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Posts Tagged ‘WSL QS’

Ballito Pro Surf Festival Brings World’s Best to KwaDukuza in June

May 9th, 2017 No comments
Connor O’Leary of Australia on his way to victory in the 2016 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong Photo: WSL / Cestari

Connor O’Leary of Australia on his way to victory in the 2016 Ballito Pro Photo: WSL / Cestari

The World Surf League’s top ranked performers will be joined by the cream of South Africa’s men, women and junior surfers for a 14 day festival of high performance action in the waves of Willard Beach in Ballito on the KwaDukuza coast from June 27 to 9 July this year.

For the ninth successive year the region will host the world’s best men in the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong, a WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 rated event with a prize-pool of R3.4 million and the highest available ranking points on offer.

The women will showcase their talent in the QS1,000 Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong while the Billabong Junior Series includes events for men and women aged 18-and-than ever under at Ballito for the second year.

“KwaDukuza Municipality is pleased to come together yet again with our valued partners to host yet another spectacular internationally renowned sporting event, which continues to position our area as a leading events tourism destination,” says the Mayor of KwaDukuza, Cllr Ricardo Mthembu. “We look forward to the upcoming event as it enters its 9th year on KwaDukuza soil.

“The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is an important stop on the World Surf League tour and plays a critical role as a platform for local South Africans to develop within the sport. Needless to say, it is our fundamental aim to develop our people both economically and socially through events of this nature and we anticipate another successful year in 2017. We are calling on our community and business community to ensure that they provide our visitors with an experience they will remember. We wish all our participants a happy stay in our district and hope that they will enjoy a spectacular experience. We are also looking forward to renewing our partnership with the World Surfing League beyond 2017.”

The 49th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event will be bigger and better than ever in 2017 as it again welcomes the support of global apparel and equipment giant Billabong, who are celebrating the 20th annual running of their acclaimed Billabong Junior Series this year.

“Billabong is honoured to continue our relationship with KwaDukuza,” says Chad D’Arcy, Group Marketing & Sales Manager for Billabong South Africa. “The Ballito Pro is the highlight of our competitive year and we look forward to once again presenting this amazing event in 2017.

“We are an authentic surf brand, with a proud legacy of hosting world class surfing events. We are excited to help nurture competitive surfing in South African and give our athletes the best platforms to compete on the world stage. Billabong would like to wish all of the competitors and spectators at this year’s event amazing waves and great weather.”

The 2016 field for the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong included a dozen of the world’s elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers and was won by Connor O’Leary (AUS), who along with runner-up Joan Duru (FRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Australians Ethan Ewing and Jack Freestone all went on to qualify for the prestigious 2017 CT thanks to the significant number of ranking points they earned in Ballito.

The 112-man field for the event provides the 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.

Similarly, those in the Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong earn prize-money and points on both the international and regional rankings while the competitors 18-and-under in the Billabong Junior Series will be striving for the prestigious event titles and selection for the WSL Africa squad that is invited to the annual WSL World Junior Championships.

“It’s been an honour and a pleasure for WSL Africa to work alongside such a progressive thinking municipality as KwaDukuza for the past nine years,” said WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch. “We’re so grateful to the town of Ballito and its residents for welcoming the surfers into their homes and surf for 14 days of world class surfing.”

“The Ballito Pro has become one of the most important events on the World Surf League Qualifying Series and most of the winners have gone on to qualify for the elite WSL Championship Tour the following year. Sincere thanks to KwaDukuza and Billabong for turning the dreams of so many South African surfers of all races into a reality.”

The Ballito Pro Surf Festival kicks off with the Billabong Junior Series from June 27-29 followed by the Surfing South Africa Trials pres. by Billabong on June 30 and the Ballito Women’s Pro pres. by Billabong on 1 and 2 July.

The crown jewel of the festival, the QS10,000 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong takes centre stage from Monday to Sunday, July 3-9.

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.

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, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).

