surfers
Caption: Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) were crowned the men’s and women’s champions at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver on Sunday • Photo: WSL / Thurtell

Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) earned the biggest wins of their professional surfing careers today when they clinched the men’s and women’s World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) titles at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver.

Veteran former two-time ISA World Longboard Champion Matthew Moir (Cape Town) celebrated his first victory in a WSL rated event by defeating former WSL No. 2 Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in a high performance final that highlighted the talent of local longboard surfers.

The inaugural Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver, Stop No 2 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour, enjoyed great waves and conditions at East Beach in Port Alfred, bringing WSL competition back to the Kowie Rivermouth for the first time since the 1990’s.

On a day when goofy foot surfers (those who ride with their right foot in front) dominated proceedings by filling all six spots in the three finals, Jody Maree led the charge with an outstanding win over red hot Australian Jordan Lawler.

Maree opened his account in the final with two massive backhand turns and then safely completed the close-out re-entry to earn 7.25 out of 10, which ultimately was the highest score of the encounter. He continued to build his heat total with mid-range scores, but Lawler blasted back into contention with a 6.0 and then took the lead with a 6.90 with seven minutes still on the clock.

Holding his nerves in check and using the priority system intelligently, Maree waited for a wave that peeled down the sandbar and hooked into two huge backhand blasts that were rewarded with a 6.45 to regain the lead. Needing a 6.81 with just two minutes remaining, Lawler went for broke on a high flying aerial manoeuvre but couldn’t land it and Maree claimed the win.

“I’m really happy to win my first QS event and want to thank all the people that made the event possible,” said Maree on the podium. “I also want to thank all those who have supported me – my coach, my sponsors, my family and my girlfriend. Thank you so much for helping me get this win.”

Maree was very fortunate to advance from his first heat in the event when he was penalised for a priority interference but managed to progress with a single ride score of 6.75. On finals day he outpointed established QS surfer Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in the semi-finals and scored a narrow win over another seasoned traveler in Slade Prestwich (Durban) in the quarter-finals.

His victory earned Maree R12,000 and 1,000 points on the QS and regional rankings which, combined with his haul of 560 points for a third-place finish in Port Elizabeth last week, sees him jump to the top of the WSL Africa leaderboard.

Lawler started his finals day by eliminating Cape Town based junior Max Elkington (Kommetjie) in the quarters and then delivered the only perfect 10 point ride of the event in his semi-final win over Greg Emslie (East London), one of South Africa’s most celebrated surf stars. The Australian had already posted an excellent 8.0 score and finished with a heat tally of 18.0 out of 20, the highest in the entire men’s event.

Josefina Ane arrived in South Africa last week fresh off a career-best runner-up finish in a QS1,000 event in her hometown of Mar del Plata. The 19-year-old was elated to secure her first title by defeating 14-year-old standout Zoe Steyn (East London) today.

The highest QS ranked woman in the event at No. 56, the Argentinean ousted reigning WSL Africa Junior and QS champions Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) and Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) in the quarters and semis respectively. In the finalshe selected great waves and used her exciting backhand attack to build what became an insurmountable 13.75 point total that her younger rival could not match.

“This is my first QS win and I’m really happy and thankful for all the people who have this event,” said Ane in her heavy Spanish accent. “My English is a little bit bad but I’m really happy and thank you to all the people for coming to this event.”

Steyn usually competes in the junior events but was unfazed by her older opponents in Port Alfred and consistently produced high heat totals throughout the event. She ousted women’s longboard winner Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) from the event in their quarter-final match up and then reached the final by eliminating Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) in the semis.

The result saw the youngster leapfrog into joint first place on the WSL Africa women’s rankings after two events.

The introduction of Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events to the WSL Africa schedule added an exciting new dimension to the contest and the performances produced by the top men and women proved that there is a hotbed of talent in the country The highest heat total of the entire event – a near perfect 18.50 out of 20 – was delivered by Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in his semi-final win over Michael Hill.

