SOUTH AFRICAN LONGBOARDING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sponsored by Cape St Francis Resort, Tiletoria and LaFarge
26TH APRIL to 2nd MAY 2015
200 of South Africa’s top Longboard surfers are about to descend upon Port Elizabeth and Seal Point to compete in Surfing South African sanctioned event - the 26th Annual South African Longboard Champs. Defined by the board size (9 foot or more), this growing sport will put talent against talent in pursuit of the coveted winning trophy.
Thanks to the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment center, the contest begins with an Opening Night on Saturday 26th April at the same venue – where the contending four provinces will converge for the contest briefing by Contest Directors Dave Lipschitz and Chris Dunt.
The first two days of the event, (Sunday 26th and Monday 27th April) will be held in Port Elizabeth at a roving venue, to be decided upon on Saturday. All weather reports at this stage point to surfable conditions . From Tues 28th, the contest moves to the famous Seal Point at Cape St Francis, where it will remain until the finals scheduled for Saturday 2nd May.
Sponsored by Cape St Francis Resort, Tiletoria and Lafarge, this contest promises excitement, fun, and some tough competition between top surfers who will do their utmost to win for their province. Names to watch are : Steven Sawyer, Tom King, Justin Bing and Tristan Lev in the men’s section, and Roxy Davis, Michelle Von Kempen, Kay Holt in the Ladies Division.
During the week at Cape St Francis Resort there is lots to look forward to: Apart from Joe Fish restaurant and the warm and friendly bar at the resort, there is a movie night on Tues. The Brothers and Gino Fabbri will be rocking the crowds on Wednesday evening and the Gala prize giving on Saturday evening ends the competition. Tiletoria and photographer kody Mcgregor have sponsored the 70 unique trophies.
Thanks too, to Billabong for supplying the apparel and contest vests! And for spectators, there will be a “Learn to Surf” session sponsored by Roxy and Surf Emporium, and Red Bull will be there in full force to make sure we get and earn our wings.
We also have a Physio and Massage Service by Marelize Dalton, a Physiotherapist from Sophie Chandler Physiotherapy for those who exert with a little too much zest. And for the boards that break, Mike Beck is on hand to provide the much needed service for them.
Four winners from SA Champs automatically qualify to compete in the ISA World Champs held in November. South Africa is currently the number 2 seed in the world (out of 32 countries).
Daily reports can be heard on AlgoaFM, and on the South African Longboarding Facebook page.
For more info please call EP Longboarding President, Sandy Coffey on 0832657804.
Adriano de Souza (BRA) has won the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). Main Break delivered another morning of great conditions and the world’s best surfers battled each other to win the event. An exciting clash saw De Souza claim his fifth CT victory and defeat John John Florence (HAW) in a thrilling Final.
“I’ve just beaten the best surfer on the planet!” said De Souza. “I’m so happy and I feel so motivated. After reaching the Final in Bells and not winning I was really spurred on. It’s such an honor to put my name on the stairs here. Every morning I walk down them and see those names and just wish that my name would be there some day.”
De Souza’s tenth year on the CT has seen an incredible run of form for the Brazilian who has had a fantastic start to 2015 after a Semifinal berth on the Gold Coast and a runner-up finish at Bells Beach. The win today sees him claim the gold leader jersey and move to the top of the rankings heading into the fourth event of the year, the Oi Rio Pro.
“John John (Florence) is one of the most crazy talents we have on Tour and we just had a blast out there,” continued De Souza. “I’ve been watching John John through this event and he’s been killing it. I’m really motivated going into Rio and I feel like I have to keep improving and putting in hard work.”
De Souza previously eliminated Taj Burrow (AUS) and 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) on his way to the Final.
“I think everything that happened in this contest was a challenge,” said De Souza. “We had great conditions at The Box and amazing conditions at Main Break. I really believed in myself out there and I’m so happy and so pleased to win. The World Title race is well and truly underway now and people will definitely be trying to catch me.”
