February, Hulett, Elkington and Noguera Take Titles at Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong
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 but testing surf and great weather 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 the QS1,000 rated Men’s event, including the 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 whenever 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, pick up the maximum points available and to 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 which will see him vault from 91st into the top 40 on the QS leaderboard. And he takes the early lead in the race for the WSL Africa title which means 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, 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.I’m really pleased about the amount of local 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 older sibling Jake rode the highest scoring wave of the 25 minute clash to grab the 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. ‘It 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. This 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 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, who 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 on 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 the programme was supported by Volkswagen and the National Lotteries Commission.
Results, images and video footage from the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong 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 presented by Billabong 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
Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong 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
Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong 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
Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong 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.
The second event on the 2017 WSL Africa calendar, the Buffalo City Surf Pro at Nahoon Reef in East London, runs from Saturday to Monday, 15-17 April, and features QS1,000 rated events for Men and Women and JQS1,000 rated events for Junior Men & Women.
All images Ian Thurtell
Top Seeds Dominate Opening Day of Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro
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.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Pro presented by Billabong & Volkswagen is the first professional surfing event sanctioned by WSL, and will be held on the 7th to 9th April at Pipe, PE.
The event will feature a field of 128 Surfers from South Africa and across the world in Men and Women's QS1000 events as well as Boys and Girl's JQS competitions.
This is the first event of the newly launched City Surf Series which will seek to provide South African surfers with opportunity to compete regularly for QS points in South Africa as well as against international surfers.
The Beershack 2017 EP Longboarding Team, with support from Billabong, has been announced.
Congratulations to all the surfers who made the team. Colours awards will be next Saturday 8 April at 6 for 7pm at Richmond Hill Brewing Company in Baakens Valley. All proceeds from the consumption of "CarParkJohn" that night will come to EP Longboarding - so work up a thirst by paddling from Millers to Cobbles and back!
Thanks to Matt and Kerry of Beershack for the awesome sponsorship.Watch this space for events in the weeks leading up to our departure for Durban.
Event: Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel
Venue: Pollock Beach, Port Elizabeth
Dates: 25-26 March 2017
Max Elkington Continues Winning Streak in Billabong Junior Series
Max Elkington continued his phenomenal winning streak by claiming his 15th national age group event title when he clinched the U16 Boys crown in the Billabong Junior Series presented All Aboard Travel at Loch Ness in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
The first of four surfing events that will crown champions in five age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year in October was held in good waves at the Pipe in Port Elizabeth on Saturday before small waves and onshore winds saw organisers move to the open ocean ‘wildside’ where the finals were completed in tricky head-high surf.
Elkington, 15, caught the best wave that came through in the final and belted a series of radical manoeuvres to register his sixth consecutive Billabong Junior Series event win, pocketing R1,200 and taking the early lead in the series rankings. Fellow Kommetjie resident Eli Beukes hung onto second place ahead of Bryce Du Preez (East London) and Dillon Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay) who were third and fourth respectively.
In the U16 Girls’, Kayla Nogueira of Umhlanga turned the tables on S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu of Durban (who won the series title last year) in a tightly fought duel where the winning points were scored on the last ride of the final. Tayla de Coning (East London) and Zoe Steyn (East London) took the minor places.
The U14 Boys was another tight affair with Daniel Emslie, up from the U12 division last year, found the best backup wave after all four finalists registered one good ride each. Nate Spalding (Durban), Mitch du Preez (East London) and Travis Pearce (Kommetjie) finished in that order.
Kayla Nogueira secured her second title at the event when she dominated the U14 Girls division, winning each heat she contested including the final where she finished in front of Lisa van Heerden (Jeffreys Bay) and Aimee du Preez (East London). Caroline Brown (Hout Bay) incurred a priority interference penalty that saw her lose one of her two counting rides and she dropped from second to fourth place.