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 Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, 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
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa which is recognised by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

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 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

#labcomm

East London to Host Buffalo City Surf Pro Over Easter

April 14th, 2017 No comments

 

 

Michael February (Kommetjie) is the top seed for the Buffalo City Surf Pro at Nahoon Reef in East London which starts on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Michael February (Kommetjie) is the top seed for the Buffalo City Surf Pro at Nahoon Reef in East London which starts on Saturday Photo: Ian Thurtell

Second Stop in City Surf Series Attracts Top SA and International Entries

World class professional surfing returns to East London for the first time in a decade when the inaugural Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits runs from Saturday to Easter Monday, 15-17 April, in the challenging waves of Nahoon Reef.

An exceptional field of 128 of South African and international surfers will battle for titles, a share of the R80,000 prize-purse and points on the regional and international rankings in the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated events for Men and Women and Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for 18-and-under Men and Women.

The Buffalo City Surf Pro is the second of five events in the City Surf Series, an exciting new tour that started in Port Elizabeth last weekend and after East London will also visit Durban and Cape Town.

Michael February (Kommetjie), currently No. 35 on the QS rankings, is the top seed for QS1,000 rated Men’s event this weekend, and will be going all out to capitalise on his confidence boosting victory at the last stop to climb higher even higher on the international rankings and extend his early lead in the chase for 2017 WSL Africa Men’s title.

Among the 64 men standing in his way are last week’s runner-up Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Americans Nate Dorman and Austin Neumann, Kelly Norris (AUS) and vastly experienced hometown hero and Nahoon Reef expert, Greg Emslie (East London).

Australian Tayla Hanak heads the line-up for the QS1,000 Women’s event and in her first visit to East London faces strong opposition from former WSL Championship Tour (CT) competitor Nikita Robb (East London), whose knowledge of the waves of Nahoon Reef is unsurpassed in the 24 strong entry.

The likes of Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) and Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) will be determined to pocket as many points as possible so they can qualify for the big international women’s events overseas, while the effervescent Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) will be hoping to repeat her title winning achievement last weekend and hold onto the Skullcandy striped vest worn by the rankings leader.

With points on offer towards the selection of the WSL Africa squad that is invited to compete in the World Junior Championships in Australia next January, the JQS1,000 men’s and Women’s events will be fiercely contested.

Jake Elkington (Kommetjie), reigning WSL Africa junior champ Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) are the junior men’s favourites, but local standouts Bryce du Preez and Luke Malherbe hold the aces in their home surf.

Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) will be fully committed to re-establishing her dominance of the junior women’s rankings but 13 year-old Durban phenom Kayla Nogueira has been on a roll, taking out five titles in recent weeks, and currently tops the rankings. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Taghiti Gericke (Wilderness) complete the top four seeds.

Organisers will meet at Nahoon Reef early on Saturday morning and the decision on when to get the contest underway will be made at 7.30 am. The 16 heats in the Men’s event will be first up, followed by the eight heats in Round 1 of the Junior Men. Round 1 of the Women’s event is on standby for a possible start later in the day. The event champions will be crowned on Monday afternoon.

An outreach programme conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) at Nahoon Beach on Easter Monday morning will feature 60 young surfers from the Unstressed Surf School in Cintsa and Waves 4 Change. The participants will be involved in beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest, beach relays and an Easter egg hunt with all participants receiving breakfast, lunch and a commemorative medal.

The programme will be run by SSA Development Officer Danielle Johnson and her Swot team to highlight transformation projects in the Buffalo City district and is supported by the Buffalo City Surf Pro, Reef Wetsuits, Volkswagen and the National Lotteries Commission.

