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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 25 June 2018

History was made yesterday when Hawaiian Brisa Hennessy won the WSL QS3000 rated Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing, presented by Hurley, at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth.

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HAWAIIAN STYLE: Brisa Hennessy makes history in the city of PE. Photo Ian Thurtell

Hennessy’s win catapulted her into the top ten of the women’s WSL QS ranking and opened a door for her to possibly realizing her dream of making it onto the 2019 Championship Tour. She fulfilled the historic occasion (the first female QS event to outrank the men's division at the same contest) by racking up not only three of the top five women’s wave scores for the week but also the highest wave score for men and women (a near perfect 9.83 in Round 1).

Foreign surfers dominated the final of the last event in the City Surf Series, with Hennessy and Dominic Barona of Equador getting off to a slow start with a long lull on the high tide only producing the first scorable wave appearing five minutes into the heat. The event is the biggest women's QS event in Africa and one of five around the world.

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AUSSIE BAKER: Jackson Baker hung on in the final to dispatch Adin Masencamp. Photo Thurtell

Australia’s Jackson Baker was crowned the men's champion on Saturday, taking down Adin Masencamp (Strand) despite the latter taking an early lead with a 5.67. The Australian ripped through a right-hand bomb to bank an excellent 8.00. Baker quickly backed up with a score of 3.83 that remained stuck in his top two until three minutes before the end when he found a 5.33.

Masencamp faught hard but was unable to close the gap. With 90 seconds on the clock, Masencamp needed 7.67 for a win but Neptune was not playing ball and the Cape Townian had to concede defeat. This was Masencamp’s fourth final in the six-event City Surf Series. The achievement has earned him a coveted wildcard entry into the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong, a R3.2 million QS10,000 - the biggest QS rated event in Africa, which starts today.

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WINNING RETURN: Matthew Moir won the Men's longboarding event on Saturday. Photo Thurtell

The men’s LQS1000 longboarding final was a very entertaining see-saw affair with the lead changing hands multiple times. South Africans Matthew Moir, Sam Christianson and Alfonzo Pieters all took turns at the helm but in the end it was Moir from Cape Town with an on-the-buzzer 7.00 point ride that clinched the title with Christianson in second and Pieters in third.

Cape Town’s Tarryn King pulled off a commanding victory in the WSL LQS1000 rated women’s longboarding final, ending the heat on 13.00, nearly five points higher than runner-up Michelle van Kempen from Nelson Mandela Bay. King, a two-time runner-up in events during the 2018 City Surf Series was hungry for the win and scored 6.67 points to take and early lead with a right-hand wave that she worked down the line all the way to the beach that earned her 6.67.

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I WON! Tarryn King exits the water after winning the women's longboarding. Photo Thurtell

The high tide conditions were difficult for the women on those nine foot boards and King opted to sit away from the pack in the second half of the heat. This tactical move paid off as she found a 3.27 point ride to drop the 1.27 point ride from her top two scores and extend her lead. A final left-hand wave on the buzzer offered good scoring opportunity and Kind managed to fit in a hang-five and a few other maneuvers that earned her 6.33 and a solid win over Van Kempen (Nelson Mandela Bay), Crystal Hulett (St. Francis Bay) and Shannon Hughes (USA).

Having surfed well consistently over the course of the series, Hulett held on to the zebra striped Skull Candy ratings leader’s jersey in the women’s longboarding competition. This was Hulett’s second striped jersey win in two years as she also took the overall win in the short board section in 2017.

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