The U12 Boys title went to Kyra Bennie (Vredehoek) who convincingly beat local pair Nathan Plomaritis and C-Jay Posthumus with Ethan Currin (East London) in fourth. The U12 Girls result was also affected by an interference call that saw Lisa van Heerden relegated to second spot behind winner Zia Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay), with Emma Bedser (East London) and Luanne Hurst (Cape Town) collecting third and fourth places.
The newly introduced U10 division was completed in tricky waves at the Pipe before the event was moved and was dominated by Sergio Nogueira (Umhlanga). Three East London surfers,Davey Emslie, Michael Russel and Josh Malherbe finished second to fourth in the youngest division in the series events, which is supported by Sea Harvest.
Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) boosted the best aerial manoeuvre during the VonZipper Airshow and took home R2,000 from the winner-takes all 30 minute heat, while Davey Emslie was awarded the Billabong Best Claim of the Contest and a hamper of Billabong products.
Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel – Event #1 – Port Elizabeth
1 Max Elkington (Kommetjie) R1,200
2 Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) R800
3 Bryce du Preez (East London) R600
4 Dillon Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay) R400
1 Kayla Nogueira (Umhlanga) R1,100
2 S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) R750
3 Tayla de Coning (East London) R550
4 Zoe Steyn (East London) R350
1 Daniel Emslie (East London) R1,200
2 Nate Spalding (Durban) R800
3 Mitch du Preez (East London) R600
4 Travis Pearce (Kommetjie) R400
1 Kayla Nogueira (Umhlanga) R1,200
2 Lisa van Heerden (Jeffreys Bay) R750
3 Aimee du Preez (East London) R550
4 Caroline Brown (Hout Bay) R400
1 Kyra Bennie (Vredehoek) R1,200
2 Nathan Plomaritis (Port Elizabeth) R800
3 C-Jay Posthumus (Port Elizabeth) R600
4 Ethan Currin (East London) R400
1 Zia Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay) R1,000
2 Lisa van Heerden (Jeffreys Bay) R700
3 Emma Bedser (East London) R500
4 Luanne Hurst (Cape Town) R300
1 Sergio Nogueira (Umhlanga) R900
2 Davey Emslie (East London) R450
3 Michael Russel (East London)R350
4 Josh Malherbe (East London) R300
Full results and a photo gallery are available on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
VonZipper Airshow - R2 000
Luke Slijpen (Llandudno)
Billabong - Best Claim of the Event – Product Hamper
Davey Emslie (East London)
See all the results and a gallery of images from the event at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
The Billabong Junior Series is supported by All Aboard Travel, BOS, VonZipper and Zigzag.
All images Billabong/McGregor
Billabong Junior Series Gets Underway in Port Elizabeth this Weekend
The Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel gets underway at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth this weekend with the first of four surfing events that will crown champions in five age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year.
The world’s longest running junior surfing series has nurtured the competitive careers of countless local surfers including 2016 world title runner-up Jordy Smith and former CT campaigners Bianca Buitendag, Travis Logie, and Rosy Hodge along with current QS standouts Beyrick de Vries, Michael February and Matt McGillivray.
Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, 25 and 26 March, this weekend’s event features 3A rated Surfing South Africa (SSA) events for U16, U14, U12 and U10 boys and girls with prize-money in all divisions and ranking points counting towards both the Billabong Junior Series and South African Surf Tour (SAST) 2017 titles.
“We are excited to be launching the 20th annual Billabong Junior Series in Port Elizabeth,” said Billabong Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “It’s a great time to be a junior surfer in South Africa at the moment, and Billabong is proud of our junior surfing legacy.”
All Aboard Travel, the new presenting sponsor for the series, will up the ante by providing tickets to Bali for the overall series winners of the U18 Men’s and Women’s JQS Pro Jnr divisions. BOS Ice Tea will enhance their long standing support for junior surfing by taking the title sponsorship for the second event in the series, the BOS Cape Crown presented by Billabong in Cape Town in May.
