Keramas, Bali/Indonesia (Tuesday, May 29, 2018) - The Corona Bali Protected presented by Hurley, Stop No. 5 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), resumed at Keramas today, completing men’s Round 2 in onshore but high-performance conditions.
Currently sitting at World No. 6 on the Jeep Rankings, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) is having a breakout start to his 2018 season. The Hawaiian powerhouse continued his solid form with a dominant win over Californian Patrick Gudauskas (USA) in Heat 10 of Round 2. Lau’s rail-game was perfectly in sync with the big, open walls of Keramas and saw him post a heat total of 15.57 (out of a possible 20), the highest of the event so far. Gudauskas was left in a combination situation (needing two new scores) from early in the heat and, unable to hunt it down, was eliminated from the Corona Bali Protected.
“My coach told me before that heat that I’m sixth in the world so I just need to surf like I’m sixth in the world,” Lau said. “That definitely gave me confidence and inspired me to put on a solid performance, especially after my first round heat where I didn’t get many opportunities. I was really nervous even with that lead as there was so much time left on the clock and Pat (Gudauskas) is so talented, anything could have happened.”
The opening heat of the day got off to a slow start as Frederico Morais (PRT) and Ian Gouveia (BRA) paddled each other off the peak, battling for priority. Eventually, Morais took control with his trademark power-wraps. Although Gouveia did his best to stay in contention, it was Morais who ended the heat in the progressing spot, leaving Gouveia to end his campaign in Equal 25th place.
“It’s always important to get the first wave of a heat,” Morais said. “I had to settle the nerves and not think about priority, but it can mean you end up off the peak like that. Even though the waves weren’t big and hollow like the last few days, there was still a lot of opportunity for solid, on-the-face surfing, which was good. I’m really happy to make it through Round 2, it is always a tough situation to be in.”
After success World Title campaigns in recent years, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) has found himself uncharacteristically low on the rankings in 2018. But, after today's heat, the Australian looks fired up to make amends at the Corona Bali Pro. Wilkinson executed his trademark hooks and tail-whips to amass two 7-point-rides to easily advance to Round 3 over Joan Duru (FRA).
“It’s about time I get a good result this year, so hopefully I can get on a roll here,” Wilkinson said. “I’m mad about not being in the Uluwatu CT, so I wanted to go out and perform and make a few heats here at the Corona Bali Protected. It hasn’t been a great start to the year for me, but I feel like I have been surfing good and my preparation has been good, but in my heats, I get one wave and then I don’t see another one. Hopefully, that heat turns everything around and I can get on a roll.”
Two exciting Brasilian rookies matched up in Heat 11, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) versus Yago Dora (BRA). Both are known for their high-flying aerial antics and both went for broke in the onshore conditions that were perfect for big airs. Unfortunately, nerves got the best of them as they uncharacteristically fell time-after-time in the matchup. As the heat wound down, they both managed to launch and land some impressive airs, but it was Rodrigues who took the win by a mere 0.13 points.
“It’s so hard to compete against other Brasilians because we are like a family,” Rodrigues said. “I am not very happy with my performance. I felt like I was surfing good this morning, but in the heat it took me eight waves to get a score. Maybe I was nervous because Yago (Dora) is such a great surfer. We both scored a couple waves in the end, it was close so I am happy to win that one and move on to Round 3.”
Other heat winners on Day 3 included 2018 CT Rookie Jesse Mendes (BRA), who looked sharp on his backhand to take down Japanese competitor Kanoa Igarashi (JPN). 2017 Rookie of the Year Connor O’Leary (AUS) fell short in his heat against 2018 CT Rookie Tomas Hermes (BRA) and was eliminated in the last heat of the day.
The WSL Commissioners will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. local time to reassess the conditions and make the next call for a potential 6:30 a.m. start at Keramas.
The Corona Bali Protected presented by Hurley will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL's Facebook page, WorldSurfLeague.com, and the WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL's broadcast partners.
Surfline, WSL forecast partner, are calling for:
Easing SSW swell on Tuesday but still plenty of overhead waves in the tank, especially early. Then a fresh series of overlapping SSW-SW swells move in through the middle to end of the week with a long run of chest-head high to slightly overhead sets. More fun size SSW swell lines up for 5th-7th. Overall, expect surf to be best through first half of each morning with the morefavorable tide/wind scenario.
Corona Bali Protected Remaining Men’s Round 2 Results:
Heat 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.07 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 8.43
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.94 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 7.00
Heat 9: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.33 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.56
Heat 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 15.57 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.67
Heat 11: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 11.40 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 11.27
Heat 12: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.66 def. Connor O'Leary (AUS) 11.34
Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 6: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 8: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Corona Bali Protected Women’s Pro Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Caroline Marks (USA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Carol Henrique (PRT)
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Keely Andrew (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Silvana Lima (BRA), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 6: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW)
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
Jordy Maree and Josefina Ane Clinch Titles at Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres by Quiksilver
Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) earned the biggest wins of their professional surfing careers today when they clinched the men’s and women’s World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) titles at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver.
Veteran former two-time ISA World Longboard Champion Matthew Moir (Cape Town) celebrated his first victory in a WSL rated event by defeating former WSL No. 2 Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in a high performance final that highlighted the talent of local longboard surfers.
The inaugural Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver, Stop No 2 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour, enjoyed great waves and conditions at East Beach in Port Alfred, bringing WSL competition back to the Kowie Rivermouth for the first time since the 1990’s.
On a day when goofy foot surfers (those who ride with their right foot in front) dominated proceedings by filling all six spots in the three finals, Jody Maree led the charge with an outstanding win over red hot Australian Jordan Lawler.
Maree opened his account in the final with two massive backhand turns and then safely completed the close-out re-entry to earn 7.25 out of 10, which ultimately was the highest score of the encounter. He continued to build his heat total with mid-range scores, but Lawler blasted back into contention with a 6.0 and then took the lead with a 6.90 with seven minutes still on the clock.
Holding his nerves in check and using the priority system intelligently, Maree waited for a wave that peeled down the sandbar and hooked into two huge backhand blasts that were rewarded with a 6.45 to regain the lead. Needing a 6.81 with just two minutes remaining, Lawler went for broke on a high flying aerial manoeuvre but couldn’t land it and Maree claimed the win.
“I’m really happy to win my first QS event and want to thank all the people that made the event possible,” said Maree on the podium. “I also want to thank all those who have supported me – my coach, my sponsors, my family and my girlfriend. Thank you so much for helping me get this win.”
Maree was very fortunate to advance from his first heat in the event when he was penalised for a priority interference but managed to progress with a single ride score of 6.75. On finals day he outpointed established QS surfer Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in the semi-finals and scored a narrow win over another seasoned traveler in Slade Prestwich (Durban) in the quarter-finals.
His victory earned Maree R12,000 and 1,000 points on the QS and regional rankings which, combined with his haul of 560 points for a third-place finish in Port Elizabeth last week, sees him jump to the top of the WSL Africa leaderboard.
Lawler started his finals day by eliminating Cape Town based junior Max Elkington (Kommetjie) in the quarters and then delivered the only perfect 10 point ride of the event in his semi-final win over Greg Emslie (East London), one of South Africa’s most celebrated surf stars. The Australian had already posted an excellent 8.0 score and finished with a heat tally of 18.0 out of 20, the highest in the entire men’s event.
Josefina Ane arrived in South Africa last week fresh off a career-best runner-up finish in a QS1,000 event in her hometown of Mar del Plata. The 19-year-old was elated to secure her first title by defeating 14-year-old standout Zoe Steyn (East London) today.
The highest QS ranked woman in the event at No. 56, the Argentinean ousted reigning WSL Africa Junior and QS champions Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) and Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) in the quarters and semis respectively. In the finalshe selected great waves and used her exciting backhand attack to build what became an insurmountable 13.75 point total that her younger rival could not match.
“This is my first QS win and I’m really happy and thankful for all the people who have this event,” said Ane in her heavy Spanish accent. “My English is a little bit bad but I’m really happy and thank you to all the people for coming to this event.”
Steyn usually competes in the junior events but was unfazed by her older opponents in Port Alfred and consistently produced high heat totals throughout the event. She ousted women’s longboard winner Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) from the event in their quarter-final match up and then reached the final by eliminating Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) in the semis.
The result saw the youngster leapfrog into joint first place on the WSL Africa women’s rankings after two events.
The introduction of Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events to the WSL Africa schedule added an exciting new dimension to the contest and the performances produced by the top men and women proved that there is a hotbed of talent in the country The highest heat total of the entire event – a near perfect 18.50 out of 20 – was delivered by Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in his semi-final win over Michael Hill.
Matthew Moir has been at the top of the worldwide longboard scene for two decades and put on a master class to capture the LQS men’s title by defeating Sawyer by 15.25 vs. 13.90 in a pulsating final that saw both men effortlessly combine traditional and new school manoeuvres on their nearly three metre long surfboards.
“It’s amazing that the sponsors let longboarding be part of a shortboard contest,” said Moir. “It is also so good that the World Surf League recognises longboarding again in South Africa. The contest was extremely well and I’m just stoked to win it.”
The final of the LQS1,000 women’s event was run on Saturday with Crystal Hulett taking the win over Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay).
The event also hosted activities designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background. These were coordinated by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, and run by SSA Development Officer, Danielle Powis.
Full results, news, photos and video footage from the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver can be found at:
QS1,000 Men: https://bit.ly/2q99Kfd
QS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2qcAw6G
LQS1,000 Men: https://bit.ly/2H2i8H4
LQS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2HhKbQD
Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver
QS 1,000 Men’s Final
1. Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 13.70
2. Jordan Lawler (Australia) 12.90
QS 1,000 Men’s Semi-Finals
SF1: Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 14.40 def. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 13.25
SF2: Jordan Lawler (Australia) 18.00 def. Greg Emslie (East London) 12.50
QS 1,000 Women’s Final
1. Josefina Ane (Argentina) 13.75
2. Zoe Steyn (East London) 7.50
QS 1,000 Women’s Semi-Finals
SF1: Josefina Ane (Argentina) 11.25 def. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 3.70
SF2: Zoe Steyn (East London) 9.75 def. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 5.05
LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Final
1. Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 15.25
2. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 13.90
LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Semi-Finals
SF1: Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 18.50 def. Michael Hill 14.50
SF2: Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 17.85 def. Thomas King (Cape Town) 11.75
LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Final
1. Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 11.25
2. Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 9.50
LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Semi-Finals
SF1: Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 10.0 def. Mia Baard 4.15
SF2: Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 10.75 def. Tarryn King (Cape Town) 9.25
WSL Africa – Men’s QS Rankings (after event #2 - Port Alfred Classic)
1 Maree,Jordan (Cape Town) 1560
2 Van Zyl, David (Glenashley) 1420
3 Masencamp,Adin (Strand) 1050
4 Lightfoot,Dylan (Jeffreys Bay) 980
5 Kidd,Richard (Ballito) 745
WSL Africa – Women’s QS Rankings (after event #2 - Port Alfred Classic)
1 Pallet,Nicole (La Lucia) 1310
1 Steyn,Zoe (East London) 1310
3 Woolf,Kai (Jeffreys Bay) 1300
4 Smith,Emma (Jeffreys Bay) 955
5 Hogg,Teal (uMhlanga) 860
Next weekend sees the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits at Nahoon Reef in East London, Stop No. 3 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour and the second of five events in the City Surf Series.
