the season. With a 5th place in both Jeffreys Bay and Tahiti, followed by Semifinal berths at Trestles and in France, Florence reclaimed the Jeep Leader Jersey from closest rival Jordy Smith (ZAF).

Smith went into the last event of the season ranked No. 3 and with a mathematical chance of clinching his first world title. The two-time WSL runner-up was defeated by 11-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA) in Round 3, finishing equal 13th in the event and dropping to No.4 on the yearend leaderboard.

Going into the Billabong Pipe Masters, only four surfers remained in contention to clinch the title, but contenders Gabriel Medina (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), and Smith weren’t able to deliver the results needed to block Florence at his home break in Hawaii. Florence’s victory was sealed after Medina was eliminated today in the Quarterfinals at the hands of eventual event winner Jeremy Flores (FRA).

“I think I learned a lot about myself this year competing with all the pressure, especially coming from last year’s win,” Florence continued. “It’s been a hard year and I’ve had some ups and some downs, but mostly I had a lot of fun. I think that’s what came out of last year and I really, really wanted to enjoy every moment of it.”

Universally regarded as one of the best allround surfers, Florence has diligently worked at improving since qualifying for the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) in 2011. A seven-year competitor on the CT, the surfer form Hawaii claimed his maiden title in 2016 with an early-season clinch in Portugal, having previously finished in the Top 5 twice before (4th in 2012 and 3rd in 2014). With this second title, the surfing world is eyeing the beginning of a new dynasty in high-performance surfing.

“It’s been scary being that close in points to someone like Gabriel (Medina) who’s such a great surfer out here and a fierce competitor,” said Florence. “His comeback in Europe was amazing, he won two events in a row and then was right there in the title race. Surfing with him out here has been nerve racking but it would have been cool if we had a final for the title.

“I couldn’t have done it without my guys traveling with me and I have to thank my mom for all this because she took me and my brothers traveling when we were young and really just got us to love the ocean and I think that’s what we’re all in this for – the love of surfing – so thank you, mom, I wouldn’t be here without you.”

In addition to cementing his status as the best surfer on the planet, Florence spends his free time and celebrity working toward ocean health initiatives and environmental causes.

FLORENCE 2017 WSL CT RESULTS –
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: 3rd
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro: WINNER
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: 3rd
Oi Rio Pro: 13th
OK Fiji Pro: 13th
Corona Open J-Bay: 5th
Billabong Pro Tahiti: 5th
Hurley Pro at Trestles: 3rd
Quiksilver Pro France: 3rd
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal: 5th
Billabong Pipe Masters: 2nd

FLORENCE CAREER WSL CT RANKINGS:
2011: 34th
2012: 4th
2013: 10th
2014: 3rd
2015: 14th
2016: WSL CHAMPION
2017: WSL CHAMPION

Jeremy Flores (FRA) claimed his second Billabong Pipe Masters victory today after defeating Florence in an exciting Final. Flores, the 2010 Pipe Master, took out Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) en route to the Final against the new WSL Champion. Flores rounds out the year at 15th place on the Jeep Leaderboard to solidify his place on the 2018 CT thanks to today’s victory, his best result of the season and his first CT win since Tahiti in 2015.

“Winning the Pipe Masters against John John Florence like that in perfect Backdoor in the last seconds, that’s the best way to win,” Flores said. “I couldn’t think of any better way to win this Pipe Master. I’m so, so stoked and there’s a lot of emotions. Congrats to everyone. Congrats to John John (Florence) and Gabriel (Medina), these guys are next level. My goal was to win this event but this is crazy, I’m so happy.

After a slow start to the Final, it was Florence that found the first score of significance with just over twenty minutes remaining with a long barrel that was rewarded with an 8.93. Flores answered with a 7.90 but a relaxed looking world champ was right behind him with a clean tube ride of his own for 7.23 and a solid heat lead. Flores was left searching for an 8.27 in order to claim his second Pipe Masters, but with limited opportunities the clock ran down. In the final seconds the Frenchman found an opportunity and the crowd waited anxiously for the result. The score came in and Flores stole the win from Florence, turning the heat with a thrilling buzzer-beater barrel.

“I almost got a Pipe Masters but I’m super stoked for Jeremy Flores,” Florence said. “That last wave was insane and this whole event has been amazing.”

Florence previously dispatched world title contender Julian Wilson (AUS) (who finished out the year in third place) in the Quarterfinals and then, following news of his title clinching, the new WSL Champion went on to face Ian Gouveia (BRA) in the Semifinals before taking on Flores in the Final.

Kanoa Igarashi (USA) faced eventual winner Flores in the second Semifinal. Igarashi kept busy through the opening half of his heat to hold the top spot but the Frenchman stayed patient and found the wave of the heat for an excellent 9.37. Flores backed it up with a smaller inside wave to move into first position, eliminating Igarashi who takes home a second consecutive Semifinal berth and moves to 17th place on the Jeep Leaderboard.

