Wed, 11 September 2019

South Africans are killing it in surfing right now, especially after JBay muso Steve "Steezy" Sawyer took 3rd in the inaugural Longboard Classic New York yesterday.


ONE TWO: An historic first for Hawaii with two winners in the same event. Photo WSL / Van Kirk

Fresh from SA's silver medal in the Aloha Cup at the ISA World Surfing Games (WSG), Bianca Buitendag's third in the women's event at the WSG and Matt McGillivray's best ever QS result (5th) at the ABANCA Galicia Classic Surf Pro in Spain, