Home > Contests, Girls Surfing, SSA, WSL > Top Seeds Dominate Opening Rounds of Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits

Top Seeds Dominate Opening Rounds of Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits

April 13th, 2018

Defending men’s event winner Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) was one of the standout performers on the opening day of the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits  Photo: WSL / Thurtell

The top rated competitors in the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits justified their seeding by advancing to the next round on Day 1 of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) event taking place at Nahoon Reef in East London.

Classic calm conditions and highly contestable 1 to 1.3 metre waves at dawn saw the organisers get stop No. 3 of 13 in the WSL Africa Tour underway with the QS1,000 Men’s event at 7.30 am. Freshening winds at midday did little to affect the surf as Round One of the QS1,000 Women was running, and a gentle drizzle saw the wind drop again for the opening round of the Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) Women’s heats that ended the day’s action

The top four seeds – Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), David van Zyl (Glenashley) and the Jeffreys Bay pair of Matt McGillivray and Dylan Lightfoot all posted comfortable heat wins. Lightfoot was the standout of the quartet, hunting down four great waves and utilising his trademark high performance repertoire to earn the day’s highest heat total of 15.40 out of 20.

Local and national surfing legend Greg Emslie (East London) showed his knowledge of Nahoon Reef, the break that he honed his skills on, by delivering an excellent 8.0 ride and a heat tally of 13.75. But it was Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) who earned the highest single ride score, an outstanding 8.50, as he cruised into Round Two alongside heat runner-up Chris Leppan.

History was made when Jean Patrice Furcy became the first Mauritian surfer to compete in a WSL event. Thanks to the tireless efforts of WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch, Furcy will be spending three months in South African competing in the local events. He was presented with two brand new surfboards by Hurricane Surf when he arrived at the event site this morning.

There were upsets in the women’s event when Kayla Nogueira (uMhlang) and Danielle Powis (Muizenberg) were eliminated in the first round, but Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Olivia izzard (La Lucia) restored order by progressing to meet the top eight seeds in Round 2.

Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay), winner of both the women’s and junior women’s event in Port Elizabeth over Easter, and Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) took the honours in the opening heats of the junior women’s heats on Day 1.

Saturday’s schedule will see both the women’s and junior women’s events concluded with the winners crowned at the event site at the end of the day’s proceedings.

Competitors, organisers and spectators will observe a minute’s silence before the start of Saturday’s action in keeping with the 10 days of mourning for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, declared by State President Cyril Ramaphosa.. The South African national flag at the event will be flown at half-mast

Organisers will meet at East Beach at 7.00 am local time on Saturday to make a call on when to get the contest underway, with an 8 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.


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


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