World title contender Gabriel Medina (BRA) finishes the year in second place on the Jeep Leaderboard with a 5th place finish at the Billabong Pipe Masters after being defeated by Flores in the Quarterfinals.

Medina’s season started out well with a third place finish at the season opener in Australia but a series of less than stellar results saw him slide down the rankings. A third place in South Africa, followed by a runner-up result in Tahiti and then back-to-back wins in Europe saw the young Brazilian rocket up the Jeep Leaderboard and into the world title race. The 23- year-old from Maresias, Sao Paulo became Brazil’s first WSL Champion when he clinched the title in 2014. Medina has been in the World Title race every year since his maiden World Title victory in 2014 (No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard in 2015 and 2016).

“2017 was a great year,” said Medina. “I had an injury at the beginning of the year which wasn’t great but I tried to do my best. I had some bad results but I also had some great results. I’m so tired right now because I put everything in the water. I just tried to never give up because there’s always a chance no matter what’s going on. That was a long year and it’s hard to deal with all the ups and downs so it was stressful. That’s all part of the game, you just have to do your best. My goal here was the final but I’m stoked everyone got to watch and I’m coming back for next year.”

Freshly qualified for the 2018 CT, Griffin Colapinto (USA), 19, added to his thriving season by taking the 35th Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing honor today and became the first Californian to ever win the coveted surfing series.

“I’m feeling incredible right now and it’s the best feeling ever,” said Colapinto. “I was just looking at the names that have won the Triple Crown, just all the names on there are insane and to win after John John (Florence) won last year is amazing. It’s been a really fun day watching the contest and to see all the action. John, congratulations on winning the World Title, I’m so stoked for you. And Jeremy winning the Pipe Masters, two times now, that’s insane. Just really excited for next year and for Snapper and I think there will be a lot of energy there and to have my name on a jersey will be special. Thanks so much!”

Colapinto captured a runner up finish at the first Vans Triple Crown jewel, the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach Park, then went on to final at the second event, the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, for a commanding lead on the series. After Italo Ferreira (BRA) went down to Igarashi in the Quarterfinals the young American secured his victory.

WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after Billabong Pipe Masters):
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 59,600 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 53,700 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 48,650 pts
4 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 47,600 pts
5 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 40,700 pts

Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.23
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 16.16

Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinal Results:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 12.56 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 12.33
SF 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.20 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 11.33

Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 9.70 vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 8.40
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.60 vs. Julian Wilson (AUS) 2.64
QF 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.76 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.04
QF 4: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 9.57 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.67

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.23 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.43
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.50 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.90
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.97 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 9.16
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 6.34 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 0.90

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 11.73, Conner Coffin (USA) 1.23, Julian Wilson (AUS) 0.43
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 13.17, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.87, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 4.53
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.37, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.10, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.57
Heat 4: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.44, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 4.60, Kelly Slater (USA) 4.44

The world’s best surfers will return in 2018 with the kick-off event on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia in March.

For highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

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 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, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, 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.

 

Issued on behalf of:

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

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

Jordy Smith Top Scores on Day 1 of Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii

December 12th, 2017 No comments

Jordy Smith deep inside the barrel at Backdoor during his Round 1 heat victory at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons on Monday Photo: WSL / Cestari

– World Title Contenders Smith and John John Florence Advance to Round 3
– Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson Relegated to Elimination Round 2
– Hawaii Based South African Benji Brand Earns Wildcard Spot

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 11, 2017) – World No. 3 ranked Jordy Smith posted the highest heat total yesterday on the opening day of action in the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and the third gem of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS)

Competing in incredible two to three metre Pipeline barrels, Smith found two unbelievably hollow tubes on the right-breaking Backdoor section of the reef to earn excellent scores of 8.67 and 7.90 that left his Australian opponents Bede Durbidge and Ethan Ewing in a combo situation where they were unable to overtake him with one ride.

The performance was an ideal confidence booster for Smith who needs to reach the final of the season-ending event and for rankings leader John John Florence (HAW) and current No. 2 Gabriel Medina (BRA) to bow out early in order for the South African to clinch his maiden world title.

“I think the noise is pretty quiet,” said Smith. “I don’t really get too deep into the pressure and quite frankly it really boils down to those two guys (Florence and Medina) losing out early, but you never know. If they wobble then I’ll put my head down and give it a go.”

Florence, who was loudly cheered by the partisan home crowd as he entered the water, started his world title campaign with a solid 13.50 (out of a possible 20) scoreline to take top position over Pipe Invitational winner Dusty Payne (HAW) and Brazil’s Wiggolly Dantas (BRA). Wearing the Jeep Leader yellow jersey, Florence looked confident and in rhythm at his home break and kept busy throughout the 30-minute match-up to secure his place in Round 3 and move one step closer to defending his World Title.

