Chelsea Tuach, 2019 Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley Women’s Champion
Credit: WSL/Thurtell

PIPE, POLLOCK BEACH, PORT ELIZABETH – The cream rose to the top at the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley when Barbados surfer Chelsea Tuach won the Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 and South African Adin Masencamp (Strand) won the Men’s QS 1000. The 6th stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Africa QS and the 4th of five events in the City Surf Series (CSS) offered five days of great surfing for competitors and spectators alike.

It was a challenging final for Tuach and Vahine Fierro (FRA), with surfers having to wait a long time before finding waves with decent scoring potential. Tuach scored the best wave of the heat for a 5.50 and backed it up with a 3.93 for a total of 9.43. Fierro searched the line-up for better scores but could only get two waves in the 4-point range. Tuach, who came into the event ranked in the top 30, will leapfrog up the WSL Women’s QS leaderboard after posting her best result of the 2019 season.

“It’s been a crazy day trying to make heats and also trying to make my flight!” said an elated and out-of-breath Tuach. “It got really hard in the final and I knew I just had to get two waves that would hopefully be the best scores. I knew Vahine wasn’t going to be easy to beat, so my heart was in my throat up until the last second. I feel like I’m surfing well and I’m in a good rhythm.”

Tuach heads home for a short break before starting to train for the Pan-American Games in the hope of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In the Women’s Semifinals, current World Junior Champion and event standout Kirra Pinkerton (USA) was disappointed after being eliminated by Fierro, herself a former World Junior Champ.

“It just didn’t seem to work out for me in that heat and I’m really disappointed,” said Pinkerton, who walks away with an equal 3rd place result.

Reigning WSL Africa champion Adin Masencamp (Strand) breathed a sigh of relief when he won the Men’s QS 1000 against Australian Sheldon Simkus.

“I’m so stoked to get the win. It’s been biting me, every time I come to PE I reach the finals but can’t seem to get a win. I think it’s just a mindset,” said Masencamp. “I’ve had a good year so far and I feel like I’m picking up momentum now heading into Ballito.”

Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) opted to play the waiting game in his Semifinal match-up with Simkus while the Australian kept moving and whipped out high performance maneuvers on every wave to build on his score and advance to the final. Disappointed with a strategy that didn’t pan out, Elkington was eliminated in equal 3rd place.

The fifth and final CSS event, the Vic Bay Classic, takes place from 20-22 June and offers Men’s, Women’s and Junior Men’s and Women’s QS 1000 rated events.

Alongside the world-class surfing action, the City Surf Series events also embrace sustainability and transformation programs such as the Surfing South Africa (SSA) Learn To Surf outreach project in collaboration with Caltex EC, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Ocean Pledge.

Ocean Pledge will assist in creating ‘Blue Events,' while the NSRI will be educating members of the public, competitors, local schools and surf outreach programs about ocean safety and ocean awareness.

More information, results and images will be available on and on the WSL App.

2019 WSL Africa Tour Schedule

  • March 27-30 Senegal Pro Dakar, Senegal M&W QS1,500 - Completed
  • April 18-20 Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro Port Elizabeth M&W QS1,000 + JQS1,000 - Completed
  • April 22-24 Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic M&W QS1,000 + JQS1,000 - Completed
  • May 10-12 Zigzag Durban Surf Pro Durban M&W QS1,000 + JQS1,000 - Cancelled
  • May 31-1 Jun Vans Surf Pro Classic Lamberts Bay M QS1,500; W QS1,000; M JQS1,000 - Completed
  • Jun 13-17 VWSA Open of Surfing Port Elizabeth WQS3,000; MQS1,000; M&W JQS1,000 - Completed
  • Jun 20-22 Vic Bay Classic Victoria Bay M&W QS1,000; M&W JQS1,000
  • Jun 27-7 Jul Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill Ballito MQS10,000; WQS1,000; M&WJQS1,000