2018 WSL Africa Schedule of Events
Completed Port Elizabeth *Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Completed Port Alfred Royal St Andrews 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
Exciting Finish at the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
By Craig Jarvis/WSL | Images: Ian Thurtell/WSL
Monday, April 2, 2018
There has been a lot of talk about Kai Woolf, with surf raconteur Derek Hynd long expounding her skills and talents as world class. Growing up on the walls of Lower Point and then Supertubes in J-Bay, she has honed her backhand skills to a point where she can often seems totally unbeatable.
That was the result today, with Kai winning both the JQS division and the Women's division at the VW Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres by Billabong at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth.
Not known as ‘The Windy City' for nothing, the contest site had the full wind switch during the event, that made for some challenging conditions through a few of the finals. After blowing light onshore and making the waves difficult to find walls and thus high scores, there was a story that a gale-force west wind was heading up the coast. As forecast, it hit the contest site during the women's final, causing the surfers to change their approaches somewhat.
It didn't faze young Kai though, who is used to surfing the waves of J-Bay in the howling offshore winds that are common there, and which see surfers carving off the top or turning mid-face to ensure that they don't get stuck in the lip and blown off the back of the wave. Her approach was successful, and she put Sophie Bell, Anna Jellema-Butler and Olivia Izzard into the minor placings in the JQS final, and defeated Nicole Pallet in the Women's final.
Kai has a long and illustrious professional surfing career ahead of her. Her brave approach when the waves get solid at places like Supertubes draws admiration from surfers and spectators, and she has been winning junior events for a good few years now.
It was an exciting men's final, and a proud moment for David Van Zyl, who took the win from Adin Masencamp. Van Zyl is a hard-working WQS campaigner and this win might see him off on a trajectory that could get him into the big leagues that he is striving for. Without wishing to detract from Adin's performance throughout the event - he was electric from his first heat - Van Zyl is relentless on the Qualifying Series, and this excellent result is just what is needed to get him fired up and winning more heats and events. He's highly skilled in all conditions, charges when it gets bigger, and has the full repertoire of aerial moves when it's smaller and punchy. Van Zyl could possibly be the next South African to climb on and represent on the Championship Tour alongside Jordy Smith and Michael February.
"I remember watching Mikey doing so well in these events last year and then going on to qualify," said Van Zyl. "It's definitely a great start to the year to get a result here, and I'm really hoping I can do the same as Mikey."
Van Zyl will need to keep consistency and a positive approach going into the next two events. Both the next two contests take place this month, being the Royal St Andrews Port Alfred Classic pres by Quiksilver at East Beach in Port Alfred, followed soon thereafter by the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres by Reef Wetsuits at Nahoon Reef in East London. Not long after will see the ZigZag Durban Surf Pro pres by G-Force take place at New Pier in Durban.
Along with @Dillon Hendricks winning the JQS Men, the first event of the City Surf Series proved to be an exciting start to a massive year of surfing for South Africa. This year Africa is set to host 14 events, offering prize-money totaling over R18 million, with the South African domestic tour specifically looking exceptionally healthy.
Day 2 wrap - Sunday 1st April 2018 (all images Ian Thurtell/WSL)
A serene ocean greeted the surfers at the VW Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres by Billabong this morning with a general drop in swell and beautiful glassy conditions the order of the day.
The morning low tide did little for the power of the waves, with small-wave wizardry winning the heats. Those that could whip it around in the weak conditions were the surfers getting the big scores.
An interesting sidebar to this event and to judging on the whole is that the new head judge of the World Surf League's Championship Tour - the tour that every young surfer aspires to be on - has changed the judging standard on this premier tour. Pritamo Ahrendt - the new head judge - has raised the bar, and it's very high. Last year's Corona Open JBay was literally raining tens, and this is no more.
Being a WSL rated Qualification Series event, the new judging criteria has already filtered down to the judges for this event, and the scores were lower than usual. It's good to see - with the raising of the judging bar, surfers have to work that much harder to get the good scores.
Dillon Hendricks did well to be awarded 7 points for his highest scoring ride in the Open Men, Round 3, heat 1 today. It was Dylan Lightfoot however; who emphatically showed that his WQS training and hard work over the last few months has reaped great rewards. His energy and speed in the following heat was next level, and he went to town on his first wave, fitting in a number of hooks and carves, all perfectly flowing into each other, for a score of 8 points. Together with a back-up score of 7.5, Lightfoot took the heat with ease.
One of the most exciting heats of the day was heat 4 of the same round. Local JBay surfer Joshe Faulkner was up against a foreign triumvirate consisting of Ty Watson and Jordan Lawler from Australia as well as Daniel Farr from New Zealand. The odds were stacked against him, but Joshe is a seasoned and tenacious competitor and rose to the occasion, banking an 8.5 for his best wave score, and doing enough to win the heat from second placed Ty Watson. In the process both Lawler and Farr were eliminated from the event. Unfortunately Lightfoot, Faulkner and Watson were all eliminated from the event in their respective quarterfinals, with both Lightfoot and Faulkner shock eliminations, despite showing good form.
Adin Masencamp has been on a roll in this event, and this continued throughout the day today. He dominated his round three heat, winning with relative ease against highly rated Richard Kidd, Brandon Benjamin and Chad Du Toit, before continuing his performance by beating Ty Watson in the quarterfinals.
