Caption: Jolan Bonelli (REU) and Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) celebrate their JQS Men’s and Women’s titles at the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill at Big Bay on Saturday 
Photo: WSL / Thurtell

Jolan Bonelli (REU) and Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) won the Junior Men’s and Women’s titles respectively at the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill in solid 1.0 to 1.6 metre waves at Big Bay in Bloubergstrand on Saturday.

For Woolf it was a fourth consecutive World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) victory this year, and just for good measure, the Jeffreys Bay teenager also collected a Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) crown at the opening event of the season in Port Elizabeth.

Competing in challenging overhead conditions with waves breaking over a wide lineup, Woolf hunted down the best wave of the final, a doubled-up runner that provided her with the ideal canvas on which to display her repertoire of manoeuvres for which the judges rewarded with an excellent 8.25 out of 10.

“I had a little bit of a rough start but I managed to get that 8.25,” Woolf explained. “Etienne (Venter, her coach) told me that those waves were going to double up so I stuck with it and it gave me a lot of opportunity. Once I had gotten that I felt like I was in a good rhythm but then it was a nerve wracking last couple of minutes as the girls did not need big scores.”

Eventual runner-up Zoe Steyn (East London) added a 4.25 and third placed Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) boosted her total with a 5.50 late in the final, but neither of them, nor fourth placed Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), could overtake Woolf.

The Junior Men’s finalists had to compete four times on Saturday and in the end it was the Reunion Islander Jolan Bonelli who claimed a career first JQS 1,000 title when he finished ahead of Karl Steen (Durban), Brazilian standout Eduardo Motta and Cape Town local Max Elkington (Kommetjie)

Bonelli eased through his opening two heats, advancing to the next round in second place in both. But he hit form in the semi-finals and went on to clinch the final with a pair of five-point rides to collect the R8,000 winner’s cheque.

Steen held the lead for the majority of the 25 minute final clash but was overtaken by Bonnelli, while Motta, who had delivered the highest heat totals earlier in the day, could not find a decent backup score and Elkington also battled to find any waves with scoring potential as the sun set on Day 2 of the event.

The Day 2 action started with Round 3 of the QS 1,000 Men’s event where the top seeds dominated proceedings. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), the country’s highest ranked QS surfer, continued his outstanding form and delivered another excellent heat total of 17.35 out of 20, which included a near-perfect 9.10 ride.

Slade Prestwich (Durban) and Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) were two other local standouts while Australians Jordan Lawler, who has already grabbed a runner-up berth in South Africa this year, and newcomer Benjamin Hucker, both eased through to the quarter-finals.

The withdrawal of WSL Africa rankings leader David van Zyl (Glenashley) from the event due to personal reasons, and the shock elimination of No. 3 ranked Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) on Saturday, leaves Maree, the current No. 2, in a great position to clinch sufficient points to take the No 1 spot and claim the coveted Trials wildcard in the QS10,000 Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong which starts on 25 June.

Organisers will meet at Big Bay, Bloubergstrand at 7.45 am local time on Sunday to make a call on when to get the contest underway. The QS 1,000 Men’s and Women’s winners will be crowned at an awards ceremony at the event site on Sunday afternoon

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage for the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com  and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill – Junior Men’s Final Results

  1. Jolan Bonelli (Reunion) 10.85 points
  2. Karl Steen (Durban) 9.50
  3. Eduardo Motta (Brazil) 8.95
  4. Max Elkington (Kommetjie) 6.75

Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill – Junior Women’s Final Results

  1. Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) 11.15 points
  2. Zoe Steyn (East London) 8.0
  3. Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) 7.40
  4. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 6.35