Matthew Moir has been at the top of the worldwide longboard scene for two decades and put on a master class to capture the LQS men’s title by defeating Sawyer by 15.25 vs. 13.90 in a pulsating final that saw both men effortlessly combine traditional and new school manoeuvres on their nearly three metre long surfboards.

“It’s amazing that the sponsors let longboarding be part of a shortboard contest,” said Moir. “It is also so good that the World Surf League recognises longboarding again in South Africa. The contest was extremely well and I’m just stoked to win it.”

The final of the LQS1,000 women’s event was run on Saturday with Crystal Hulett taking the win over Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay).

The event also hosted activities designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background. These were coordinated by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, and run by SSA Development Officer, Danielle Powis.

Full results, news, photos and video footage from the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver can be found at:

QS1,000 Men: https://bit.ly/2q99Kfd

QS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2qcAw6G

LQS1,000 Men: https://bit.ly/2H2i8H4

LQS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2HhKbQD

Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver

 

Results

QS 1,000 Men’s Final

1. Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 13.70
2. Jordan Lawler (Australia) 12.90

QS 1,000 Men’s Semi-Finals

SF1: Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 14.40 def. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 13.25
SF2: Jordan Lawler (Australia) 18.00 def. Greg Emslie (East London) 12.50

QS 1,000 Women’s Final

1. Josefina Ane (Argentina) 13.75
2. Zoe Steyn (East London) 7.50

QS 1,000 Women’s Semi-Finals

SF1: Josefina Ane (Argentina) 11.25 def. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 3.70
SF2: Zoe Steyn (East London) 9.75 def. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 5.05

LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Final

1. Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 15.25
2. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 13.90

LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Semi-Finals

SF1: Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 18.50 def. Michael Hill 14.50
SF2: Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 17.85 def. Thomas King (Cape Town) 11.75

LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Final

1. Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 11.25
2. Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 9.50

LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Semi-Finals

SF1: Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 10.0 def. Mia Baard 4.15
SF2: Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 10.75 def. Tarryn King (Cape Town) 9.25

WSL Africa – Men’s QS Rankings (after event #2 - Port Alfred Classic)

1. Maree,Jordan (Cape Town) 1560
2. Van Zyl, David (Glenashley) 1420
3. Masencamp,Adin (Strand) 1050
4. Lightfoot,Dylan (Jeffreys Bay) 980
5. Kidd,Richard (Ballito) 745

WSL Africa – Women’s QS Rankings (after event #2 - Port Alfred Classic)

1. Pallet,Nicole (La Lucia) 1310
1. Steyn,Zoe (East London) 1310
3. Woolf,Kai (Jeffreys Bay) 1300
4. Smith,Emma (Jeffreys Bay) 955
5. Hogg,Teal (uMhlanga) 860

Next weekend sees the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits at Nahoon Reef in East London, Stop No. 3 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour and the second of five events in the City Surf Series.

2018 WSL Africa Schedule of Events

Apr 13-15

East London *Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits

May 18-20

Durban *ZigZag Durban Surf Pro pres. by G-Force Surfboards

Jun 1-3

Lamberts BayVans Surf Pro Classic

Jun 14-17

Cape Town *Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O'Neill

Jun 19-24

Port Elizabeth *Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley

Jun 22-24

Ballito Billabong Junior Series #1

Jun 25-1

Jul Ballito Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong

Aug 29-2

Sep Dakar, Senegal Senegal Pro (Tentative)

Sep 4-9

Casablanca Anfaplace Pro Casablanca

Sep 27-30

Cape St Francis Billabong Junior Series #2

Jan 1-31

Dec DurbanCell C Good Wave

* City Surf Series (CSS) events

See more details on all the WSL Africa events at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App

About WSL

The World Surf League (WSL) 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 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, annually 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 Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

About Surfing South Africa

Surfing South Africa is recognised governing body for Surfing in South Africa by the Department of Sport and Recreation. SSA is a member of the South African 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
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life's a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.