Today is the first Final appearance of the year for Florence and his fifth in CT history. A runner-up finish at Margaret River marks a return to form for the Hawaiian after two 13th-place finishes at the opening two events of the season. The result is his best of the year and moves him up to eighth place place on the rankings heading into Rio. Florence, the 2012 event winner, previously dispatched Nat Young (USA) in the Semifinals and wildcard Jay Davies (AUS) in the Quarterfinals.
“I love coming down here,” said Florence. “Last year I lost early and didn’t get the chance to surf at The Box in a heat so it’s been a really amazing event to surf over there and then come to Main Break and do the biggest turns you can possibly do. The end section is really tricky, it’s really flat then doubles up and it’s really hard to time it right and I made a couple of mistakes. I was stoked to get one really good wave in the Final though. Adriano (de Souza) is so gnarly, he’s so consistent with everything. He only caught two waves out there and they were both high eights and I was blown away.”
De Souza and Florence have had two previous head-to-head CT match-ups, winning one apiece. Today’s Final got off to an exciting start with an opening exchange that saw De Souza deliver two big carving turns ending with a free-fall drop for an excellent 8.93 while Florence failed to complete his ride and earned a 7.00. Florence also went down on his second wave for a 7.87 and again on his third wave. De Souza continued to display his critical surfing for another strong score, an 8.60 for a 17.53 heat total and the lead. Florence was able to complete his fourth wave and was rewarded with a near-perfect 9.00 but it wasn’t enough to take the lead and the Hawaiian was left chasing an 8.53. The Brazilian had priority and took a wave with one minute remaining to block Florence and secure the win.
Nat Young (USA) secured his second Semifinal berth of the year after taking on Florence in the opening Semifinal, the first man-on-man heat for the pair in CT history. Florence was the first to post a significant score, an excellent 8.17, and take the lead. Young delivered three small scores but was left in a combination situation after the young Hawaiian backed up his score with a 7.00. Young answered quickly but couldn’t break the combination. With seven minutes remaining the Californian found his best wave for an excellent score but Florence immediately came back to improve his score and take the win. Today’s result sees Young move up to fifth place on the rankings.
“It’s been an interesting contest surfing The Box on my backhand and surfing really big Margarets,” Young said. “I had a lot of good heats and I’m stoked with the way I surfed. Obviously that last heat wasn’t what I wanted after waiting for six days, but I did what I could out there. I knew it was going to be a tough heat, John John (Florence) is incredible at The Box and a former winner here, but I knew I could beat him if I surf the way I did earlier in the event, but I didn’t put myself on the best waves and that’s how the heat ended.”
An incredibly close heat unfolded between local surfer Taj Burrow (AUS) and De Souza in the second Semifinal. Today is the 17th CT match-up for the pair and Burrow still holds the edge with 10 wins to De Souza’s seven. Burrow, the 1997 event winner, took the first ride of the heat with three strong maneuvers on a left and the Brazilian quickly responded with a series of smooth carves. With the pair neck and neck at the halfway point each of surfers found a wave. De Souza was rewarded with a 7.03 to take the lead while Burrow received a 5.77. The local surfer failed to complete a ride at the five-minute mark and another strong ride from De Souza saw him increase his lead, holding on to it for the remaining minutes of the heat and taking the win. The result is Burrow’s best of the year and sees him move up to sixth place on the rankings.
“I’m pretty devastated that I couldn’t find a wave in the end there,” Burrow said. “I had plenty of opportunities throughout the heat and I let Adriano (de Souza) get under my skin after we hassled each other at the start. I don’t like surfing heats like that, it bugs me. I had a good start to the heat and I just couldn’t find a six at the end there, which is the most frustrating part because you could get a six so easily out there. My board just felt a little long and it didn’t quite go my way.”
Watch highlights from the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro at WorldSurfLeague.com.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Final Results:
1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) - 17.53
2: John John Florence (HAW) - 16.87
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 16.87 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.90
SF 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.66 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.27
NMBS? That's the new acronym for EP Surfing. Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders. It's a long story. I'll tell it to you soon.
Here's the results from the Masters second trial at PA. Big surf smashed the coast and the guys had their work cut out for them. Coupla serious beatings on the beachie. Rumour has it that Deno got slammed so bad the ou's didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Of course they laughed!
