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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 18 June 2018

Australian surfer Jordan Lawler says South Africans are so nice, they helped him win the men's division of the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro presented by O’Neill this weekend!

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AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE: Jordn Lawler is held aloft by his compatriots. Photo Ian Thurtell

After giant surf on Friday, stormy seas on Saturday, the finals of the WSL QS event at Big Bay in Bloubergstrand yesterday was meek by comparison, with 2-3' bumps on offer as Lawler came out on top of three South Africans in the final, and Minami Nonaka (Japan) did the same to win the women's title.

“I really love it here so much, every South African I have met is just the coolest guy ever and everybody is so nice. It definitely plays a role in my surfing over here,” said Lawler, who has been in South Africa since the opening event of the WSL Africa QS at the end of March, accumulated several good results, including a runner-up finish in Port Alfred. He was "over the moon" about his first QS victory since 2014 in Australia.

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LAWLER SLASH: Lawler took down three South Africans in the final. Photo WSL / Thurtell

Lawler played a patient game at the start of the Men’s final, but he fell behind his three South African opponents so he decided to get busy and it paid off. First he added a 7.0 to an earlier 6.0 to overtake Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) who had led the 25 minute encounter from the outset.

Shortly thereafter the Australian caught a wave that reformed on the inside and, surfing to the judging criteria, he performed several manoeuvres with speed, power and flow to be rewarded with an 8.25, the only score in the excellent range (8 points or more out of 10) and the highest score of the final.

His two wave heat tally of 15.25 left Adin Masencamp (Strand) needing a near-perfect 9.25 for victory, while McGillivray and Chad du Toit (Durban) each needed to replace both their counting rides as the clock wound down.

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BIG WIN: Minami Nonaka poses with Paul Canning, head of O'Neill in South Africa. Photo Thurtell

The diminutive Nonaka is just 16 but posted the highest heat total, 15.50 points, in the women’s opening round held in pounding overhead surf at Melkbosstrand on Friday. Although she was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Junior Women’s event on Saturday, she kept advancing in the women’s event and went on to clinch her first QS victory. She defeated two of South Africa’s top female talents, multiple event winner Sarah Baum (Durban) and reigning WSL Africa Women’s Champion Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), as well as local rising star Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) in a hard fought final.

Baum dominated the early exchanges of the matchup with a pair of six-point rides, consistently making the connection to the inside section and displaying great wave selection. But the petite Japanese girl found a runner that she worked over nearly all the way to the beach for a confidence-boosting 7.75 and then slammed the door on her rivals with a 6.50 in the dying minutes of the encounter. Baum had to settle for second spot while Pallet and Nogueira took third and fourth respectively.

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RELATIVELY SMALL: The diminutive Japanse girl made short work of the surf. Photo Thurtell

Kai Woolfe was the only South African to win a QS title this weekend: the Junior Women in solid 3-5' surf at Big Bay on Saturday. Jolan Bonelli of Reunion won the Junior Men's. For Woolf, it was a 4th straight JQS victory. She even won a Women’s QS at the opening event this year in Port Elizabeth.

In the longboarding, Crystal Hulett of St Francis Bay took the women’s longboard contest, with Roxy Davis (Cape Town) runner-up, followed by Tarryn King (Cape Town), Faye Zoetmulder (Jbay) and Angelica Schon (Cape Town). In the men’s, Michael Hill (St Francis Bay) came out on top, outmaneuvering Cape Townians Thomas King, Manoa Robb and Matthew Moir.

The SUP wave riding contest started at Muizenberg on Friday and Saturday and migrated to Big Bay, the main contest venue. Thomas King ruled the men with young gun Henko Scholtz 2nd, ahead of Dylan Frick and Tyran Cooper. The women were dominated by identical twins, Tammy Foster and Penny Stemmet with Foster taking the win. Tarryn King and Khara Doyle followed.

The Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley starts in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday and features a QS3,000 Women’s event, a QS1,500 Men’s event, JQS1,000 Men’s and Women’s events for surfers 18-and-under, and Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events for Men and Women.

More info at www.WorldSurfLeague.com

QS1,000 Men’s Results
1. Jordan Lawler (Australia) 15.25 points
2. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 11.85
3. Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 9.50
4. Chad du Toit (Durban) 9.25

QS 1,000 Women’s Results
1. Minami Nonaka (Japan) 14.255 points
2. Sarah Baum (Durban) 13.0
3. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 8.35
4. Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) 7.30

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

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

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