Masencamp is a fast and radical natural-footer who loves to compete, and loves it more to compete and win.
"The QS events mean a lot, especially for South African surfers," said Adin after his heat win. "It's really great for South African surfing to have such highly rated events in in the country so you don't have to travel, and you obviously feel a lot more at home than you would overseas. I feel like I'm surfing with a lot more confidence than if I were overseas. This is my home, and it's great to have a hometown advantage. The prize money is definitely great, but it's the points that matter at the end. I would love to be in the sixes (WQS 6000 events) and tens (WQS 10,000 events) by the mid year cut-off or by the end of the year, which is most definitely my goal."
In the women's event, much lauded local ripper Emma Smith from JBay had a close one, just managing to get a final wave with less than a minute to go in her round two heat.
"We surfed the heat on pretty much dead low tide, so I knew it was going to be a bit inconsistent and than I needed to sit a bit closer in," said Smith. "I started the heat with getting nothing really, just a few close-outs and low scores, and then I had to play catch-up the whole heat. I paddled down the beach to try and get a few insiders, and in the last minute I managed to get a wave and I just milked it all the way to the beach and just managed to get the score required to get me into second place and through the heat."
While Smith's story was one of positivity, unfortunately last year's champion Crystal Hulett bowed out of the event in this round after a poor performance saw her finish her round 2 heat in fourth place.
A long but great day's worth of surfing sees the event organisers facing the final day with plenty of time in hand and a great day of surf approaching. The forecast shows light offshore winds, sunshine and waves for the final day of the first event of the City Surf Series.
A long but great day's worth of surfing sees the event organisers facing the final day with plenty of time in hand and a great day of surf approaching. The forecast shows light offshore winds, sunshine and waves for the final day of the first event of the City Surf Series.
Lekker - our groms kicked butt in the Sea Harvest Grom Games held at Pipe over the weekend - they won the Surfing Trophy. The Cape Town Surfriders Team posted a total score of 28312 points to win the overall Nelson Mandela Bay Trophy (this included events both in and out of the water). But hey - surfing's about what happens in the water - and we won that hands down. Yeeuw. Well done lighties!
U10: Rory Dace - 1st
U12 Boys: Evan Prins loo - 4th
U14 girls: Hanna Preatorius - 4 th
U14 boys: Lorenzo Perels - 1st; Justin Van Niekerk - 2nd
U16 girls: Catelin Plomaritis - 1st; Chloe Atkinson - 2nd
Sea Harvest Super Surfer: Lorenzo Perels
The full wrap is after all the pics. Thanks to Petronel Posthumus for all the great shots.
Cape Town Surfriders win the Nelson Mandela Bay Trophy for the seventh year in a row at the 2018 Sea Harvest South African Grommet Surfing Games in Port Elizabeth.
Monday March 26th – The Cape Town Surfriders Team posted a total score of 28312 points to win the coveted Nelson Mandela Bay Trophy at the 2018 Sea Harvest SA Grommet Games supported by Sport and Recreation South Africa at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth Sunday (March 25th).
Hosts Nelson Mandela Bay scored 28192 points to finish just 120 points behind the team from Cape Town. This was the seventh SA Grommet Games victory in a row for the Cape Town Surfriders team.
A solid performance by a motivated Buffalo City team saw them accumulate 24573 points to end third ahead of last year’s runners up, eThekweni who posted 21892 points.
Ilembe were fifth, scoring 21841 points, just 51 points behind their neighbours while Cape Winelands were sixth on 21443 points. Eden scored 21086 points to end seventh while King Cetshwayo District’s sole competitor, Ben Knoetze, earned them 850 points and eighth position.
The Mandela Bay Trophy goes to the team that posts the highest points after the four days of competition both in and out of the water.
Nelson Mandela Bay posted 24211 points to win the Surfing Trophy. Cape Town Surfriders were second with 23274 points and Buffalo City came third with 21130 points. Ilembe’s 19268 points put them in fourth place ahead of Eden who scored 19043 points while Cape Winelands were sixth with 18775 points, eThekweni seventh with 18192 points and King Cetshwayo eighth with 850 points.
Cape Town Surfriders successfully defended their 2017 Sea Harvest Aloha Cup title beating Nelson Mandela Bay into second place for the third year in a row. eThekweni were third and Cape Winelands came fourth.
Over 120 girls and boys ranging from Under 8 to Under16 represented eight Districts at this annual event which is Surfing South Africa’s premier entry level inter-provincial tournament. Sponsorship from Sea Harvest, and generous support funding from Sport and Recreation South Africa and friendly hosting by the Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders ensured that the 26th edition of the annual South Africa Grommet Surfing Games was a huge success.
The event was coordinated with great skill by Event Director Shirley Fairall awhile Contest Director Alex Milne, Head Judge Dillan Lowenthal and his officials did a great job over the four days of competition.
Surfing South Africa President Johnny Johnny Bakker was the guest of honour at the opening function and awards ceremony and was on hand over the four days to lend his support and expertise to the event.
Although the Grommet Games is made up of Surfing, a Beach Relay and Paddle Battle events, the Surfing takes the main focus over the four days. There are eight individual surfing categories and the youngest champion was Ben Esterhuyse of Cape Town Surfriders who won the Under 8 Division. The Under 10 Champion was Rory Dace of Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders while the Under 12 Girls and Boys Champions were Anastasia Venter of Cape Winelands Surfriders and Levi Kolnik of Cape Town Surfriders respectively.