“I feel like a little kid again doing this event, just getting to surf Pipe with no one out,” said Florence. “The support here makes me even more psyched. Just coming down the beach earlier and everyone screaming — it just makes me more excited. Coming into Pipe this year is a lot different than last year because last year I felt more relaxed having the title already. So this year is a little different preparation.”

South African born Benji Brand has had a phenomenal season in his adopted home base of Hawaii, clinching the WSL Hawaii / Tahiti Nui Regional title and then earning a wildcard into the Pipe Masters when he finished runner-up in the Pipe Invitational.

The 21-year-old, who grew up surfing in Kommetjie and represented SA in several junior international events, took an early lead over Medina and fellow Brazilian Miguel Pupo. Pupo moved up into second place with a near-perfect 9.93, the highest single-wave score of the event so far, for a late takeoff into a cavernous Pipeline barrel and narrow exit.

Medina also put on the pressure with an excellent 8.50 but Brand continued to hold the lead. In the end it was Pupo, who is ranked No. 23 and battling for requalification, who stole the win to advance to Round 3 with a 4.90 during an exchange in the final minute, sending Medina and Brand to elimination Round 2.

11X WSL Champion and 7X Billabong Pipe Master Kelly Slater (USA) made a triumphant return to competition today, wearing a contest jersey for the first time since July when he injured his foot in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

“I give the foot about 65 percent,” commented Slater. “I’ve missed competition but after so many years of nonstop day in, day out, week in and week out, it’s been kind of nice to have a few months off. It’s nice to get back, but it’s nice to get away from something that you love and get back and appreciate it.”

The event was put on standby after Heat 9 when the winds shifted onshore and a call was made at 2:00 p.m. HST to call the competition off for the day. Event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m. HST (7.30 p.m. South African time) on Tuesday to reassess the conditions and make the next call.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Billabong Pipe Masters, are calling for:

A new NW swell will build Tuesday afternoon and peak on Wednesday with XXL size surf washing Pipe out (along with onshore N wind). Thursday and Friday will see a decreasing trend in swell with strong NE trades. A mid-size NW swell looks possible for the 17th-18th (Sun-Mon) with at least a chance for light wind.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL App.

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.17, Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 4.67
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.17, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 6.10, Owen Wright (AUS) 3.37
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 10.56, Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.57, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 1.50
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.57, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.43, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 3.00
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.83, Benji Brand (HAW) 12.64, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.43
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 13.50, Dusty Payne (HAW) 6.83, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 5.63
Heat 7: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.83, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.27, Jack Freestone (AUS) 7.04
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.47, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.90, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.60
Heat 9: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.50, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 2.00, Michel Bourez (PYF) 2.00

Billabong Pipe Masters Remaining Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT), Italo Ferreira (BRA)

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 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, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, 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
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

Cape Town Surfriders Clinch Freedom Cup at Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS

October 8th, 2017 No comments
Cape Town Surfriders team celebrate winning the Freedom Cup by the narrowest margin in 21 years at the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay on Sunday Photo: Billabong / McGregor

Cape Town Surfriders team celebrate winning the Freedom Cup by the narrowest margin in 21 years at the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay on Sunday Photo: Billabong / McGregor

Cape Town Surfriders clinched the coveted Freedom Cup for the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the 2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS, which was completed in excellent one metre waves at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay today (Sunday).

The victory margin was the closest in the 21 history of the trophy with the team from Cape Town reclaiming the cup they won in 2015 by scoring just 63 points more than their arch rivals from eThekweni. The Capetonians also claimed two of the eight individual national titles at stake and provided five of the 32 finalists, earning a total of 42,840 points.

eThekweni (42,777) finished runners-up with hosts and defending team champions Nelson Mandela Bay (41,792) in third place and Buffalo City (40,277) in fourth. They were followed in the team standings by Cape Winelands, Ugu, Eden, debutants Ilembe and the SA Development Academy.

The 2017 edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for the incredible waves across all five days with sunshine, whales sightings, great memories and after an excellent final day a new set of champions will have their names inscribed in the annals of South Africa surfing history.

Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) was consistent throughout the U18 boys’ division, winning every single heat he contested. He was elated to improve on his runner up position in the u/17 boys’ division at SA champs last year by claiming the premier boys’ title this year.

Nelson Mandela Bay surfer Joshe Faulkner was relegated to second place by a mere 0.21of a point leaving Koby Oberholzer (eThekweni) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth places respectively.

Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) added another SA title to her name with her powerful and precise surfing, capturing the crown in the dying seconds of the u/18 girls final. Nina Harmse (Eden) maintained her runner-up berth from last year while goofy foot Natasha Van Greunen (Cape Winelands) finished third above her teammate Sarah Ingram in a heat with few waves.

After a heat total of 19.47 in his semi final earlier in the day, Eli Beukes had unshakeable confidence in the u/16 boys final, sealing his title with a big air-reverse on his last wave. Aya Gericke (Eden) read the waves beautifully for a second place finish above Saxton Randall (eThekweni). After a rocky start Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) went for broke with a huge aerial manoeuvre but was unable to stick the landing and had to settle for fourth place.

The talented u/16 girls had a slow final but Nelson Mandela Bay surfer and J-Bay local Kai Woolf knew just the right waves to pick to claim another SA title with her ferocious backhand attack. Runner-up S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (eThekweni) was a good match for Woolf on her backhand and held the highest single score in the final, an 8.5, but struggled to find a heat winning back up ride. Tayla De Coning (Buffalo City) was narrowly bumped to third place with Summer Sutton (Cape Town Surfriders) finishing fourth.

The u/14 boys were blowing up throughout the contest but in the end it was Buffalo City’s Mitch Du Preez who claimed his first SA title with a total of 16.44, despite only surfing three waves in the 20 minute final. Teammate Daniel Emslie finished close behind in second place ahead of Luke Thompson (eThekweni) and Kye Macgregor (Nelson Mandela Bay).

Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) had a fantastic final in the u/14 girls, dominating proceedings and winning with a 16.33 heat total. Katie Winter (Cape Town Surfriders) finished in second place leaving Lhea Johnston (Buffalo City) and Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth place respectively.

The u/12 groms were a pleasure to watch as they fearlessly charged the overhead waves. In the girls final Gabbi Herbst (eThekweni) held the lead with a series of great scores while Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) earned a well warranted second place in her first SA champs. In third was Nelson Mandela Bay rider Zia Hendricks and in fourth was Maya Figl (Cape Winelands).

The charismatic Kyra Bennie (Cape Winelands) was chaired from the water’s edge to the podium by his teammates after taking out the u/12 boys’ title. Nate Colby (eThekweni), who on Saturday scored the only perfect ten-point ride of the contest, finished runner-up while Ethan Currin (Buffalo City) edged into third place ahead of River Gericke (Eden).

“This event has been amazing with awesome waves every day here at Lower Point!” enthused Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager, Chad Darcy. “The surfing standard has been really high – the groms have been blowing up and it’s great to see some new faces claim the titles. From Billabong’s point of view we are really stoked, it’s a great way to end the 2017 contest season.”

There were a number of specialty awards at stake with newly crowned SA U16 boys’ champ Eli Beukes (Cape Town Surfriders) claiming both the BOS Highest Heat Score and the VonZipper Airshow prizes. The Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys went to Nate Colby (eThekweni) and for Girls to Caroline Brown (Cape Town Surfriders). The Skull Candy Loud & Proud trophy for the team displaying the best spirit throughout the five-day event went to the enthusiastic team from Ugu on the KZN South Coast.

2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS
Results

Freedom Cup
1st Cape Town Surfriders 42,840
2nd eThekweni 42,777
3rd Nelson Mandela Bay 41,792
4th Buffalo City 40,277
5th Cape Winelands 37,679
6th Ugu 28,052
7th Eden 25,969
8TH Ilembe 15,220
9th SA Development Academy 13,022

U/18 Boys
1st Ford van Jaarsveldt 13.90 CTS
2nd Joshe Faulkner 13.70 NMB
3rd Koby Oberholzer 12.16 ETK
4th Adin Masencamp 12.04 CW

U/18 Girls
1st Kirsty McGillivray 12.00 NMB
2nd Nina Harmse 9.83 Eden
3rd Natasha van Greunen 7.83 CW
4th Sarah Ingram 4.13 CW

U/16 Boys
1st Eli Beukes 16.90 CTS
2nd Aya Gericke 14.37 Eden
3rd Saxton Randall 10.17 ETK
4th Angelo Faulkner 9.16 NMB

U/16 Girls
1st Kai Woolf 14.17 NMB
2nd S’nenhlanhla Makhubu 11.83 ETK
3rd Tayla de Coning 11.23 BC
4th Summer Sutton 9.20 CTS

U/14 Boys
1st Mitch du Preez 16.44 BC
2nd Daniel Emslie 14.90 BC
3rd Luke Thompson 11.67 ETK
4th Kye Macgregor 7.27 NMB

U14 Girls
1st Zoe Steyn 16.33 BC
2nd Katie Winter 11.67 CTS
3rd Lhea Johnston 9.13 BC
4th Ceara Knight 7.56 CW