The U10 division, supported by Sea Harvest, makes its debut in the Billabong Junior Series and has been introduced to foster and encourage youngsters to become involved in competitive surfing as early as possible.
The huge entry from the country’s top surfers aged 16 and under for this weekend is headed by Max Elkington (Kommetjie), Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) and S'Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) in the U16 Boys and Girls’ divisions. The U14, U12 and U10 divisions are filled by the best competitors from all points of the coastline.
Competitor registration takes place at the event site from 2pm on Friday and continues on Saturday morning.
See the provisional Event Format (subject to change) and the heat draws for all divisions at http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
The Billabong Junior Series is supported by All Aboard Travel, BOS, VonZipper and Zigzag.
COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Sunday, March 19, 2017) - Owen Wright (AUS) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) claimed victory today at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast, the opening stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), in four-to-six foot (1 - 2 m) waves at the world-famous Snapper Rocks. An incredible finals day delivered two Australian event champions, and both Wright and Gilmore will take the coveted Jeep Leaders’ Jersey heading into the next event on the CT, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
Wright claimed his third CT victory today by defeating close friend and teammate Matt Wilkinson (AUS) in what was one of the most inspiring comebacks in surfing history. Wright sat out the entire 2016 season due to a career-threatening, traumatic brain injury he suffered on Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii in 2015 and the Quiksilver Pro marked his triumphant return to the Championship Tour after accepting the injury wildcard for 2017. The win today is his best ever result on the Gold Coast and earns Wright the top spot on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“At the start of February, I was sitting in the doctor’s office and there were question marks on the year,” Wright said. “So to be sitting here right now, we just pushed hard and went hard. I confronted every fear of getting back into it. There were a lot of fears I needed to push through in order to get back into the sport and back into what pretty much took me out and could have taken me out forever. I kept going and kept doing it. I am just so stoked.
“I couldn’t have done it without all the support of my friends and family, including my partner and my little baby boy,” continued Wright. “We just kept going and the team just kept saying, ‘Keep breaking it down,’ and ‘Keep going Owen, keeping getting back there.’ This is what I love. This is what I love doing.”
The Quiksilver Pro final saw Wright take on Wilkinson in a thrilling battle of the goofy-footers. Both surfers went wave for wave, but it was Wright who claimed the win with an excellent 8.33 and 6.33 by showcasing his powerful backhand snaps. Wilkinson, with two 6-point rides, was not able to deliver the required scores to defend his event title.
Defending event winner Wilkinson dispatched world champions Joel Parkinson (AUS) and John John Florence (HAW) en route to his second consecutive Gold Coast Final. With two previous CT wins under his belt, the runner-up finish takes Wilkinson up from 5th to 2nd on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“To be in another Final here is a dream,” said Wilkinson. “I obviously wanted to win but Owen [Wright] has made me cry about five times this week. To see him last year was one of the toughest things I’ve ever seen and for Owen to be in the this event is one of the most amazing things, but to go and win is incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to beat me. He’s inspired me so much and to come back and do this is unreal.
“Coming into the event this year I did have a sneaky bit of confidence but you do think about all the work that the others have put in on the off season,” continued Wilkinson. “Now I guess I feel a lot more confident and I feel like my surfing is the best it’s ever been so I’m really excited to go for the World Title.”
2016 WSL Champion Florence was eliminated by eventual runner-up Wilkinson by a narrow margin of 0.40 in the Semifinals. Florence’s 3rd place finish is his best result on the Gold Coast and most successful start to the Championship Tour season. Florence will go into the next event ranked 3rd on the Jeep Leaderboard with the goal of reclaiming the Jeep Leader Jersey from Wright.
“In heats like that, there is isn’t too much that I could’ve done differently,” Florence said. “It is funny because almost the identical thing happened to me last year against Stuart Kennedy, but I am stoked. Third place is the best I’ve done here at Snapper. We’ve got such a long year ahead. Anything can happen and I’m excited. I’m happy. I am going to head over to Margaret River early and try to get barreled before everyone gets there.”