Live scoring, results, images, news and more for the Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits will be available at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Buffalo City Surf Pro is supported by Reef Wetsuits, Volkswagen, Corona, the Buffalo City 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 by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA 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

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

Launch of City Surf Series Heralds Africa’s Best Ever Year for WSL Surfing

March 1st, 2017 No comments
The inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley was launched at a function in Durban on Tuesday Photo: Luellen Smith

The inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley was launched at a function in Durban on Tuesday
Photo: Luellen Smith

– WSL Africa to Host 13 Events Offering Prize-Money Totalling R13 million in 2017
– Participants Include Men, Women, Junior Men, Junior Women and Outreach Programmes

Africa’s best ever year for professional surfing was launched yesterday (Tuesday) when the 2017 WSL Africa schedule featuring 13 events totaling R13 million in prize-money was unveiled at a media function in Durban to announce the inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley.

Taking place at locations that range from Lamberts Bay on the West Coast to Durban on the East Coast, and including an event in Morocco co-sanctioned with WSL Europe, the schedule comprises events for men, women, junior (18-and-under) men and women and also incorporates outreach programmes designed to spread the stoke of surfing.

The local events will be a huge benefit to South Africa’s current and future surf stars who will be able to accumulate prize-money and coveted World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) ranking points at their home breaks and without having to incur exorbitant international travel costs. The points will also qualify them for entry into the major events overseas.

The season starts with the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong from April 7-9, the first WSL rated event ever to be staged in Port Elizabeth. Featuring QS1,000 rated events for men and women plus JQS1,000 rated events for junior men and women, the three-day tournament offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 and is the first of five events in the City Surf Series.

Next up is the Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits over the Easter weekend (April 15-17), where pro surfing returns to East London for the first time in a decade, and the Corona Durban City Surf Pro presented by Quiksilver (April 21-23), both offering the same format and prize-money as the Port Elizabeth event.

May 20-21 sees the BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong in Cape Town, the first of three stand-alone JQS1,000 events for junior men and women that include the Billabong Junior Series events at Ballito (June 27-29) and Cape St Francis (Sep 22-25). Points from these events will also count towards the 2017 WSL Africa Junior titles and selection of the four men and two women who will represent the region at the World Junior Championships in Australia next January.

The second annual Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay (June 2-4) has added a QS1,000 women’s event to the men’s and junior men’s events this year before the focus moves back to KwaZulu-Natal for the inaugural Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing in Durban (June 14-18) where the men’s event carries a QS3,000 rating and a R1 million prize-pool alongside QS1,000 women’s and junior men’s and women’s events.

Competitors in all four categories will be logging up the air miles as they return to Big Bay in Bloubergstrand for QS1,000 and JQS1,000 rated events in the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro presented by O’Neill (June 23-25) under the iconic landmark of Table Mountain.

Then it’s back to the mid-winter warmth of KZN for the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong where the women’s event runs June 30 to 2 July and the R3.3 million, QS10,000 rated men’s event will feature 100 of the world’s best surfers from July 3 to 9.

All of the world’s top 34 ranked surfers will be in action at Jeffreys Bay from July 12 to 23 in the newly named Corona Open J-Bay, the sixth of 11 stops on the Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, where they compete for a share of R7.5 million and ranking points in the race for the 2017 world surfing title.

The final WSL Africa event for men and women is the co-sanctioned Anfa Place Casablanca Pro in Morocco from September 12 to 17 which offers QS1,500 rated events for both categories.

“I’m proud and honoured that WSL Africa has now grown to the point where the country’s current and future surf stars can compete in locally based events and advance their careers by earning enough rankings points and prize-money to qualify for major events elsewhere without having to spend a small fortune chasing around the globe,” said long serving WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch.

“My sincere appreciation goes to the local authorities and the SA surfing industry for their support and we welcome the contribution from sponsors like Volkswagen, Corona, Red Bull and Jordy Smith. Huge thanks also to our marketing agents, Accelerate Sport, and to Surfing South Africa and its Districts who are great partners in this region. And finally, this goal could not have been reached without the input of WSL Africa’s dedicated staff and of course our surfers whose continuing support is the reason we now have one of the WSL’s strongest regional schedules of events.”

The Cell C Goodwave, an invitational event that holds a one year waiting period for the best waves at New Pier in Durban, has received a specialty sanctioning from the WSL. The one day event offers a R100,000 prize-purse to the winning surfer.