A thrilling day of action unfolded at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), as the Semifinalists were decided in large, clean surf at Main Break. The event ran through Men’s Rounds 4, 5 and the Quarterfinals and only four competitors remain in contention for a win in Margaret River.
John John Florence (HAW) became the first Semifinalists today after defeating Jay Davies (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. Davies opened with a 6.17 for an early lead but the Hawaiian looked electric in the large surf at Margaret River, answering with a series of stylish turns for an 8.67 and a lead change. The pair went wave for wave in the closing ten minutes of the heat, with both surfers posting good scores but it was Florence who got the better of the exciting exchange, finding a 9.20 for the win.
“I was so nervous because Jay (Davies) is such a good surfer,” said Florence. “I’ve had the pleasure of surfing against him a few times in the past and especially in these kinds of waves he’s such a strong surfer. So going out there to Main Break like that with those big open rights I was definitely pretty nervous. It took me a couple of waves to get going but it was a really fun heat. I was stoked we were able to get back-to-back waves like that.”
Wildcard Jay Davies (AUS) has had an incredible run of form in the competition, eliminating both Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Mick Fanning (AUS) before taking down Jeremy Flores (FRA) in Round 5 today en route to the Quarterfinals. He goes home with a 5th-place finish at his first CT event.
“I didn’t think I’d make it this far at all,” Davies said. “I was just going to wait and see how I went in the first heat but I guess I got some confidence surfing The Box. I’m pretty stoked with where I ended up and I got to surf against one of my favorite surfers today. It makes me feel very humble to hear the local crowds and be the people’s champion for today. I wish I could have gone further for everyone.”
In a repeat of 2014, Nat Young (USA) and Michel Bourez (PYF) matched-up in the Quarterfinals today. Unlike last year it was the American who came out on top with two seven-point rides, eliminating the defending event winner and securing his place in the Semifinals where he will face Florence. The 5th-place finish for Bourez marks his best result of the year.
“It definitely seems like the swell is picking up a bit,” said Young. “The wind is coming up too so it’s difficult but it’s a pretty awesome day, it couldn’t get much better. Last year Michel (Bourez) and I stayed together and met in the Quarterfinals so it’s great to get him back this year.”
At the halfway point it was Julian Wilson (AUS) that had the edge over local surfer Taj Burrow (AUS) in their Quarterfinal bout. Burrow was left looking for a 6.83 and found a wave with 12 minutes remaining, earning 8.17 and the advantage. He went on to back it up with an 8.10 for a convincing lead, leaving Wilson in need of an excellent 9.47, which he was unable to find. Burrow moves through to the Semifinals where he will face Adriano de Souza (BRA). Wilson previously posted the highest heat total of the day, a 19.06 (out of a possible 20), in his Round 5 heat against Owen Wright (AUS).
“I’m so excited to be at this event and into the Semis,” Burrow said. “I’m really proud of this area and to have great waves and weather and have the guys all putting on a show has been unreal. I don’t feel any pressure to perform, it’s the opposite I just go out to surf good waves and have fun and if the results come then that’s just a bonus.”
Kelly Slater (USA) faced Adriano de Souza (BRA) in the last Quarterfinal of the day. Slater has only got the better of De Souza once since 2010 and was unable to improve on that record today. It was the Brazilian who dominated the lineup for the opening ten minutes with good wave selection, posting a 15.37 two-wave heat total to leave the 11-time World Champion in a combination situation. Slater was forced to change his board at the half-way mark after he broke his previous one when a huge set came through. Despite a solid 7.13 in the final moments from the American, De Souza took the win and his second Semifinal berth of the year.
“I was actually relieved when I saw that huge wave because I knew Kelly (Slater) was out of position, but it was so painful,” said Adriano. “I’m so happy with what’s happened in this contest so far. It’s been wonderful at Main Break and huge at The Box and I’ve survived all these conditions and I’m so happy and proud with what I’ve done so far. I’m going to refill my energy and my focus again ready for the Semifinals because I’m competing against a local. I’m going to try my best in the Semis.”