The Under 14 Girls gold title was won by Olivia Winter of Cape Town Surfriders and 2018 Sea Harvest Supersurfer, Lorenzo Perels of Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders won the Under 14 Boys Final.
Honours in the Under 16 Girls and Boys Divisions went to Catelin Plomaritis of Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders and Daniel Toerien of Cape Town Surfriders respectively.
Cape Winelands Surfriders deservedly won the Team Spirit Trophy, the Knoetze family of Ben, Anton & May, who travelled from Richards Bay to represent King Cetshwayo District at the event, were awarded the Sportsmanship Trophy and Michal du Plessis was presented with the Judge of the Contest Award.
Paddle battle honours went the way of Adriel Wolmarans of Buffalo City and Daniel Toerien of Cape Town while eThekweni won the Beach Relay.
Surfing South Africa also recognised twenty one surfers and six officials for their outstanding performances at the event and inducted them into the Sea Harvest Grommet Games Stars group, Each of the recipients received a gold medal. The names of the surfing inductees are Rory Dace (NMB),Michael Russel (BC),Cooper Smith (ETK),Tristan Gaylarde – Ralfe (EDEN),Anastasia Venter (CW),Meka Loots (BC),Gemma Hannafey (BC), Levi Kolnik (CTS),Kyan Lugg (BC),Asha Steytler (CTS), Evan Prinsloo (NMB),Olivia Winter (CTS), Adriel Wolmarans (BC),Lily Mellin (BC),Lorenzo Perels (NMB),Justin Van Niekerk (NMB),Ntokozo Maphumalo (ETK), Rourke Nordgaard (CTS), Catelin Plomaritis (NMB), Chloe Atkinson (NMB),Daniel Toerien (CTS), Kealan Cowling (NMB). The Officials who were inducted into the group are Maboetie Baliso (BC), Dayni Loots (BC), Sinesipho Ngungu (EDEN),Vukani Mhluzi (ETK), Linda Hlope (ILEMBE) and Jerry Van Wyk ( NMB).
The Heat Sheets with all the results and finalists plus all the other event results as well as a gallery of photos are posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
The SA Grommet Games is a national tournament with a primary focus on transformation and development within the sport. Strict targets are set when selecting teams for the four days of competition. While the main focus of the event is on surfing, participation in events such as the Paddle Battle, Beach Relay and a Tag Team contest are an integral part of the Grommet Games activities.
The 2018 Sea Harvest South African Grommet Games was supported by Sport and Recreation SA, presented and run by Surfing South Africa and hosted by Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders. Surfing South Africa (SSA) is the recognised governing body for the sport of surfing in South Africa. SSA is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).
By WSL/Nicolas Leroy
The Seat Pro Netanya pres by Reef came to an epic end today with Matthew McGillivray's victory over Charly Martin in the Final. The day started in remains of yesterday's massive storm, and while the lineup was originally shifty with big, clean-out sets, conditions improved considerably throughout the day and gave way to super clean, three-to-four surf.
Charly was first to capitalize on the glassy peaks with a little cover-up and a good turn to post a 6.5, nothing major but the first decent score of the Final. On the 10-minute mark, Charly and Matthew started on back-to-back waves and surfed them pretty much the same, but Matt got the nod with a 7.2 over Charly's 6.9.
Turning the heat gave Matthew a big confidence boost, and the South African soon launched into a big forehand rotation to post an 8.33 and build a solid lead. Despite many comeback efforts from Charly, the situation remained the same and Matthew walked away with the win.
"This feels amazing," he said. "This is my third year on the QS, I've put in a lot of hard work so it feels amazing to finally get a win. Yesterday was huge with the big storm so we were wondering what was going to happen today with the waves, but it got better and better and there were some amazing waves."
Three years in, Matthew's best results have been just a couple of runner-up finishes in Durban and Tahiti, and today was his first-ever win on the big stage. His path to the Final included an incredible seven consecutive heats with a scoreboard over 14 points, and a near-perfect 18.33 in the semis. Not bad for a first time surfing the Med!
"Israel's an amazing country," he added. "Everyone we met here was so passionate about surfing, there are way more surfers that I could have ever expected. Everyone was super friendly and very supportive on the beach, we've had great food every day, it's really been a great trip."
Charly on the other hand is no stranger to winning. His resume boasts a couple of major wins, and his latest to date came in his final event of 2017 in China. It's safe to say he's on a roll and it's going to be interesting to follow him in the next couple of major events in Australia.
"Obviously I would have loved to win this one too," Charly said. "I felt like I had done the hardest part, but I'm stoked to get a Final at my first event of the season. Last year I didn't get a good result until November so I'm definitely starting a lot better. I've had a blast and the past 10 days just flew by. The people and the country are great."
In the first Semifinal, Kei Kobayashi was all over the place. The Californian, who seemed calm and collected up until then, looked like he'd lost all patience and tried a couple of big rotations, but always came short of landing them clean.
Kei jumped from 328th in 2016 to No. 100 on the QS last season, and seeing as he looked sharp all week in Israel, we can expect big things from him this season.
"Matt surfed really well and I knew I was going to need two big scores," he said. "We both knew we're going to go for airs, and I had a couple I knew could have been very big scores but I made mistakes and didn't land them. The waves were firing in the expression session before our heat and I think I frothed out and lost my calm a little."
In the second semifinal, Charly and Nelson Cloarec went heat-to-head in what was probably the closest battle of the day. Nelson had the upper hand for most of the 30-minute heat but Charly came back with a big rotation and finally stopped the former European Junior champ's run in Israel.