The five events making up the City Surf Series will each host activities coordinated by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, and run by the outreach projects in the various locations, designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background.

2017 WSL Africa Schedule of Events

Apr 7-9 Port Elizabeth Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Apr 15-17 East London Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits
Apr 21-23 Durban Corona Durban City Surf Pro pres. by Quiksilver
May 20-21 Cape Town BOS Cape Crown pres. by Billabong
Jun 2-4 Lamberts Bay Vans Surf Pro Classic
Jun 14-18 Durban Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
Jun 23-25 Cape Town Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill
Jun 27-29 Ballito Billabong Junior Series #1
Jun 30-Jul 9 Ballito Ballito Pro Women & Men pres. by Billabong
Jul 12-23 Jeffreys Bay Corona J-Bay Open – Men’s WSL Championship Tour
Sep 12-17 Casablanca Anfa Place Casablanca Pro
Sep 22-25 Cape St Francis Billabong Junior Series #2
Jan 13-Dec31 Durban Cell C Goodwave

See more about the WSL schedule of events at www.WorldSurfLeague.Com and on the WSL App

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

SA Surfers Shine: McGillivray & Baum Place 5th and 9th in Australia + Brand 17th in Hawaii

February 11th, 2017 No comments
Matt McGillivray in action at the Kommunity Project Great Lakes Pro Photo: WSL / Bennett

Matt McGillivray in action at the Kommunity Project Great Lakes Pro Photo: WSL / Bennett

Both Men Move into Top 30 on Qualifying Series (QS) Rankings
Baum Reaches Last 16 in 2017 Season Debut

South Africans Matt McGillivray and Benji Brand posted impressive results in Australia and Hawaii respectively to move into the Top 30 on the latest World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rankings, while Sarah Baum opened her 2017 season by reaching the last 16 down under.

McGillivray battled his way through three rounds of overhead waves in the 160 man field for QS1,000 Kommunity Project Great Lakes Pro at Boomerang Beach in New South Wales. The 19 year-old from Jeffreys Bay was eliminated in the quarterfinals by defending event winner and eventual 2017 runner-up Wade Carmichael (AUS).

McGillivray pocketed R5,000 and 420 points for his season best 5th place finish, which saw him retain 29th spot in the latest QS rankings.

Bevan Willis (Umdloti) was a Round 1 casualty while Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) and Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) each advanced through one round to finish 33rd and 25th respectively and Jordy Maree (Cape Town) progressed through two rounds for a 17th place result.

The event was won by former WSL Championship Tour (CT) campaigner Keanu Asing (HAW) who recorded an outstanding heat tally of 18.73 out of 20 when defeating Carmichael in the final.

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Brand again showed the benefit of spending plenty of time in Hawaiian waves when he racked up three successive heat wins against a world-class list of contenders in the QS3,000 Volcom Pipe Pro held in chunky 2-3 metre waves at Pipeline.

The Capetonian, who turned 21 last Monday, was ousted when he placed third behind 2015 WSL champion Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Hawaiian standout Makai McNamara in their Round of 32 encounter, finishing 17th overall in the event..

Brand’s haul of R13,500 and 600 points saw him jump 25 places to join McGillivray in equal 29th spot on the QS rankings.

Pictured: Benji Brand squeezes out of a tube on his way to 17th place in the Volcom Pipe Pro Photo: WSL / Heff

Pictured: Benji Brand squeezes out of a tube on his way to 17th place in the Volcom Pipe Pro Photo: WSL / Heff

Outsider Soli Bailey (AUS) clinched a surprise victory at Pipeline, defeating reigning WSL Champion, top seed and event favourite John John Florence (HAW) in quarters before finishing ahead of de Souza, Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Hawaiian legend Bruce Irons who finished in that order in the final.

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Baum, who grew up in Athlone Park in KZN but is now living in Wollongong, Australia, started her 2017 season by advancing through two rounds of the QS1,000 Kommunity Project Great Lakes Women’s Pro.