“I surfed a pretty good one minute at the end, and that was about it,” said Slater. “I really got caught out to sea and I was pretty tired. I was too far out and missed some good waves. I couldn’t tell where I was in the reef and I couldn’t get anything going. I didn’t really get myself in the heat until the very end. Adriano (de Souza) sits on you and gets in your head and he was smart in that heat. I also got caught up in one big one, went over the falls and broke my good board, which didn’t help.”
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) ran through the opening 8 heats of Men's Round 3 at The Box before moving back to Main Break to complete the Round. The day saw big upsets as ratings leader Mick Fanning (AUS) was eliminated at the hands of wildcard Jay Davies (AUS) and Joel Parkinson (AUS) was defeated by Sebastian Zietz (HAW). The women’s competition also got underway with Round 1 in large surf at Margaret River’s Main Break, where the top seeds were dominant with Carissa Moore (HAW), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Tyler Wright (AUS) all moving directly through to Round 3.
After taking down reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) yesterday, dangerous local wildcard Jay Davies (AUS) caused the upset of the day and eliminated ratings leader Mick Fanning (AUS) in Round 3. Davies posted an excellent 9.50, backing it up with a 7.33 for a 16.83 two-wave heat total, to take the win and send the three-time World Champion home with a 13th-place finish, his worst result of the year.
“That was just so fun, every bit of it,” said Davies. “On that wave I just really had to forget about all the other heats I’ve surfed out here where I’ve pulled back and put my head down. It was the steepest take off and I just wanted to give it everything I had. I thought I was going to come off but luckily I didn’t.
“It’s exciting to compete here in my home town and in front of all my friends and family, which makes it so much sweeter,” continued Davies. “Surfing against Mick (Fanning) just then was amazing, he’s one of my friends and he’s such a champion.”
“I had two waves there that could have been bigger scores but it was sick,” Fanning said. “Me and Jay (Davies) were actually laughing out there. To get to surf The Box with no one else out and trading off waves with one of your mates and getting barreled is all time. Over here the two wildcards that I’ve lost to are world-class surfers -- Jay Davies and Yadin Nicol. The Box is sort of a lucky dip and it causes both upsets and great performances. It’s a difficult wave so you just go out there, try and get barreled and it’s fun.”
Heat 4 saw another upset as Sebastian Zietz (HAW) took down Joel Parkinson (AUS). The Hawaiian looked in great from, relishing in the large conditions, and two 7-point rides secured him the win. Today is another disappointing result for the Australian, adding a second 13th-place finish to his results this year.
“He (Joel Parkinson) is really gnarly out there,” said Zietz. “We’ve had a few freesurfs out here and he’s so good. I don’t think either of us really got the best waves that were out there. I was stoked just to make it out of Round 3, which is a really killer for me. We were sitting really deep and both lost priority. It’s so beautiful here and we’ve had such great waves.”
“At the start of the heat we both missed some pretty good waves,” Parkinson said. “I expected more opportunities to come through and it got quiet out there for a while. It felt like 30 minutes goes so quickly out there in those waves, it’s not like 30 minutes anywhere else.”
11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) delivered a Perfect 10 at Main Break today, managing to find a deep barrel followed by a huge carve. Paired with his excellent 9.50 from earlier he secured a 19.50 two-wave heat total, the best of the competition so far, to defeat Glenn Hall (IRL).
“I’ve been coming here since 1993 and that’s probably the best surf I’ve had in a heat,” said Slater. “There were a lot of good waves out there in the heat. I had three of four chances on good waves. I rode a little bigger board and tried to draw lines out and that’s the biggest adjustment I’ve made, my board.”
Despite the wave of the heat from Kai Otton (AUS) he couldn’t find a score to back up his near-perfect 9.57 in his Round 3 heat against defending event winner Michel Bourez (PYF). The Tahitian found an excellent 8.40 and 6.83 to secure the win and a place in Round 4.
“It’s super terrifying out at The Box!” Bourez said. “You have to pick the right waves, you don’t know what the wave is going to do. You take off, hold on and hope that you make the barrel and if you do it’s the best feeling in the world.”
