David van Zyl, Nikita Robb, Dylan Lightfoot and Nicole Pallet Clinch Prestigious Titles
WSL Africa Invitees for World Junior Championships Finalised
As the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) season draws to a close, the WSL Africa regional office is proud to announce its 2015 Champions in the Open and Pro Junior categories for men and women.
David van Zyl, 22, from Durban clinched the Men’s title by finishing the highest placed WSL Africa member in the QS10 000 Ballito Pro presented by Billabong in July and then taking 17th place in the QS1 500 rated Quiksilver Pro Casablanca, the first event to be co-sanctioned by both WSL Africa and WSL Europe.
“I'm really stoked to be crowned the WSL Africa champ and it's great to get a wildcard into all events up to QS6 000 for 2016,” said van Zyl. “It will be great next year if there's more QS events here in Africa as the WSL Africa winner then will get a spot in the Primes (QS10 000) for the following year. That’s my goal for next year, to be comfortably in those Prime events, and ultimately the goal is to qualify for the CT!”
Former WSL Championship Tour (CT) campaigner, Nikita Robb, 26, originally from East London and now living in Cape Town, secured the Women’s title by winning the Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong in July.
“It’s awesome to be the WSL Africa champion again, even though there was only one event this year,” said Robb. “The girls in South Africa are surfing so well and I look forward to defending the title next year when hopefully there will be more events for women.”
The WSL Africa Pro Junior champions earned their 2015 titles from results in the three Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS events run at Seal Point in Cape St Francis at the end of 2014 and again in September 2015 and at Magnatubes in Jeffreys Bay in July.
Jeffreys Bay standout Dylan Lightfoot, 20, won one and finished second in two of the events to capture the Men’s title in his final year in the Pro Junior age category.
“I just wanted to end my junior career with a bang and winning at Seal Point and claiming the WSL Africa title there felt amazing,” said Lightfoot. “I’ll be going to Hawaii for the QS 3000 at Pipe at the end of January, then on to Australia for the two QS6 000’s. It’s exciting times and I’m putting my head down to work hard and start off 2016 with some solid results,” Lightfoot added.
La Lucia’s Nicole Pallet, 20, secured the Pro Junior Women’s title after finishing fifth in the first event at Seal Point and then winning the next two.
“I was super stoked to win the title this year and after a great year of competing I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to compete with the best in the world,” said Pallet. “This means taking my surfing to the next level and I've already started training hard for the World Juniors in January and putting 110% into every surf I have.”
Lightfoot and Shane Sykes (Salt Rock), Adin Masencamp (Strand), Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay), Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Bevan Willis (Durban), have received invitations to compete in the WSL Junior Championships in Portugal in January 2016.
“I’m looking forward to surfing in the World Junior Champs at Ericeira in Portugal in January. It’s an incredible wave and I feel it suits my style of surfing being a right hand point break,” said Lightfoot who finished 17th in the event last year.
Lightfoot and McGillivray earned their spots in the squad as the two highest ranked WSL Africa Pro Juniors on the QS rankings while the other four are the next highest in the regional rankings.
Pallet will be joined in Portugal by Gina Smith (Jeffreys Bay), the runner-up in the WSL Africa Pro Junior women’s rankings who also competed at the 2014 edition of the event.
“Congratulations to the 2015 WSL Africa champions and those who have earned invitations to the WSL Junior Championships,” said Colin Fitch, the WSL Africa Operations Manager. “There are great prospects for more WSL Africa sanctioned events in 2016 and beyond, which will give our members an even better start to their surfing careers.”
WSL Africa – 2015 Yearend Rankings
1. David van Zyl (Durban) 385points
2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 317
3. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 205
4. Remi Peterson (Jeffreys Bay) 120
5. Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) 110
1. Nikita Robb (East London) 1 000 points
2. Faye Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth) 750
3. Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) 560
4. Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) 510
Pro Junior Men
1. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 2 500 points
2. Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) 1 700
3. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 1 575
4. Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) 1 400
5. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 1 260
Pro Junior Women
1. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 2 420 points
2. Gina Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 1 730
3. Olivia Brand (uMhlanga) 1 610
4. Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach) 1 420
5. Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) 1 410