The former multiple SA champion, who ended 2011 ranked No. 11 on the Women’s QS, only competes in selected events these days and bowed out of the women’s event in equal 9th place.

Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) was runner-up in her opening heat before being sidelined in Round 2, finishing equal 17th, while Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) ended equal 49th.

Australian prodigy Macy Callaghan, 16, winner of the World Women’s Junior (U18) title in January, has reached the final of six events in 2017. Callaghan recorded her fifth event victory of the year by outscoring former Port Elizabeth surfer Philippa Anderson (AUS) in the final at Boomerang Beach.

++++++

Full results, images, video footage and more from the events can be found at www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App.
VOLCOM PIPE PRO
Results (Surfers shown 1st through 4th, all from Hawaii unless otherwise noted)

Final:
1st – Soli Bailey (AUS), 13.26
2nd – Adriano de Souza (BRA), 8.43
3rd – Griffin Colapinto (USA), 3.90
4th – Bruce Irons, 3.66

Semifinals: (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place)
SF1: Soli Bailey (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Leandro Usuna (ARG), John John Florence
SF2: Bruce Irons, Adriano de Souza (BRA), David do Carmo (BRA), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)

Quarterfinals: (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place)
QF1: Soli Bailey (AUS), Leandro Usuna (ARG), Hank Gaskell, Koa Smith
QF2: John John Florence, Griffin Colapinto (USA), Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Brian Toth (PRI)
QF3: Bruce Irons, David do Carmo (BRA), Luke Shepardson, Makai McNamara
QF4: Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Seth Moniz

Round of 32: (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17th place, 4th = 25th place)
H1: Leandro Usuna (ARG), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Billy Kemper, Nathan Florence
H2: Soli Bailey (AUS), Brian Toth (PRI), Kiron Jabour, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA)
H3: Mitch Coleborn (AUS), Koa Smith, Balaram Stack (USA), Tom Whitaker (AUS)
H4: John John Florence, Hank Gaskell, O’Neill Massin (PYF), Koa Rothman
H5: David do Carmo (BRA), Seth Moniz, Miguel Tudela (PER), Mason Ho
H6: Bruce Irons, Aritz Aranburu (ESP), Yago Dora (BRA), Makuakai Rothman
H7: Lucas Silveira (BRA), Ian Crane (USA), Luke Shepardson, Marco Giorgi (URY)
H8: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Makai McNamara, Benji Brand, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)

Round of 64: (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 33rd place, 4th = 49th place)
H15: Benji Brand, Ian Crane (USA), Lucca Mesinas Novaro (PER), Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
H16: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Luke Shepardson, Finn McGill, Parker Coffin (USA)

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary 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

Benji Brand Takes 5th and Sebastian Williams 9th in Sunset Open in Hawaii

January 29th, 2017 No comments
Sebastian Williams (Durban, ZAF) impressed the judges on his way to 9th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii Image: WSL / Keoki

Sebastian Williams (Durban, ZAF) impressed the judges on his way to 9th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii Image: WSL / Keoki

Williams Also Places 7th in Sunset Open Pro Junior

South Africans Benji Brand and Sebastian Williams posted impressive performances in the Sunset Open, a WSL Qualifying Series (QS) event that was completed in booming 3-4 metre waves at Sunset Beach in Hawaii on Saturday.

Competing against a top class 112 man field consisting mainly of experienced local professionals, Brand reached the semi-finals before bowing out in fifth place overall while Williams was ousted in the quarterfinals and placed ninth.

Brand, who turns 21 next week, hails from Cape Town but his family have a house in Hawaii and has accumulated an excellent track record at Sunset Beach where he has reached the finals of several junior and open events over the past five years.

Seeded to Round 3, Brand won his opening heat, finished runner-up to based extreme waterman Kai Lenny (HAW) in Round 4 and then won his Quarterfinal before placing third in his Semifinal encounter, pocketing US $600 (about R8,000) and 420 valuable QS rankings points.