Wright took out 2014 WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) in an intense Semifinal match-up. Compared to his 13th place result last season, Medina’s 3rd place finish offers a strong start to his 2017 World Title campaign. Medina is now ranked 3rd on the Jeep Leaderboard.
The six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) claimed her sixth Roxy Pro title today after defeating Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Final. Today’s win marks Gilmore’s 25th elite tour victory and her first since the Cascais Women’s Pro in 2014. The result will move Gilmore up from 6th to 1st on the Jeep Rankings.
“I can’t believe it, I’ve been visualizing holding that trophy so much,” Gilmore said. “It was so hard against Lakey [Peterson]. I’m so happy to have all the support from everyone here and there’s nothing better than winning at home.”
Gilmore previously dispatched three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Quarterfinals with a perfect 10-point ride and compatriot Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the Semifinals. Moore, who came into the event ranked third in the world, will move to fifth. Fitzgibbons’ Semifinal berth will see her climb up five places to third on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“I haven’t had the yellow jersey for a while and it’s going to feel so good to put that on,” continued Gilmore. “Getting to win an event again was really cool and it feels really rewarding to win. It’s so far from here but I’d love to win another World Title. It’s the greatest feeling in the world to win here, in the greatest place on earth in my eyes.”
The Roxy Pro Final saw Gilmore and Peterson do battle for the win. Peterson got to work early, posting two mid-range scores, but local favorite Gilmore kicked things off with a commanding 7.93 on her opening ride. Gilmore continued to pull out all the stops with big fin-throws and sharp turns to earn an excellent 8.67, putting more pressure on the Californian, who was not able to answer back. This Final marks the pair’s fourth head-to-head match-up, with Gilmore taking the win each time.
Peterson has been on a tear throughout the competition, posting consistently high scores including a perfect 10 in Round 2 and the two highest heat totals of the Roxy Pro. Peterson previously defeated Johanne Defay (FRA) in the Semifinals and reigning WSL Champion and defending event winner Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Quarterfinals en route to the Final.
With one event win so far during her six year career on the Championship Tour, at the US Open of Surfing in 2012, today is her best result at Snapper Rocks, having previously made the Semifinals in 2014 where she was defeated by Bianca Buitendag (ZAF). Today’s result sees her move up from 13th to 2nd place on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“I can’t complain too much with the result,” Peterson said. “I just missed it by one spot so it keeps the fire lit in me. It stings a little, but I really think I put together a great contest and did my absolute best. It was a really fun time and I’m so stoked the waves worked out as well, we got pumping surf for this event. To compete against Stephanie [Gilmore] here gives me chills and is one to remember.
“Margaret River is a big shift, but I’m excited this year,” Peterson continued. “I feel pretty comfortable in the bigger stuff now so I hope we get some waves. Everyone is surfing so well this year so it’s really fun to be part of it. I want to win the World Title for sure. After sitting on the sidelines and watching Tyler [Wright] dominate last year, I wanted to tap into that and come out guns blazing.”
Reigning WSL Champion and defending event winner Tyler Wright (AUS) was eliminated by Peterson in the Quarterfinals. Wright, with a 9.93 two-wave combined score, could not find the waves to escape Peterson’s near-perfect 9.27 and 7.83. Wright’s 5th place result will move her from first to 5th on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
“We really missed Lakey [Peterson] on tour last year so it’s amazing to have her back,” Wright said. “She came out hard and put me on the back foot and I never really got back on the front. This is a new year so I’m not going to focus too much on last year. It was tough but all and all I’m pretty happy with how I surfed.”
In their eighth head-to-head match-up, Medina earned his sixth win over 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in the all-star Quarterfinal heat. The battle for the win came down to the dying seconds where both put all on the line in their last ride. Medina came away with the win after being awarded a near-perfect 9.17 to Slater’s 7.50. The four-time event winner will be eliminated with a 5th place result to kickstart his hunt for a 12th World Title.