U12 Boys
1st Kyra Bennie 14.5 CW
2nd Nate Colby 12.67 ETK
3rd Ethan Currin 11.90 BC
4th River Gericke 10.33 EDEN

U12 Girls
1st Gabbi Herbst 16.16 ETK
2nd Scarlette van Jaarsveldt 12.87 CTS
3rd Zia Hendricks 11.36 DEV
4th Maya Figl 8.34 CW

BOS Highest Heat Score
Eli Beukes (CTS)

VonZipper Airshow – R2 000
Eli Beukes (CTS)

Wazoogles Surfer of the Event – Boys
Nate Colby (ETK)

Wazoogles Surfer of the Event – Girls
Caroline Brown (CTS)

Skull Candy Loud & Proud Trophy (Team Spirit)
Ugu District Team

As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team participated in the event thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:

Hashtag: #SAJuniorChamps

Website: Contest schedule, results and images will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

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

ENDS

For more information contact:

Chad D’Arcy
e. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
c. 079 519 5990

or

Jason Mendonca
Email: jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
Phone: 079 698 7456

For media queries contact:
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
c. 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

Phenomenal Surf and Scores as Semi-Finalists Decided at Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS

October 7th, 2017 No comments
Max Elkington (Cape Town Surfriders) kept his challenge alive for the U16 boys’ title at the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay on Saturday Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

Max Elkington (Cape Town Surfriders) kept his challenge alive for the U16 boys’ title at the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay on Saturday Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

The penultimate day of the 2017 Billabong SA Champs presented by BOS saw the semi-finalists decided in another action packed day of excellent, rippable surf at the Point in Jeffrey’s Bay on Saturday.

The beach was alive with cheers from the various district teams as they got behind their teammates, knowing that a spot on finals day will be valuable to their team standings. Those still in contention are a step closer to a coveted South African junior surfing title and a place in the record books.

“What a great day again – conditions were phenomenal this morning,” said commentator Kai Linder. “All the U18 heat winners were standouts and in the U12 boys and girls semi-finals the mini-groms were charging double overhead conditions. Then Nate Colby, on the last wave of the day, scores a perfect ten! All the U12’s were heroes today!”

The U18 boy’s quarterfinals were a blur of high quality surfing that saw seasoned competitors Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) shred their way to the semis along with Koby Oberholzer (eThekweni), Joshe Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay), Ethan Fletcher (Cape Town Surfriders) and Nathan Wallace (eThekweni).

Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) once again dominated on her backhand in the U14 girls’ quarterfinals whilst dark-horse Jesse Powell (Ugu) managed to eliminate former SA champ Kayla Nogueira (eThekweni) in a major upset. Lhea Johnston (Buffalo City) and Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) will be joining Cape Town Surfriders teammates Caroline Brown and Katie Winter on the final day of competition.

The fact that five near perfect high nine-point rides have been posted in the U16 girls division demonstrates the high level of surfing. Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay) and Julia Ploughman (Cape Town Surfriders) were the first semi finalists to be decided before S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (eThekweni) began her heat with a near-perfect 9.83 and left the rest of the heat in combination.

Joining them in the semi finals will be Tayla De Coning (Buffalo City), Summer Sutton (Cape Town Surfriders), Juliet Fliet (Cape Winelands) and eThekweni team members Gabi Lailvaux and Olivia Izzard.

A slight onshore wind and increase in swell gave the U18 girls had plenty to work with. Nelson Mandela Bay’s Kirsty McGillivray, Kelly Medley and Zoe Smith were right at home in their backyard and soared their way to the semi’s. Eden ladies Taghiti Gerick and Nina Harmse will be in action in the semi’s too alongside Cape Wineland surfers Sarah Ingram and Natasha Van Greunen.

The U12 girls put on another gutsy performance in their Round 2 match-ups. Gabi Herbst (eThekweni) and Maya Figl (Cape Winelands) surfed their way to the semi finals. A change in schedule saw the girls hit the water again at the end of the day. Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) advanced to the final with Herbst. Zia Hendricks (Nelson Mandela Bay) and Figl both dropped excellent scores in the second semi and will be in the mix for the title.

The U14 boys displayed some excellent and precise surfing and it was the on form eThekweni members Nate Spalding and Luke Thompson who progressed with Kye Macgregor (Nelson Mandela Bay), Brad Scott (Cape Town Surfriders) and Buffalo City surfers Daniel Emslie and Mitch Du Preez.

The semi finals for the U16 boys could each be a final! Semi 1 will be Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay), Saxton Randall (eThekweni) and Cape Town Surfriders Max Elkington and Luke Slijpen while Semi 2 will be just as exciting with Tide Lee Ireland (eThekweni), Aya Gericke (Eden), Bryce Du Preez (Buffalo City) and Eli Beukes (Cape Town Surfriders).