Benji Brand (Cape Town, ZAF) in action on his way to 5th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii  Image: WSL / Keoki

Benji Brand (Cape Town, ZAF) in action on his way to 5th place in the Sunset Open in Hawaii  Image: WSL / Keoki

Sixteen year-old Williams’ confidence boosting performance in his debut QS event at Sunset Beach showed a maturity far beyond his years. Starting his campaign with a heat win in Round 2, he selected the best waves on offer in the 25 minute clash and earned an excellent 8.50 (out of 10) from the judging panel.

Finishing runner-up in his Round 3 match-up, Williams bounced back to win his Round 4 duel, relegating eventual finalist Bino Lopez (BRA) to the runner-up berth as the pair advanced to the Quarterfinals, eliminating Sunset Beach standouts Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) and big wave charger and two-time Pe’ahi Challenge winner Billy Kemper (HAW) in the process.

The Durbanite’s wave-starved Quarterfinal was won by Brand with Miguel Tudela (PER) grabbing second spot just ahead of Williams, who took home R4,000 and 300 points.

The Sunset Open was won by Australian prodigy Jack Robinson who defeated 16-year-old Hawaiian standout Finn McGill, Lopez and Tudela in the Final.

Williams also took advantage of an alternate slot when one of the competitors in the Sunset Pro Junior withdrew last weekend, posting the highest heat scores in both Round 1 and 2 in the 18-and-under event. He again came up short in the Semifinals when he could not find a good backup score to go with the 7.50 he had bagged early in the heat.

The next event in Hawaii is the QS3,000 Volcom Pipe Pro in the hallowed waves of Pipeline where 11-time world champion Kelly Slater is the defending event winner and reigning WSL champion John John Florence is the top seed. The waiting period for the event begins starts on Tuesday and Benji Brand starts in Heat 13 of Round 2 while Sebastian Williams is on standby for an alternate slot.

Full results, images, video footage and more from the Sunset Pro events can be found at www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App.

Sunset Open Results
Surfers shown 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted

Final
1st – Jack Robinson (AUS), 14.35 // 1000 points
2nd – Finn McGill (HAW), 14.25 // 750 points
3rd – Bino Lopes (BRA), 11.65 // 560 points
4th – Miguel Tudela (PER), 5.25 // 525 points

Semifinal, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place
SF1: Miguel Tudela (PER), Bino Lopes (BRA), Benji Brand, Kai Lenny
SF2: Jack Robinson (AUS), Finn McGill, Ian Walsh, Imaikalani deVault

Quarterfinal, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place
QF1: Bino Lopes (BRA), Kai Lenny, Josh Moniz, Taumata Puhetini (PYF)
QF2: Benji Brand, Miguel Tudela (PER), Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Kekoa Cazimero
QF3: Ian Walsh, Finn McGill, Barron Mamiya, Cody Young
QF4: Jack Robinson (AUS), Imaikalani deVault, Seth Moniz, Sheldon Paishon

Round of 32, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17 places, 4th = 25th place
H1: Joshua Moniz, Miguel Tudela (PER), Eli Olson, Kai Mana Henry
H2: Kai Lenny, Benji Brand, Keoni Yan, Yago Dora (BRA)
H3: Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Bino Lopes (BRA), Kaimana Jaquias, Billy Kemper
H4: Kekoa Cazimero, Taumata Puhetini (PYF), Parker Coffin (USA), Elijah Gates
H5: Finn McGill, Imaikalani deVault, Logan Bediamol, Noah Beschen
H6: Ian Walsh, Sheldon Paishon, Koa Smith, Reo Inaba (JPN)
H7: Seth Moniz, Barron Mamiya, Carlos Munoz (CRI), Danny Fuller
H8: Jack Robinson (AUS), Cody Young, Evan Valiere, Tanner Hendrickson

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Sunset Open Pro Junior Results
Surfers shown 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted.