2017 CT Rookie Connor O’Leary (AUS) put up a solid fight against Owen Wright in the Quarters. With a slow start to the heat, the critical exchanges came down to the final minute where Wright got the edge to take the win. As the only rookie to make it this far in the men's event, O’Leary’s Rookie of the Year campaign is looking strong. He will head into the next event moving up to 5th on the Jeep Leaderboard.
En route to the Semifinals, Florence knocked out Brazilian challenger Italo Ferreira (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. Ferreira will earn an Equal 5th place finish, his best ever result on the Gold Coast.
Highlights from the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast are available at WorldSurfLeague.com.
The next stop on the 2017 WSL Championship Tour is the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia from March 29 to April 9. The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and the WSL’s Facebook page as well as Fox Sports in Australia, Sky NZ, SFR Sports in France, Sport TV in Portugal, EDGE Sports in China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and other territories and on Globo TV in Brazil.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 - Owen Wright (AUS) 14.66
2 - Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.50
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Results (1st to SF, 2nd = 5th):
SF 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.90 def. John John Florence (HAW) 15.50
SF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.74 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.44
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Results (1st to SF, 2nd = 5th):
QF 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.00 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.37
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 14.86 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.33
QF 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.00 def. Connor O'Leary (AUS) 11.76
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.34 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.83
2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast):
1 - Owen Wright (AUS) 10,000 pts
2 - Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8,000 pts
3 - John John Florence (HAW) 6,500 pts
3 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6,500 pts
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.60
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.66
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Results (1st, 2nd):
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 18.60 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.70
SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.27 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.86
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Results (1st to SF, 2nd = 5th):
QF 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.44 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.50
QF 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 17.10 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.93
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.00 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 13.63
QF 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.50 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.83
2017 WSL Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Roxy Pro Gold Coast):
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10,000 pts
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 8,000 pts
3 - Johanne Defay (FRA) 6,500 pts
3 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,500 pts
Photo credits: WSL/Cestrai/Sloane
Pollock Beach in Nelson Mandela Bay to host the South African Grommet Surfing Games for the 25th year.
Over 120 surfers representing eight Districts out of three Provinces will compete in the historical 25th edition of the Billabong South African Grommet Games presented by Sea Harvest, at Pollock Beach in Nelson Mandela Bay from Saturday to next Tuesday (March 18th to 21st).
This unique surfing tournament is supported by Billabong, Sea Harvest, the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and the National Lotteries Commission and will get under way on Friday March 17th at 7.00pm when the official opening function takes place in the Victoria Park Grey Primary School Hall in Walmer.
The SA Grommet Games began as the Development Championships and was Introduced into South African surfing culture after unification in 1991 as part of Surfing’s commitment to transformation and development. The objective of the event in 1991 was to give young surfers from different backgrounds, communities and cultures the opportunity to participate in a an event that not only had a competitive element but also focused on fun and camaraderie.
Many South African surfers who began their competitive surfing careers at this event have gone on to compete at National and International level and are evidence that the strategy behind the presenting of the annual grommet Games is sound.
The Billabong SA Grommet Games presented by sea Harvest continues to be a premier event on the annual surfing south Africa calendar and is regarded by Surfing South Africa as a vital and important tournament. It certainly takes its place with distinction alongside other major National events and is a defining tournament on the Surfing South Africa calendar.
The Grommet Games features eight divisions for girls and boys with the youngest surfers in the contest competing in the Under 8 Division and the oldest taking part in the competitive Under 16 Boys and Girls group.
The Grommet Games highlights the ongoing transformation process within Surfing South Africa and Districts are set strict criteria by Surfing South Africa when it comes to selecting their teams.
While much of the focus is on surfing, events such as a paddle battle, beach flags and the Sea Harvest Aloha Cup tag team surfing competition are included in the activities that take place over the four days.