"It's really positive to start the year with a result like that," Nelson said. "I've been coming in for three years and have always managed to get a good result so I'm super happy with this experience again. I think this is the best of all three editions waves-wise and I'll definitely be back!"
What was probably most unexpected were a couple of big losses in the Quarters. Miguel Pupo and Jorgann Couzinet fell to Nelson and Matthew respectively. The lineup was a lot shiftier and hard to read in the morning and the two biggest names in the event couldn't find the right waves while the active tactics of their opponents paid off, big time.
Final Results of SEAT Pro Netanya pres. by Reef
1. Mathew McGillivray (ZAF)
2. Charly Martin (FRA)
3. Kei Kobiyashi (USA), Nelson Cloarec (FRA)
5. Reo Inaba (JPN), Jorgann Couzinett (FRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
With the first European QS event now completed, the region's Top 5 stands as follows: European Qualifying Series Top 5:
1 - Charly Martin
2 - Nelson Cloarec
3 - Jorgann Couzinet
3 - Maxime Huscenot
5 - Tom Cloarec
Stop No. 2 on the European Qualifying Series, the QS 1,500 Las Americas Pro Tenerife will take surfers to the Canary Islands from January 29 to February 4.
The first NMBS grom trials were held at Kitchen Windows in JBay on the weekend, in lekker weather and contestable surf. Good turnout and thanks to all the sponsors Billabong for their continuing support of EP surfing. #localislekker
All images Petronel Posthumus
HOSSEGOR, France (Thursday, October 12, 2017) - Following an opening weekend dedicated to women’s action and three consecutive lay days, the Quiksilver Pro France launched in epic conditions at La Graviere. A new swell pushed clean offshore waves in the six-to-eight foot range (1.8 - 2.4 metre) for the men’s first round and eight heats of the second.
The opening two heats of Stop No. 9 of the men’s World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) got off to a slow start as the lineup was still settling from a windy afternoon yesterday. Top seeds Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Owen Wright (AUS) suffered Round Two relegations at the hands of Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Nat Young (USA), respectively.
“I was feeling a bit tired this morning but I’m so happy to finally win a Round One heat,” Kennedy said. “I haven’t won a three-man heat in a CT since Trestles last year, so it feels good to finally put it together.”
“It definitely feels good to skip Round Two, that thing is always deadly,” Young said. “It’s always good to have a heat when the waves are fun. It’s tough to come up against the higher seeds in Round Three, too, whether it’s John (Florence) or Jordy (Smith) or whoever that is at every event, but right now I have no pressure so I’ll just go out there and do my thing.”
World No. 4 Matt Wilkinson (AUS) was the first top seed to click into gear, taking his backhand vertical attack to the clean Graviere rights to post two good scores and advance straight into Round Three. Aussie compatriot Josh Kerr (AUS) narrowly missed the landing of a couple of aerial maneuvers that could have turned the heat but in the end, the slightly safer approach of Wilkinson won the heat.
“It was so fun out there, the tide came in quickly and I knew it was going to move in and become a bit chunkier,” Wilkinson said. “That first 7 was kind of exactly what I was looking for. It’s good to surf waves that have a bit of power, you just pick a line and push as hard as you can. I’m excited coming into this leg. I love surfing here and in Portugal when the forecast is good. If I just keep winning heats and find myself at the two end of these two events I’m definitely going to be back up there for Pipe.”
Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Ethan Ewing (AUS) teamed up in Heat 4 to relegate one more top seed to Round Two in Julian Wilson (AUS). Ibelli was the first surfer to find a good hollow section on the lefts to score a deep barrel for a near-excellent score. But, it was rookie Ewing and an inspired performance on the rights that won him his first Round One win this season. Ewing let loose on a beautiful set wave and put together a combination of three major carves for an 8.40, the biggest score of the day at that point.
“It’s been hard on the CT with waves that I thought were good and scores that weren’t,” Ewing explained. “So I’ll take it when it comes my way. I’m putting less pressure on myself coming into the back half of the year, just trying to have fun and show what I can do.”
Italo Ferreira (BRA) started his Round One heat the best possible way, launching into a massive backhand rotation in the Graviere shorebreak to post a near-perfect 9.50 in the opening minutes. But when facing the reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW), one big score is never going to be enough, and the Hawaiian went to the air as well to post a couple of big numbers and take the win over Ferreira and defending event champion Keanu Asing (HAW).
“I didn’t see his wave, but I heard everyone freaking out and I knew it was a big score, he’s always going to do something massive especially in those conditions,” Florence said. “I was starting to get my composure back towards the end of that heat and got a couple waves.”
World No. 1 Jordy Smith (ZAF) put on a power-surfing clinic on his forehand in the following heat, dominating a Round One battle with talented Frenchman and event wildcard Marc Lacomare (FRA) as well as CT sophomore Kanoa Igarashi (USA). Smith’s flawless approach on the overhead sets won him a 16.10 heat total for a spot into Round Three.
“It’s got a lot of power out there I’m kind of psyched on the conditions, it’s so buttery it’s really nice when you get that open face you can really lay down some tracks,” Smith said. “I never take a three-man heat lightly -- I always try my best to skip those. My boards are feeling really good. It’s kind of the usual that I normally ride and when there’s a bit more power in the waves, my boards seem to love it so I’m stoked!”
Local hero Joan Duru (FRA) galvanized the massive crowds enjoying a picture-perfect day in Southwest France in Heat 7. Duru found two absolute bombs in the opening four minutes of his match-up with Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Miguel Pupo (BRA) and built an incredible 18-point total to combo his two opponents. Duru’s backhand barrel skills came at the perfect time when La Graviere started pulsing deep sections and his punctuation marks under the lip finished the job. A last barrel from Duru in the dying seconds of the heat continued to keep the fans on their toes even if the score was not a substantial one.