John John Florence (HAW), winner of the 2012 Margaret River Qualifying Series event, put on another incredible display of surfing to take the win over Adam Melling (AUS). Florence showed his control and confidence, looking at ease in the waves of consequence while Melling suffered a terrifying wipeout.
“The Box is one of the most challenging barrels out there,” Florence said. “It’s one of the scariest waves I’ve surfed. Some of the waves let you in early if you’re lucky, but then you still have to deal with the steps. There’s a lot of water moving out there so you need to pick the ones when there’s some water on the reef.”
Jordy Smith (ZAF) has withdrawn from the competition after injuring his foot during a freesurf yesterday. The incident will see Jeremy Flores (FRA) advance directly to the Round 4.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA) *Heat did not surf
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.23 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.94
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 15.20 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 6.10
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.30 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.50
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) 13.50 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.37
Heat 6: Jay Davies (AUS) 16.83 vs. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.90
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.60 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 4.37
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.50 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 6.77
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.16 def. Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 15.04
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.50 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.66
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.33 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.50
Heat 12: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.50 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 11.03
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 4 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Jeremy Florence (FRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 2: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Nat Young (USA), Jay Davies (AUS)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS), Owen Wright (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA)
U20 and Open trials
Trial 1 will be held this Sunday (19th April) at Kitchen Windows. Please meet Etienne between 7.30 and 8am for registration. All surfers must affiliate to NMBS prior to surfing the trials. You may affiliate on Sunday, however we encourage you to complete the attached form, and return to myself before Sunday. Your affiliation plus entry fees can be paid directly to NMBS (EPSC) via an eft. Please see below for banking details.
Affiliation fee - R200 for first family member, R150 for second family member and R100 for any additional family member.
Entry fee - R100 per trial, R250 for all 3 trials.
Trial 2 – 17 May
Trial 3 - 24 May
Please note you must turn 16 in 2015 in order to surf in the U20 division.
the second trial will take place this Saturday in Port Alfred. Meet Andre and Mervyn at East Beach at 9am. The dates for trial 3 and 4 remain unchanged. 24th and 31st May.
Action continued today at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). Competition ran through Men’s Round 2 at both The Box and Main Break and the world’s best battled incredible surf to avoid elimination and a 25th place finish. A day of wipeouts, upsets and outstanding performances unfolded as wildcard Jay Davies (AUS) eliminated Gabriel Medina (BRA), rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL) took down Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Owen Wright (AUS) delivered the wave of the day for a Perfect 10.
Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) faced trials winner and dangerous local Jay Davies (AUS). Davies came out firing, posting a 6.67 for a deep barrel to take the lead. Medina was able to come back with a 6.67 of his own and edge the lead but the Australian answered back with an excellent 8.50 for deep pit, coming out with the foamball. Medina was left hunting the lineup but his wave in the final moments wasn’t enough and the World Champion is eliminated while the wildcard moves on to Round 3 where he will face Mick Fanning (AUS).
“I’m feeling super stoked,” Davies said. “It’s a beautiful day in West Oz and I get to surf against some of my idols. I watched Gabriel (Medina) win the World Title last year and I was pumped to get the chance to surf against him at one of the best waves in the world. I get to surf here all the time so hopefully that will help me get through some more rounds. It’s so beautiful out there right now, we had shark cruise through the lineup which was a little sketchy, but it was only a baby one eating some fish. Thanks again to all my friends and family for all their support.”
Rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL) secured his first CT heat win today defeating in-form surfer Filipe Toledo (BRA) in challenging conditions. The lead went back and forth between the pair through the 30-minute bout. Christie took the top spot with five minutes remaining thanks to a 13.26 heat total. In the dying seconds Toledo answered back needing a 5.67 but didn’t get the score and is eliminated from competition, leaving the rookie to take the heat win and a place in Round 3.