The Team with the highest points total will take home the Mandela Bay Trophy, which has been won by Cape Town Surf riders since 2014 while the team that displays the most spirit and support during the contest will win the coveted Team Spirit Trophy.
Teams competing at this year’s event are from the City of Cape Town Surfriders, Cape Winelands Surfriders, Eden Surfriders, Buffalo City Surfriders, eThekweni Surfriders, Ugu Surfriders, the newly formed iLembe Surfriders and the hosts, Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders.
The Billabong SA Grommet Games is supported by Billabong, Sea Harvest, the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and Lotto.
The event is presented and produced by Surfing South Africa and hosted by the Nelson Mandela Surfriders.
Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport in South Africa and a member of the South African Confederation of Sport and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).
Wednesday 1 March 2017
Launch of City Surf Series heralds Africa’s Best Ever Year for WSL Surfing
- WSL Africa to Host 13 Events Offering Prize-Money Totaling 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 1-Dec31 Durban Cell C Goodwave
See more about the WSL schedule of events at www.WorldSurfLeague.Com and on the WSL App
About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.
The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.
Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
Surfing SA Press Release
The SWOT Surf Club A team has won the 2017 Billabong SA Interclub Surfing Championships beating 2016 runners up CYOH Surf Club by a mere 4,4 points in tough conditions at the Seal Point beach break in Cape St Francis yesterday. (Sunday February 12th).
The Muizenberg based Club, whose full name is “Surfers With Original Talent”, travelled to the national Interclub Championships with an A and B side determined to improve on their semi final result last year. Determination, team spirit, good organization and hands on coaching paid off and the SWOT Club returns home knowing that the 2018 National Interclub Championships will be hosted at a venue of their choice. Led by Danielle Johnson, the winning team included her brother Craig, Brandon Benjamin, Papi Makanyane and Dillon Fernandez and was coached by Mark Powiss. The SWOT B Team also did well to finish 10th overall.
This was the third year in a row that Port Elizabeth based CYOH Surf Club has finished as runners. They pushed 2016 champions and hosts Seal Point Surf Club into third place while the JBay Boardriders Surf Club of Jeffreys Bay, came fourth.
Durban based Sisonke Surf Club A team put together a massive performance to reach the semi finals and had to settle for joint fifth place with newcomers Tripout Surf Club of Buffels Bay but Sisonke improved on their seventh place result in 2016.
A record twenty four teams representing twenty surf clubs from as far afield as Johannesburg participated in this annual club get together which has grown in numbers over the last six years.
The event was hosted for the second year in a row by two time champions, Seal Point Boardriders,.
The South African Interclub Championships is a Surfing South Africa event made possible support from Billabong and Sport and Recreation South Africa.
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). SSA is the governing body for all surf riding in South Africa and is recognized as such by Sport and Recreation South Africa.
1. SWOT SURF CLUB A TEAM 139,1pts
2. CYOH SURF CLUB 134,7pts
3. JBAY BOARDRIDERS CLUB 127,0pts
4. SEAL POINT BOARDRIDERS A TEAM 120,9pts
5. SISONKE SURF CLUB A TEAM
5. TRIPOUT SURF CLUB
7. KOWIE BOARDRIDERS
7. JBU SURF CLUB
7. VIC BAY SURF CLUB
10. EDEN UPRISING CLUB
10. SWOT SURF CLUB B TEAM
10. BLUFF SURF CLUB
13. JEFFREYS BAY SURF CLUB
13. SEAL POINT BOARDRIDERS B TEAM
13. SISONKE SURF CLUB B TEAM
13. JAMMIN SURF CLUB
13. MADIBAZ SURF CLUB
19. JOHANNESBURG SURF CLUB
19. SUBMERSIBLES SURF CLUB
19. 9 MILES SURF CLUB A TEAM
19. 9 MILES SURF CLUB B TEAM
19. GRAVITAS SURF CLUB
19. GROMBLITZ SURF CLUB