Men’s Final
1st – Barron Mamiya, 1000 points
2nd – Finn McGill, 750 points
3rd – Kauli Vaast (PYF), 560 points
4th – Cody Young, 525 points

Men’s Semifinals (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place)
SF1: Barron Mamiya, Cody Young, Ryder Guest, Kade Matson (USA)
SF2: Kauli Vaast (PYF), Finn McGill, Wyatt McHale, Sebastian Williams (ZAF)

Men’s Quarterfinals (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place)
QF1: Barron Mamiya, Cody Young, Ocean Macedo, Jake Riccobuano
QF2: Ryder Guest, Kade Matson (USA), Troy Osada, Joh Azuchi (JPN)
QF3: Finn McGill, Kaula Vaast (PYF), Logan Bediamol, Cole Alves
QF4: Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Wyatt McHale, Dylan Franzmann, Makana Pang

Men’s Round of 32 (1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17th place, 4th = 25th place)
H1: Cody Young, Ryder Guest, Marco Mignot, Luke Swanson
H2: Ocean Macedo, Troy Osada, Kyle Tester (USA), Rian Son (USA)
H3: Kade Matson (USA), Barron Mamiya, Dante Silva, Sacha Levy-Agami (PYF)
H4: Joh Azuchi (JPN), Jake Riccobuano, Kainehe Hunt, Eli Hanneman
H5: Finn McGill, Dylan Franzmann, Taro Watanabe (USA), Tony Nunez
H6: Cole Alves, Makana Pang, Kanoa Shannon, Levi Young
H7: Wyatt McHale, Kauli Vaast (PYF), Noah Beschen, Gavin Hogan
H8: Sebastian Williams (ZAF), Logan Bediamol, Robert Grilho III, Daiki Matsunaga (JPN)

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary 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

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 Wins Vans World Cup of Surfing in Hawaii

December 5th, 2016 No comments
Jordy Smith (ZAF, Durban) performs a trademark hack at Sunset Beach in Hawaii on his way to victory in the final of the Vans World Cup Image: WSL / Cestari

Jordy Smith (ZAF, Durban) performs a trademark hack at Sunset Beach in Hawaii on his way to victory in the final of the Vans World Cup Image: WSL / Cestari

– Durbanite Clinches First Event Victory in Hawaii
– Now No. 3 on Triple Crown Rankings
– More at WorldSurfLeague.Com

Jordy Smith (ZAF, Durban), won the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach to claim his first victory in Hawaiian waves on Sunday. The 28-year-old Durbanite triumphed in a stacked final that included Frederico Morais (PRT), Torrey Meister (HAW) and Tanner Gudauskas (USA).

“Unbelievable, can’t believe it,” said Smith. “I feel like this event has eluded me in the past. I didn’t have any expectations coming in this year, I think that was the difference. I just kind of went out there with an open mind. Thanks to everyone who supported me.”

The final Qualifying Series (QS) of the year and one of only five 10,000 rated events in 2016, the Vans World Cup marks Smith’s second competitive victory this year, his first a Championship Tour (CT) win at the Hurley Pro at Trestles in September. But despite reaching the final at Sunset twice in the past, a win in Hawaii has eluded him since he began competing professionally.

“Early in my career I made a couple finals out here, I really had something going with the place,” continued Smith. “I don’t know, it’s been like six or seven years where I just couldn’t do a thing right. And then, everything just came together this year so I’m just really happy.”

The victory sees Smith, ranked No. 3 on the CT, leapfrog into third place on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing rankings going into the final event at Pipeline which starts on Thursday. The South African is 5,900 points behind Morais, who finished second in both the first event at Haleiwa and at Sunset, and just 200 points behind recently crowned 2016 WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) who won at Haleiwa.

Smith, who was crowned the Triple Crown ‘Rookie of the Year’ in back in 2009, says he has been ‘camping out’ at Pipeline this year in a determined effort to improve on his mediocre previous results in the season-ending CT event. He is bidding to become the first South African man to clinch the Triple Crown, an accolade second only to a World Title in prestige. Heather Clark (ZAF, Port Shepstone) is the only previous SA winner, clinching the Women’s Triple Crown title in 2000.

