Eli Beukes on his way to victory in the Junior Men’s event at the
2019 Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
Credit: WSL/Thurtell

The Junior Men’s Final was a stacked field with committed surfing from all four competitors. Eli Beukes (Cape Town) seemed to have left the best for last, dominating the final from the start. Beukes impressed the judges with his speed and powerful turns to open his account with a 7.67. He stayed busy, looking for a decent back-up, and finally found it for a 6.83 to shut the door on his opponents.

“I’m really happy. It’s been such a fun trip and I’m just super happy to come away with the win. I’ve been working really hard and it finally paid off,” said Beukes.

Luke Thompson (Durban) tried his best to find the right waves and managed to sneak into second place before the buzzer. Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) has been surfing with plenty of fire throughout the day and you could never count him out, but it didn’t seem to go his way in the final, finishing third and the only international in the Junior Men’s competition, Lenni Jensen (GER) finished in fourth place.

In the Junior Women’s final, the powerful Australian, Piper Harrison, nabbed the win from Rachel Presti (GER) in the last few minutes.

“It feels so good to get that win. I wasn’t having that good a heat, and I just got lucky. I guess that’s how it goes and I’m stoked. I’m really enjoying PE and loving South Africa!” said Harrison.

It was Presti who was leading for the majority of the heat, but Harrison caught a great right-hander, completing four maneuvers with speed, power and flow and getting the nod from the judges for a 7.17 shooting her into first place.

Presti (GER) has been surfing well the entire event and she can be very proud of her performance. Kayla Nogueira (Durban) surfed a clever heat in the Semifinals to progress as the only South African in the final, but in the end she couldn’t find the waves with the right scoring potential.

In the Women’s QS 3000, it was quite a surprise to see all the remaining Japanese surfers eliminated from the competition. This came at the hands of the Australians Isabella Nichols, Holly Wawn and Sophie McCulloch who all progressed to the Quarterfinals. Nichols scored the highest heat of the round with a total of 13.50.

After being eliminated from the Junior competition, Kirra Pinkerton (USA) managed to hold on to a second place behind Vahine Fierro (FRA). Pinkerton showed why she is the current World Junior Champion when she bagged an excellent 8.33, just enough to send Emily Nishimoto (JPN) and Minami Nonaka (JPN) home.

In the Men’s QS 1,000 event, Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) continued his winning ways in a stacked all-South African heat with a two-wave total of 12.50. The slow conditions on offer made it crucial to find a decent back-up score, which heat runner-up Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) finding just enough while Koby Oberholzer (Durban) and Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) struggled and were eliminated.

The Surfing South Africa rated Longboard Men’s and Women’s champions were also decided, with Ryan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Tarryn King (Cape Town) taking out the respective titles.

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, 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 www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App. Catch the final day’s action LIVE on the WSL QS Facebook page. 

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 Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing Port Elizabeth WQS3,000; MQS1,000; M&W JQS1,000
  • 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