To end off the day the U12 boys’ finalists were decided. Kyra Bennie (Cape Winelands), Nate Colby (eThekweni), who posted the first perfect 10 point ride of the event, River Gericke (Eden) and Ethan Currin (Buffalo City) will be battling out for the SA title on Sunday.

Organisers are expecting a slight bump in swell size and offshore winds for tomorrow’s final day as the country’s top juniors compete for individual titles in U12, U14, U16 and U18 boys and girls divisions, while earning points towards the coveted Freedom Cup that goes to the district whose team accumulate the highest total.

There are also a number of specialty awards at stake including the BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow and the Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys and Girls, while the team displaying the best spirit throughout the five-day event receives the prized Loud & Proud trophy.

As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:

Hashtag: #SAJuniorChamps

Website:
Contest schedule, results and images will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

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

ENDS

For more information contact:
Chad D’Arcy
e. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
c. 079 519 5990

or

Jason Mendonca
Email: jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
Phone: 079 698 7456

For media queries contact:
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
c. 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

Another Day of Great Waves at Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS in Jeffreys Bay

October 6th, 2017 No comments
Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) charged into the quarterfinals of the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay on Friday Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) charged into the quarterfinals of the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay on Friday Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

The Billabong SA Champs pres. by BOS continued to prove its wave magnet status as the Lower Point at Jeffreys Bay continued to produce epic surf on Day 3 as the country’s top 18-and-under surfers revelling in the long rides while battling for national titles and invaluable team points.

It was an early start for Round 3 of the U16 boys and Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) wasted no time in dropping an excellent score on his way to the quarterfinals. Cape Town Surfriders Eli Beukes and Max Elkington once again proved that J-Bay suits their stylish and powerful surfing by finishing their heats with 17-point totals.

“I had a really fun heat in great waves and was stoked to get a quick start and that nine point ride,” said Elkington. “We have a lot of new people on our team so I am interested to see how we do. I feel like I’ve gained valuable contest experience from the ISA World Juniors in Japan last week and the rest of the forecast this week is looking really good.”

The U14 boys Round 3 were next to surf and eThekweni team members Luke Thompson, James Ribbink and Nate Spalding all found places in the quarterfinals, where they were joined by Mitch Du Preez (Buffalo City) who surfed with maturity far beyond his age.

The extremely competitive U18 boys Round 3 was exciting to watch as Luke Malherbe (Buffalo City) and Koby Obelholzer (eThekweni) put on electric performances in their encounters. Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) used his carving rail game to collect a series of high scores and earn a comfortable heat win as he eyes a second successive title after winning the U17 boys crown last year..

The first round of the U12 girls paddled out and charged what for them were overhead waves with plenty of style. Lisa Van Heerden (Nelson Mandela Bay) racked up a really impressive 18.10 heat total with her smooth surfing while her teammate Zia Hendricks was another standout. Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) is showing the same talent as her brothers Ford and York have displayed as she too made it to the semifinals of her division.

The Repercharge rounds for those who did not finish in the top 2 in their opening heats started with theU16 girls. Kelly Fenton from host district Nelson Mandela Bay drew clean lines on the open wave faces and progressed to the quarterfinals along with Rentia Tromp (Cape Winelands), Claire Haskins (Ugu) and Hannah Moerdyk (Buffalo City).

The U18 girls were amped to have their turn in the pumping surf with Caitlin October (Cape Town Surfriders) and Carla Van Wyk (Buffalo City) the first to advance to the quarters with finesse. Nelson Mandela Bay girls Zoe Smith and Kelly Medley then dominated the next heat and will be action again tomorrow.

The day’s action again finished off with the U12 boys where Joel Fowles (Buffalo City) and Ben Ribbink (eThekweni) navigated the high tide to advance to the quarterfinals along with Ntokozo Maphumulo (SA Development Academy Team) and Josh Van Wyk (Cape Town Surfriders).

More swell and light winds are forecast for Jeffreys Bay over the weekend as the country’s top juniors compete for individual titles in U12, U14, U16 and U18 boys and girls divisions, while earning points towards the coveted Freedom Cup that goes to the district whose team accumulate the highest total.

There are also a number of specialty awards at stake including the BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow and the Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys and Girls, while the team displaying the best spirit throughout the five-day event receives the prized Loud & Proud trophy.

As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:

Hashtag: #SAJuniorChamps

Website:
Contest schedule, results and images will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

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

ENDS

For more information contact:
Chad D’Arcy
e. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
c. 079 519 5990

or

Jason Mendonca
Email: jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
Phone: 079 698 7456

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

Life’s a Beach Communications
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Jeffreys Bay Delivers Again on Day2 of Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS

October 5th, 2017 No comments
Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay) shows the form that earned her two scores in the nine point range on Day 2 of the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay today Photo: Billabong / McGregor

Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay) shows the form that earned her two scores in the nine point range on Day 2 of the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay today Photo: Billabong / McGregor

An increase in swell at Jeffreys Bay was just what was required on a busy second day at the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS where surfers in eight different divisions produced exciting performances as they challenged for national titles and team points.