Gudauskas opened the final at Sunset with two waves before Smith answered back with a super smooth 6.33 on an open face and demonstrated his tactful rail game and signature carves. Morais dropped the first score of significance to take the lead, an 8.23 for a searing carve and a layback snap on the inside section. Meister, the most inform Hawaiian in the event, went vertical on his first wave for a 4.77, but drama unfolded after Jordy secured an 8.73 – the highest single ride score of the 35 minute encounter – to take a lead that his opponents ultimately could not match.

“He always fits this wave really well,” Meister said of Smith after the awards ceremony. “He’s one of the best guys out here. Just his hacks, he’s got probably the best hack in the business. He really suits this wave and he’s really powerful.”

With a place among the world’s top 34 ranked surfers on the 2017 Championship Tour on the line, along with the several of the current top 34 in action, there was drama in virtually every heat on the final day.

Jadson Andre (BRA) and Jack Freestone (AUS) and secured eighth and 10th positions on the year-end QS rankings, and re-qualified for another season the CT when they reached the semi-finals. Morais steadily pacing himself throughout the event, made few mistakes and jumped up to the No. 3 slot after his runner up finish.

Athletes listed in order of 1st through 10th on the QS (* indicates Rookie CT campaign): *Connor O’Leary (AUS), *Ethan Ewing (AUS), *Frederico Morais (PRT), Joan Duru (FRA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), *Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), *Ian Gouveia (BRA) and Jack Freestone (AUS). Ethan Ewing (AUS) secured the coveted Vans Triple Crown Rookie Award.

Michael February (ZAF, Cape Town), the only other South African in the Vans World Cup, posted his first heat win at Sunset Beach last Wednesday. The lanky Capetonian advanced to Round 3 after taking the runner-up spot in his next heat and finished 33rd overall. He earned 1,100 points, his second best haul of the season, to end the year ranked No. 53 and guaranteed of a slot in all the major 6,000 and 10,000 rated QS events next year.

See full results, images, video footage of every wave ridden during the Vans World Cup at www.WorldSurfLeague.com

The eyes of the surfing world will now be firmly fixed on Pipeline, a mile to the West of Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu, where the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons – the final event of the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour and last gem of the Vans Triple Crown – takes place from December 8 – 20.

RESULTS
Surfers shown in order of 1st through 4th

Final
1st – Jordy Smith (ZAF), 10000 points
2nd – Frederico Morais (PRT), 8000 points
3rd – Torrey Meister (HAW), 6700 points
4th – Tanner Gudauskas (USA), 6300 points

Semifinals, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 5th place, 4th = 7th place
SF1: Frederico Morais (PRT), Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
SF2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Torrey Meister (HAW), Kelly Slater (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)

Quarterfinals, 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 9th place, 4th = 13th place
QF1: Frederico Morais (PRT), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Deivid Silva (BRA), Koa Smith (HAW)
QF2: Jack Freestone (AUS), Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Billy Kemper (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
QF3: Torrey Meister (HAW), Kelly Slater (USA), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Ian Crane (USA)
QF4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Ethan Ewing (AUS)

Round of 32 – 1st and 2nd advance, 3rd = 17th place, 4th = 25th place
H1: Deivid Silva (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
H2: Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Ricardo Christie (NZAL), Adriano De Souza (BRA)
H3: Billy Kemper (HAW), Frederico Morais (PRT), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS)
H4: Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Koa Smith (HAW), John John Florence, Marc Lacomare (FRA)
H5: Torrey Meister (HAW), Ethan Ewing (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA)
H6: Kelly Slater (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA), O’Neill Massin (PFY), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
H7: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Ian Crane (USA), Adam Melling (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS)
H8: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Eli Olson

ENDS

NOTE: Complimentary high resolution images and broadcast quality video footage 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

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