“I feel like I’ve just won the competition,” said Christie. “It’s been a tough start to the year for me and it’s pretty sick to have an event out here in waves like this. It’s great to beat Filipe (Toledo) there’s been a lot going his way this year and it’s been going the opposite for me. I would have been spewing if they gave him the score on that last one, it was a pretty small wave. I had a bit of trouble yesterday and I got pumped. I didn’t know where to sit but I’ve kind of figured it out a bit more today. I watched John John (Florence) and Josh Kerr this morning taking off and thought that’s what I have to do.”
“I missed one or two waves on the set before,” Toledo said. “The last wave was too small, which is why I don’t think I got the score. I’m really happy though, it’s my birthday today so I’m relaxing and getting ready for the next event at Lower Trestles and then I go to Brazil.”
The performance of the day came from a stacked heat between Owen Wright (AUS) and Dusty Payne (HAW) in Round 2 today. Wright posted the first big score on his backhand, an 8.50, and the Hawaiian came back with an 8.40, putting him back in contention. Wright stamped his authority on the heat with a Perfect 10 for the biggest wave of the day and a huge, deep barrel.
“I’ve never surfed out here before and this was my first time in the lineup,” said Wright. “The set came so I just went. After my ten I remember going, ‘give me more’. I just love it and I love waves like this. When that wave came through I managed to get in the right spot and it let me in perfectly, the wave did the rest from there.”
An all Brazilian match-up between Adriano de Souza (BRA) and wildcard Alejo Muniz (BRA) got off to a slow start. De Souza opening his account by taking a free-fall drop over the ledge, putting everything on the line, and was spat out at the end. His total commitment was rewarded with a near-perfect 9.80. Despite a 7.50 for Muniz he wasn’t able to overcome his opponent and is eliminated from the competition.
“I tried to be as deep as I could on that 9.80,” said De Souza. “I had to be smart the whole time and when that wave popped up I was in the right place at the right time. I’m so happy to make that thing, it was gnarly and the wave was three-times overhead. I put things on the line and I made the barrel. I’m not completely happy because I was competing against a friend and Alejo came so far to compete at this event and do his best and I would have like to see him do well.”
Local favorite and former finalist at Margaret River Taj Burrow (AUS) defeated Brett Simpson (USA) to advance through to Round 3. Despite a broken board Burrow’s 13.67 heat total was enough to secure the win and the American is eliminated in equal 25th place.
“There’s some pretty wild waves out there today,” Burrow said. “I got a medium one, perhaps a wave I wouldn’t normally take in a free surf, I was pumping through it pretty deep and hit bump and my board broke straight away. It’s a pretty good day out here, but in a heat you can’t be as selective and you just have to go.”
The excellent conditions look set to continue and Surfline, official forecaster for the WSL, are calling for:
Very solid SW groundswell will continue on Thursday, easing through Friday. Another exceptionally strong SSW groundswell is on track for Saturday, and could be even larger than the surf for Wed/Thur. Sunday will see dropping surf, with a further drop in surf on Monday. Morning wind conditions look favorable for the next few days, with some periods of side or onshore flow in the afternoons. Going further out, another strong SW swell looks possible around Wednesday the 22nd.
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro will be held from April 15 – 26, 2015. Watch the unparalleled adventure, competitive drama and athleticism of professional surfing live at WorldSurfLeague.com.
The world's best surfing will also be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports in Australia, MCS Extreme in France, EDGE Sports in China, South Korea Malaysia and other territories and the WSL's new partner in Brazil, Globo TV.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Jay Davies (AUS) 15.17 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 7.67
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.90 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.33
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.33 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.83
Heat 4: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 13.26 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.07
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.67 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 7.17
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.50 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.90
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA) 11.50 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 2.43
Heat 8: Glenn Hall (IRL) 5.44 vs. Kolohe Andino (USA) 4.90
Heat 9: Adam Melling (AUS) 7.53 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 5.47
Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.26 vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.66
Heat 11: Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.83 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 7.17
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) 16.83 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.07
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 3 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jay Davies (AUS)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) va. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 9: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 12: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), got underway today and the opening 7 heats of Men’s Round 1 saw the world’s best surfers tackling one of the world’s most challenging and infamous waves, The Box. After a morning of incredible action and terrifying wipeouts competition continued at Margaret River's Main Break with the remaining heats of Round 1.