“I got a little hometown luck, paddling back from the other side of the peak and getting a wave straight to me,” Duru admitted. “And then paddling back out getting that barrel again. I’m really stoked. I’m lucky Maud (Le Car) was here to run and bring mea board when I broke mine. My main focus is to re-qualify. The rookie of the year race is interesting, but I want to solidify my spot on tour first then see what happens.”
Gabriel Medina (BRA) took on two Hossegor locals as well with Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) in Heat 8. The Brazilian, a two-time winner at the Quiksilver Pro France, engaged in a back-and-forth battle for the lead with Flores while the Italian rookie struggled a little bit more to find waves. Ultimately, it was a backhand combination of radical turns from Medina that won him the heat.
“I love this kind of beach break,” Medina said. “You have so many options to surf. Today was a bit tricky, but I’m happy with the two waves I surfed. Both Leo (Fioravanti) and Jeremy (Flores) spend more time here than anyone on tour, so it was a tough heat but I have spent a bit of time here too and it’s one of the best places for me to get a result.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS) managed to walk through a firework-less heat against Jack Freestone (AUS) and Michel Bourez (PYF) and logically claimed a ticket for Round Three, linking together a couple of nice waves with his signature stylish approach on the clean rights.
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) put a hurdle on Connor O'Leary’s (AUS) Rookie of the Year race, pushing the talented Australian and Jadson Andre (BRA) into the elimination Round Two. Zietz’ marine sense was put to the test and the Hawaiian threaded the long rights perfectly, even finding a deep barrel section close to shore for his highest score of 8.17.
“That’s probably the easiest way to get scores, go straight through the barrel,” Zietz said. “I was kind of lost out there, with a couple giant sets and some white water all the way across. It was kind of a low-scoring heat but I found a lucky little tube and I’m glad I stayed with that one.”
Ian Gouveia (BRA) upset three-time WSL Champion and multiple event winner in France, Mick Fanning (AUS), as well as Frederico Morais (PRT) in their Round One match-up. Adrian Buchan (AUS) took out the final ticket for Round Three, sending Kolohe Andino (USA) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) to the second round.
Round Two of the Quiksilver Pro France launched with a massive upset when talented wildcard Marc Lacomare (FRA) defeated current World No. 3 Julian Wilson (AUS). A rather slow heat saw both surfers exchange scores in the six points range. A final set came right before the buzzer to give Lacomare and Wilson a final opportunity. The Frenchman started on a big left and performed three turns to post a 7.27 and eliminate Wilson.
“World No. 1 or 2 or 3 it doesn’t really matter, all those surfers surf sogood,” Lacomare said. “I just tried to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to surf at home, and tried to have fun and be smart. Every heat I make against those guys is definitely a confidence boost, it will probably help with the last few events of the QS.”
Wilson, who won the Billabong Pro Tahiti and in August, struggled to back up the result with a deceiving 9th in Trestles and his worst finish all year with a 25th in France. With only two events left after France, the Australian’s World Title hopes could be seriously jeopardized if his direct competition,Florence and Smith, go a long way at La Graviere.
“It was a tough heat, it’s shifty out there and a long way out to sea,” Wilson explained. “I didn’t finish two waves that would have probably changed the result of that heat. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the win, this is my poorest result this year but it’s the way it goes. The World Title is my biggest motivation and that was a bit of a dagger in my hopes for that this year. But, I’ve won those next two events before and I’ll look forward to them.”
The next upset came from Miguel Pupo (BRA), who eliminated fellow Brazilian athlete and recent winner in Trestles Filipe Toledo (BRA). Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) continued the trend of upsets in Round Two by eliminating current Rookie of the Year leader Connor O'Leary (AUS).
Frederico Morais (PRT), Kolohe Andino (USA) and Mick Fanning (AUS) took the final three heats out to move into Round Three and avoid an equal 25th finish in Hossegor.
Event officials and surfers will reconvene tomorrow at 8 a.m for a probable start of the remaining heats of the Quiksilver Pro France Round Two. The Roxy Pro France Semifinals will also be on standby.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France, are calling for:
Medium size NW swell will ease through Friday and fade further during the first half of Saturday as favorable wind continues. An even larger swell will fill in for Sunday, building Saturdayafternoon/evening and dropping on Monday. Another strong WNW swell looks increasingly likely for Tuesday before fading Wednesday, although wind conditions may be tricky.
The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app.
The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal, Sport TV in Portugal and the EDGEsport Network.
For all results, photos, video highlights, press releases and LIVE webcast, log on to worldsurfleague.com or the WSL mobile app.
Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 12.00, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.77, Conner Coffin (USA) 6.33
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 11.00, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.17, Owen Wright (AUS) 7.20
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.77, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.50, Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.76
Heat 4: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 15.57, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.33, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.13
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 15.67, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.60, Keanu Asing (HAW) 5.10
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.70, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 10.47
Heat 7: Joan Duru (FRA) 18.00, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.43, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.14
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.86, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.27, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 13.26
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.20, Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.96, Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.40
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.74, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.74, Connor O'Leary (AUS) 10.57
Heat 11: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 15.57, Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.27, Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.16
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.60, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.63, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.60
Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.27 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.23
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.60 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.17
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.97 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.00
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.27 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.50
Heat 5: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 14.60 def. Connor O'Leary (AUS) 11.87
Heat 6: Frederico Morais (PRT) 15.26 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.37
Heat 7: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.50 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.60
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.20 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.84
Remaining Quiksilver Pro France Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 11: Conner Coffin (USA) vs.Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Cape Town Surfriders Clinch Freedom Cup at Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS
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
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
1st Ford van Jaarsveldt 13.90 CTS
2nd Joshe Faulkner 13.70 NMBS
3rd Koby Oberholzer 12.16 ETK
4th Adin Masencamp 12.04 CW
1st Kirsty McGillivray 12.00 NMBS
2nd Nina Harmse 9.83 Eden
3rd Natasha van Greunen 7.83 CW
4th Sarah Ingram 4.13 CW
1st Eli Beukes 16.90 CTS
2nd Aya Gericke 14.37 Eden
3rd Saxton Randall 10.17 ETK
4th Angelo Faulkner 9.16 NMBS
1st Kai Woolf 14.17 NMBS
2nd S'nenhlanhla Makhubu 11.83 ETK
3rd Tayla de Coning 11.23 BC
4th Summer Sutton 9.20 CTS
1st Mitch du Preez 16.44 BC
2nd Daniel Emslie 14.90 BC
3rd Luke Thompson 11.67 ETK
4th Kye Macgregor 7.27 NMBS
1st Zoe Steyn 16.33 BC
2nd Katie Winter 11.67 CTS
3rd Lhea Johnston 9.13 BC
4th Ceara Knight 7.56 CW
1st Kyra Bennie 14.5 CW
2nd Nate Colby 12.67 ETK
3rd Ethan Currin 11.90 BC
4th River Gericke 10.33 EDEN
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
Images Ian Thurtell/Kody MacGregor
Words by Ryan Anderson. Images by Kody McGregor.
There’s a saying which I’m sure you’ve heard many times, “The best surfer in the water, is the one having the most fun!” This adage certainly describes the vibe at the Cobbles Classic event and has gladly been adopted as the mantra for our gathering.
If a weekend of cruising waves, talking story, beach vibes and music sounds like a good time, then this is the event for you! There aren’t many surfing events that leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling and a wide smile. The comradery, community and love of the glide keeps both old and new, coming back to the Cobbles Classic year after year!
As an addition to the surfing and beach vibe of the Cobbles Classic, this year saw the introduction of the Cape Recife Music Festival on the Saturday night. Some great local bands in The Brothers & Too Many Chiefs, as well as national artists such as Charlie Finch, Farryl Purkiss, Desmond & The Tutus and Matthew Mole entertained into the night.
Hidden within the Cape Recife reserve is a surfer’s playground. The most alluring for the logger, is a beautiful cobble stone point with waves that were made for dancing a single fin down the line. Cobbles offers a wide playing field, with a dominant cobble stone point break as well as a couple reef breaks offering some shapely rights and lefts.
All these options allow us to surf two venues in tandem. This means that the action is always on and surfers get to surf the entire range of waves on offer at Cobbles over the weekend. With various divisions to surf in the event, there is a space for everyone to come and enjoy the vibe.
After a weekend of great surfing through the early rounds in some tricky conditions, we checked the surf forecast in anticipation for the final day. Conditions were lining up for an epic end to the event on the public holiday, with a rising swell and offshore winds predicted. Monday dawned over the Cobbles point with ideal conditions! The swell was up and the waves were peeling. This is the what Cobbles is all about and why it’s considered to be the logger’s pilgrimage.
After an incredible display of surfing on the final day, our winners were crowned at a festive prize giving at Ziggy’s.
In a nail biting encounter with exceptional surfing by all the finalists, the Men’s Elite victory went to Michael “Hill Billy” Hill of St Francis Bay, who was crowed “Cobbles King” for 2017, with his second consecutive Cobbles Classic win. Hillbilly’s legendary reaction to the win said all you needed to know about how much it means to win this event!
With some outstanding surfing in the Ladies Elite final, Shannon Hughes of Jeffrey’s Bay, was crowned the 2017 “Cobbles Queen” for the third time.
Allen Harris from East London took out his first win at the Cobbles Classic event in the Men’s Cruiser division title with some smooth logging. Cobbles local lass, Kia Fenton glided her way to victory in the Ladies Cruiser division. Men’s Legends title was won by the evergreen Greg Smith.
The Cobbles Classic specialty awards are as coveted as the division wins. These were our specialty award winners for 2017.
Nixon Men’s Stylemaster – Liam Bulgen
Nixon Ladies Stylemaster – Margreet Wibbelink
Stance Men’s Noserider – Gallad Smith
Stance Ladies Noserider – Mia Baard
Nixon Surfers Surfer – Levi Mayes
A big thanks to our presenting sponsor RVCA South Africa and their team for helping us put on another classic event this year.
We would also like to thank all our other partners: St Francis Brewing Co, Mohair South Africa, Nixon, RYD Accessories, Stance, Wazoogles Superfood, Surf Sense Boardbags, Sticky Bumps, Faithful to Nature, We Care Collective, D’Blanc, Surfers Pledge, The Water Boy, Ziggy’s Rock & Reggae Bar.
The contest results were as follows:
1st Michael Hill
2nd Craig Cuff
3rd Gregg Clarke
4th Gallad Smith
1st Shannon Hughes
2nd Marishka Diebold
3rd Crystal Hulett
4th Margreet Wibbelink
1st Allen Harris
2nd Liam Bulgen
3rd Simon Fish
4th Matthew Hancock
1st Kia Fenton
2nd Tash Mentasti
3rd Margot Saunders
4th Charmaine Adams
1st Greg Smith
2nd George Bunting
3rd Paul O' Connell
4th Volke Diebold