EVENT: 
Volkswagen SA

STATUS: 
QS3,000 Men’s event
QS1,000 Women’s event
JQS1,000 Junior Men’s & Women’s events

VENUE: 
New Pier, Dairy Beach, Durban, South Africa

DATES:
June 14-18, 2017

Most Prestigious Surfing Event on Durban Beachfront in a Decade

A massive contingent of highly ranked international surfers will join the cream of South Africa’s competitors in the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley making the World Surf League (WSL) rated event for men, women and junior men and women the most prestigious to be held on the Durban beachfront in a decade. 

Scheduled for Wednesday to Sunday, 14-18 June at New Pier on Dairy Beach, the event offers more than R1 million in prize money, along with precious points on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) rankings which determine surfers’ qualification and seeding in events worldwide.

The sixth of 12 WSL events to be staged in South African waters this year, and the fourth in the inaugural City Surf Series, the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley is headlined by the QS3,000 men’s event which offers a US $75,000 (approx. R975,000) prize purse, of which the winner pockets more than R150,000 and 3,000 points.

The 160 man field features many of the most exciting emerging talents in world surfing, including Yago Dora (BRA) whose high-flying aerial manoeuvres saw him earned a wildcard into the Oi Rio Pro Championship Tour (CT) event last month. The young Brazilian eliminated reigning WSL champion and current Championship Tour (CT) rankings leader John John Florence (HAW) and former world champs Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Mick Fanning (AUS) on his way to third place.

Other international stars in the biggest entry for a QS3,000 this year are current QS No. 2 Hiroto Ohhara (JAP) and former CT members Davey Cathels (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW), Ricardo Christie (NZL), Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Tanner Gudauskas (USA).

The South African challenge is headed by the inform Michael February (Kommetjie), currently ranked No. 19 on the QS leaderboard and wearing the Skullcandy rankings leaders striped vest after featuring in the final of all three City Surf Series events to date, claiming two titles.

February will start in the Round of 64 along with Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), who recently finished fifth in a QS6,000 in Japan. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) starts in the Round 96 and the other 23 South Africans who have qualified for the event are in the Round of 160.

The 32 strong field for the QS1,000 women’s event includes a dozen international competitors with Zoe McDougall (HAW) the highest ranked at No. 18. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) and Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) spearhead the South Africa challenge.

Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) top the regional rankings heading into the JQS1,000 junior men’s and women’s events respectively. They will be highly motivated to consolidate their positions in the chase for the 2017 WSL Africa titles and selection for the squad that will represent the region at the WSL Junior Championships in Australia in January.

“Volkswagen and the Kombi in particular have been synonymous with Surfing for decades. Nowhere is this more true than in South Africa where John Whitmore, hailed as the Father of South African surfing, was the first person to own a Kombi back in the fifties,” says Tarryn Knight, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Marketing Manager.

“To sponsor such a prestigious event, with a name steeped in history, was the perfect fit for Volkswagen and an exciting honour for us. It’s fantastic to see so many entries for the event. Surfing might be an individual sport in the water, but there are families, coaches, friends, and supporters on the shore, and that is what Volkswagen as ‘the peoples car’ is all about.”

The provisional schedule for the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley sees the junior champions crowned on Friday 16 June (Youth Day), the women’s title decided on Saturday and the men’s final run on Sunday.

An outreach programme will be conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) during the event. Participants will be involved in beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest, beach relays and an Easter egg hunt with all participants receiving breakfast, lunch and a commemorative medal.

Live scoring, results, images, videos and more will be available at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. 

The Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing is proudly supported by Hurley, Tsogo Sun, Durban Tourism, Skullcandy, El Jimador, Yesman, California Dreaming, World Surf League, Surfing South Africa and Accelerate Sport.

 

Caption: Alejo Muniz (BRA) will be one of the top seeds in the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley in Durban this week • Photo: WSL / Bennett 

 

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 in excess of 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Grant Baker, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

About Surfing South Africa

Surfing South Africa is recognised by the Department of Sport and Recreation as the national governing body for the sport. Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Issued on behalf of:
WSL Africa
Contact:            Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel:                   021 534 5738
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