John John Florence (HAW), who won the Margaret River Qualifying Series event in 2012, opened the day’s competition with a 7.83 for his first wave. Florence threw himself over the ledge and demonstrated his skill and commitment to take a convincing Round 1 heat win. Despite some big wipeouts Florence maintained his charging attitude to secure his place in Round 3, easily defeating Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) and Dusty Payne (HAW).
“When we got down here this morning we saw some really good waves,” said Florence. “There’s an end step, which makes it really challenging. It’s hard to pick the right waves and it’s really gnarly if you don’t. It’s definitely scary but I’m so stoked because it’s fun to surf some clean, bigger waves and amazing to get barrelled at The Box.”
Fellow Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz (HAW) found one of the morning's best barrel rides, scoring an excellent 9.23 (out of a possible 10) and defeating Adriano de Souza (BRA) and C.J. Hobgood (USA) to earn a pass directly to Round 3.
“Adriano (de Souza) got off to a great start — I saw his first wave and it was mental,” Zietz said. “I just kept catching waves, you never know what’s going to come your way out there. Then that one came my way, I just stood tall in the first section and then I thought I was gone and I somehow made it.”
Kelly Slater (USA), the 11-time World Champion, won his heat comfortably by charging fearlessly on multiple waves. Despite relatively low scores, with just a 4.50 and a 3.70 (each out of a possible 10), Slater delivered some amazing surfing in waves of consequence, putting himself on the line. Slater defeated Kai Otton (AUS) and rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL) who will surf again in elimination Round 2.
“It’s fun and exciting out here today,” Slater said. “I didn’t come out for an early surf and when John John (Florence) came in after his heat he said it was gnarly so I was excited. I fell on those two waves and if I watch the highlights I’m going to watch the ones I fell on, those were insane.”
Three-time World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) took to the water wearing the Jeep leader jersey following his win last week at Bells Beach and survived a tough heat against dangerous local surfer and trials winner Jay Davies (AUS) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS). Fanning opened early with an excellent 8.63 to control the heat and Davies challenged with a 7.50. Left needing a 6.50 to take the lead Davies couldn’t find the score and will face Gabriel Medina (BRA) in a highly-anticipated Round 2 match-up while Fanning moves through to Round 3. Medina lost his Round 1 heat earlier in the day to Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW).
“If you think it’s good you just have to take off and hold on,” Fanning said. “It was pretty wild and it’s big and ugly out there, it’s radical but fun. I took a wave that I thought was going to be a good one but it just crumbled and I hit a boil and creased the board so I changed it out.”
Josh Kerr (AUS), 2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro runner-up, took one of the most impressive wipeouts of the day, demonstrating just how hard this wave is to ride. Over shallow reef Kerr was launched head first off his board inside the barrel and luckily wasn't hurt. Shaken but uninjured Kerr wasn't able to fully recover and placed second in the heat, which see's him relegated to surf again in elimination Round 2. Fellow Australian Adrian Buchan (AUS) won the heat thanks to an outstanding 9.53 ride, the highest single-wave score of Round 1, and the performance of the day.
“It was dangerous out there!” Buchan said. “That one let me in behind the section, ironically the deeper you are, the safer you are a lot of the time. There was a lot of lumps and bumps and I slipped sideways but somehow managed to hang on. I had one really big set that I had to bail my board on and luckily there wasn’t a wave behind because I was in a really bad position. The fans want to see us in those gnarly waves and that’s what we do.”
“The worst wipeout for me was actually the first one, rather than the one I scorpioned on,” said Kerr. “I fell and I was held down for a while so I was pretty out of breath for the rest of the heat. I tried to get nice and deep but I didn’t handle the second section, went down and landed straight on the reef.”
After a short break action continued at Margaret River’s Main Break with the remaining five heats of Round 1 where Miguel Pupo (BRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF) and Julian Wilson (AUS) won through their match-ups to earn a pass directly to Round 3.
