Florence J2780 BellsDunbar192

John John Florence, Bells Beach © WSL/Cestari

JBay Winterfest – Two times world champion John John Florence from Hawaii and eleven times world champion Kelly Slater from America will both be competing in the Corona JBay Open this year. With thirteen world titles between them, the surfers were absent from the perfect waves of Supertubes for one of the last two years as a result of serious injuries at the time, but both are now fully recovered and are surfing with all the skill, talent and passion that they are known for.

Dylan Lightfoot and Ariane Ochoa

Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Ariane Ochoa (Spain) clinched the Men’s and Women’s titles
at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic on Wednesday.  
Photo: WSL / Thurtell

 South Africa’s Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Ariane Ochoa from the Basque region of Spain took out the Men’s and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) titles at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Surf Classic in Port Alfred on Wednesday, with Thomas Lindhorst (East London) and Ceara Knight (Kommetjie) crowned the Junior Men’s Junior Women’s champions respectively.

Ren Hashimoto

Caption: Ren Hashimoto (Japan) has been the standout performer in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro
at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth.  Photo: WSL / Thurtell

Joshe Faulkner and Minami Nonaka Clinch QS Titles at Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

- Nonaka Completes Rare Double by Also Winning Junior Women’s Event
- Eli Beukes Crowned Junior Men’s Champion

Caption: David van Zyl (Glenashley) is the defending Men’s champion and top seed for the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro starting in Port Elizabeth on Thursday  Photo: WSL / Thurtell

David van Zyl (Glenashley) is the defending Men’s champion and top seed for the
Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro starting in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.  
Photo: WSL / Thurtell

The South African leg of the annual WSL Africa Tour gets underway tomorrow when competitors in the third annual Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro take to the waves at the Pipe on Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth.

After the successful launch of the 2019 regional surf tour at the historic inaugural Senegal Surf Pro in West Africa last month, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro is Stop No. 2 on the seven-event tour and runs from Thursday to Saturday, 18-20 April featuring WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 rated events for Men and Women and JQS1,000 events for Junior Men and Women aged 18-and-under.

The annual tour crowns the WSL Africa regional Men’s, Women’s and Junior champions with coveted points earned at the events also counting towards the international QS rankings for the open surfers and towards the selection of the squad to represent Africa at the World Junior Surfing Championships in December.

The 2019 tour kicks off with a virtual double-header as the Nelson Mandela Bay event is followed closely by the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic, 150 kms up the East coast at the mouth of the Kowie River, which runs from Monday to Wednesday, 22-24 April. That is followed by stops in Durban (May), Lamberts Bay on the West Coast and then back to Port Elizabeth (both June) before culminating at Ballito on the KwaDukuza coast of KwaZulu-Natal in July.

David van Zyl (Glenashley), the 2018 Nelson Mandela Bay Men’s champion, will be back to defend his title, as will Junior Men’s champ Dillon Hendricks (Cape Town). However, the Women’s and Junior Women’s events will crown new champions this year as Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay), who won both titles in 2018, is currently overseas.

A solid contingent of international competitors will be participating in the first four events on the SA leg before scores of the world’s best surfers arrive for the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing in June, where the QS3,000 Women’s event is the highest rated event for females on the continent, and for the QS10,000 Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill which celebrates its 51st edition in July.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro is also the first of four events in the City Surf Series (CSS) which includes the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic, the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro and the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing.

Alongside the world-class surfing action, the CSS events also embrace sustainability and transformation programs such as the Surfing South Africa 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 from www.worldsurfleague.com and on the free WSL App and the final day action will be webcast live.

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 + M&W JQS1,000

  • April 22-24
    Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic - M&W QS1,000 + M&W JQS1,000

  • May 10-12
    Zigzag Durban Surf Pro - M&W QS1,000 + M&W JQS1,000

  • May 31-1
    Jun Vans Surf Pro Classic Lamberts Bay - M QS1,500 + W QS1,000 + M JQS1,000

  • Jun 13-17 Volkswagen SA Open Port Elizabeth W QS3,000+ M QS1,000 + M&W JQS1,000
    of Surfing
  • Jun 27-7 Jul
    Ballito Pro pres. Ballito by O'Neil - M QS10,000 + W QS1,000 + M&W JQS1,000


Surfers Paradise in Dakar will be the venue for the inaugural QS1,500 Senegal Pro for men and women which runs from Wednesday until Sunday.  Photo: WSL / Masurel

West Africa will stage a World Surf League (WSL) competition for the first time when the inaugural Senegal Pro presented by BKS gets underway at Surfers Paradise in Dakar on the westernmost point of the continent starting on Wednesday.

Featuring Qualifying Series (QS) 1,500 rated events, this historic contest has attracted entries from a total of 26 women and 41 men from 15 countries and is the first event in the 2019 WSL Africa Series with 19 of the entrants also earning points on the regional rankings, including seven new members from Senegal.