The Under 18 boys were the first in the line-up today and Joshe Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) kicked off things in spectacular fashion by winning his heat with a total of 16.16 out of 20 that included a couple of scores in the excellent range.

Luke Malherbe (Buffalo City) was on fire on his backhand, finding a couple of the day’s biggest waves and producing a near-perfect nine point ride. That was matched by Kody Oberholzer (eThekweni) who used his entire repertoire of forehand manoeuvres on the long J-Bay walls.

Surprise of the round was dark-horse Samuel Loppknow representing host district Nelson Mandela Bay who used all his local wave knowledge to pull off an impressive win over highly rated Calvin Goor from the Ilembe district team making their debut at the SA Junior Champs

Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay), who is chasing the U16 girls title after winning the U15’s last year, was determined to steal the boy’s thunder and absolutely dominated her heat with a pair of high nine point rides that rewarded her vertical backhand attack.
S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (eThekweni), who has just returned from competing in the ISA World Junior Champs in Japan, also delivered a classy performance on her backhand.

Last year’s SA Champ U17 girls champion Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) kept her campaign for back-to-back titles rolling in the U18 girls by producing a heat total in the high teens, carving her way to a 9.6 and backing it up with an 8.5

“The waves were really fun,” enthused the J-Bay local. “I picked up a great set wave that just gave me so much space to do turns.”

By midday the onshore wind was freshening but J-Bay’s perfect geography ensured running waves for the surfers in the cutthroat 15 minute repercharge round heats. Aya Gericke (Eden) and Tye Findlay (Buffalo City) were impressive in moving through to Round 3 of the U16 boys, while Matt O Brian (Buffalo City) and Declan Fiet (Cape Winelands) were among those who will compete in the next round of the U14 boys.

The Ugu district team were glad to see their U18 boys Tyler May, Senzo Shange and Dirkus Lubbe all escape the repercharge rounds and remain in contention for higher honours at the country’s premier event for surfers 18-and-under.

The U14 girls showed style and grace in their Round 2 encounters with Jess Powell (Ugu) and Chanel Shaw (Eden) advancing after a great heat. And the U12 boys wrapped up a long day with Joel Fowles (Buffalo City), Josh Van Wyk (Cape Town Surfriders), Ben Ribbink (eThekweni) and Ntokozo Maphumulo (Development Team) all stoked to progress to Round 3.

Alongside the individual titles at stake in the individual U12, U14, U16 and U18 boys and girls divisions, there are teams from eight districts plus the SA Development Academy competing for the coveted Freedom Cup.

There are also a number of specialty awards up for grabs including the BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow and the Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys and Girls, while the teams compete for the prized Spirit Cup.

As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:

Hashtag: #SAJuniorChamps

Website:
Contest schedule, results and images will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

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

ENDS

For more information contact:
Chad D’Arcy
e. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
c. 079 519 5990

or

Jason Mendonca
Email: jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
Phone: 079 698 7456

For media queries contact:
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
c. 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

Young Guns Charge Jeffreys Bay Point on Opening Day of Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS

October 4th, 2017 No comments
Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) was one of the top performers on the opening day of the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay today Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) was one of the top performers on the opening day of the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay today Photo: Billabong / Thurtell

Competitors from all over the South African coastline were greeted with small and blustery surf which did little to deter their high spirits on the opening day of the 2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay today, especially with an excellent forecast on the horizon.

The country’s top junior surfers charged the long, peeling waves and despite the inconsistent conditions they posted numerous rides in the excellent range (over 8 out of 10). The priority system being used at the event gave them a fair chance of progressing to the later rounds by eliminating the hustling to catch waves while the opening round is non-elimination so every competitor receives a second opportunity to shine.

The change in format to U12, U14, U16 and U18 age categories from the U13, U15 and U17 divisions used in the past has resulted in new rivalries being formed and new champions crowned.

As the various District teams staked their territory on the beach, the U14 boys division kicked off proceedings with Kye Macgregor (Nelson Mandela Bay) announcing himself as a threat by earning a heat total of 15.33 (out of 20) in the first heat of the event. Daniel Emslie (Buffalo City) put himself on the map when he delivered a 9-point ride and Nate Spalding (eThekweni) was another to rack up a heat total above 15 points.

Zoe Steyn clearly took notes from her teammate Daniel Emslie, as she also posted an impressive 9 point ride with her flowing backhand attack in the U14 girls. Kayla Nogueira (eThekweni), who has just returned from competing in the ISA World Junior Champs in Japan, also advanced directly to Round 3 and will no doubt be fighting to claim another SA title. And Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) has shown massive improvement and will be hot on her heels.