Flores took out local favorite Taj Burrow (AUS) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) with a solid 15.00 heat total. With three Pipe Masters out in the lineup competition was fierce but an excellent 8.50 for Flores secured his victory and a place in Round 3.
“I’m just trying to have fun and enjoy everything,” said Flores. “Conditions this year have been tough but this is pretty crazy. I knew it was going to be a tough heat out here today but I’m happy with my performance. I haven’t surfed on big boards since Hawaii so it definitely felt weird but good. We don’t get to surf big waves too often so this is great. I feel comfortable even though it’s really tough."
Parkinson looked in-form today in his heat against Adam Melling (AUS) and Kolohe Andino (USA). The 2012 World Champion locked in the day’s highest two-wave heat total, a 15.73 out of a possible 20, to secure the win and a place in Round 3.
“I got out there and I was excited to see some size and some swell,” said Parkinson. “I felt happy and relaxed and when I feel like that I seem to do my best surfing. I hope we get to surf at The Box again, it will be amazing.”
Defending event winner Bourez also won through his Round 1 bout, claiming his first heat win of the year, narrowly defeating Nat Young (USA), who will now have to surf again in Round 2 along with rookie Italo Ferriera (BRA).
“I had such a bad start to the year and that was the first heat I’ve made,” said Bourez. “The conditions here are better for me - big, wild and bumpy - so I’m in my element. I like to surf here a lot.”
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 13.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 4.46, Dusty Payne (HAW) 2.60
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.73, Jadson Andre (BRA) 3.40, Brett Simpson (USA) 0.50
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 8.20, Kai Otton (AUS) 3.33, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 3.27
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.23, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 4.40
Heat 5: Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 4.30, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 3.96, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 3.27
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00, Jay Davies (AUS) 10.27, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 3.34
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.74, Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.73, Keanu Asing (HAW) 3.33
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.43, Glenn Hall (IRL) 10.50, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.36
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.00, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.53, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 8.33
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.73, Adam Melling (AUS) 8.24, Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.00
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.76, Nat Young (USA) 14.70, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 9.93
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.60, Matt Banting (AUS) 8.30, Owen Wright (AUS) 6.80
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Jay Davies (AUS)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 9: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 11: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
The near-term forecast for the men's Drug Aware Margaret River Pro and women's contest is in and it's predicted to be huge when things kick off April 15.
"Considering what we've had to deal with up at the Gold Coast and now at Bells, the forecast for the Margaret River Pro looks enticing," said WSL analyst and Big Wave Tour commissioner Peter Mel. "If you look a the forecast going through, we've got three pulses lined up in the first week of the waiting period. It could be anywhere from 10 feet, maybe even up to 15 to 20 feet."
Surfline's Kevin Wallis reports:
We remain on track to see a solid, 'westerly' angled WSW/SW swell (240-220 degrees) build in and peak on Wednesday. Model guidance continues to indicate deepwater/offshore swell height will be in the 12'+ range if not a little better, with sets running 3-4x's overhead (surf size between 12-20'+ faces with even the occasional larger bomb possible).
The next swell on the radar looks to build in late Thursday and be strongest Friday. This swell will have a little more ‘south' in it than the swell discussed immediately above, tracking in from 225-210 degrees.
A final swell should build in for Saturday. We're still seeing a pretty large spread in the size, track and strength of the swell creating storm amongst our more trusted global weather models, but they are slowly starting to look a little closer. The big picture remains that strong surf will likely continue on Saturday.
Attention all U20’s, Opens and Masters:
The U20’s and Open surfers will now have their first trial this coming weekend in JBay on Sunday 19th April (originally scheduled as the second trial). The Executive are meeting this week and we will then finalise a new date for the third trial. A mail will be sent out early next week as to where Etienne will hold the trial.
The Masters will have their second trial in Port Alfred on Saturday 18th April. More details to follow.
Please note that SA Open Championships and SA Masters will be held at the beginning of August in Richards Bay. It will be run as 2 separate contests. Good news is that a sponsor for this event is almost secured - will let you know once it's confirmed.
Opening function 1st August. Ccontest will run from 2nd – 9th August (U20’s – U60’s).