The U16 boys division produced some explosive surfing despite the SA team members being jetlagged after returning from Japan just yesterday. Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) displayed his local knowledge with a heat win in testing conditions brought on by the high tide. Teammates Ryan Lightfoot and Dellin Hendricks showed that they were right at home by clinching heat wins while Eli Beukes (Cape Town Surfriders) looked powerful and smooth in the small surf.

The U12 boys hit the surf to finish off the day and made the waves look bigger but is was just the competitors getting smaller as they surfed well beyond their years. Kyra Bennie (Cape Winelands) caught the attention of the judges and spectators after a near perfect ride earned a 9.6 and Ethan Currin (Buffalo City) and Joel Dace (Nelson Mandela Bay) were also top performers.

Tomorrow sees the start of premier U18 boys and girls divisions in what are predicted to be excellent conditions with a rising swell and light winds.

Alongside the coveted Freedom Cup and individual titles at stake, there are a number of specialty awards up for grabs including the BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow and the Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys and Girls. The teams have also been making even more noise than usual supporting their teammates as they look to take home the prized Spirit Cup.

As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:

Hashtag: #SAJuniorChamps

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

Website:
Contest schedule and results will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

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

ENDS

For more information contact:
Chad D’Arcy
e. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
c. 079 519 5990

or

Jason Mendonca
Email: jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
Phone: 079 698 7456

For media queries contact:
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
c. 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

Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS Begin in Jeffreys Bay on Wednesday

October 3rd, 2017 No comments
Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) will be going for gold in the U18 girls’ division at the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS at Jeffreys Bay this week Photo: Ian Thurtell

Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) will be going for gold in the U18 girls’ division at the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS at Jeffreys Bay this week Photo: Ian Thurtell

South African Junior Surfing Titles and the Freedom Cup at Stake

The Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS, the country’s most prestigious annual surfing event for competitors aged 18-and-under, gets underway in the fabled high performance waves of the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay on Wednesday and runs until Sunday 8 October.

The 21st edition of the five-day event will showcase the top young surfers from every corner of the coastline who have qualified for the SA Junior Champs via gruelling trials conducted by their respective district associations.

At stake are individual national titles for Under 12, Under 14, U16 and Under 18 boys and girls along with the coveted Freedom Cup, which was introduced in 2003 and goes to the district whose team members accumulate the highest points tally across all age divisions.

“We’re really proud to be the sponsors of the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS,” said Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “This is the premier junior event on the Surfing South Africa calendar and to host it in our home town of Jeffreys Bay makes it even more special. Good luck to the country’s best young surfers in their quest for national titles.”

The host Nelson Mandela Bay team will be determined to retain the Freedom Cup while Cape Town Surfriders, the 2016 runners-up, will be hoping to return to the winning ways that saw them clinch the 2015 team title. The eThekweni team from Durban will present a strong challenge again and Cape Winelands, Buffalo City, Ugu, Eden and the team from the SA Development Academy will be going all out to improve on their final placing in the team standings. Newcomers Ilembe will be participating in the event for the first time,

“The Billabong Sa Junior Championships is the most significant annual tournament for South Africa’s U18, U16, U14 and U12 surfers,” says Surfing South Africa GM, Robin de Kock. “Surfing South Africa is stoked that it is taking place at Lower Point in J-Bay for the fifth year in a row and to be partnering with Billabong once again is just the cherry on top. I hope the waves are epic. Good luck to all”

The change in format from the U13, U15 and U17 age categories used over the past few years means that new champions will be crowned in all eight divisions. However many of the 2016 champions will be back to try and win back-to-back titles, including Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands), Kirsty McGillivray and Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay), Max Elkington (Cape Town Surfriders) and eThekweni’s James Ribbink and Kayla Nogueira.

The 12 members of the South African Junior Surfing Team who participated in the recent ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Japan arrived back in the country yesterday and all will be competing for their respective District teams at Jeffreys Bay.

Alongside the Freedom Cup and individual titles at stake, there are a number of specialty awards up for grabs including the BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow and the Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys and Girls.

The official Opening Function will be presided over by SSA General Manager Robin de Kock and takes place at the Billabong offices in Da Gama Rd at 7 pm, shortly after the Manager’s meeting which takes place at 6 pm at the same venue.

As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:

Hashtag: #SAJuniorChamps

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

Website:
Contest schedule and results will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

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

END

For more information contact:
Chad D’Arcy
e. chad.darcy@billabong.co.za
c. 079 519 5990

or

Jason Mendonca
Email: jason.mendonca@billabong.co.za
Phone: 079 698 7456

For media queries contact:
Craig Jarvis
e. info@craigjarvis.co.za
c. 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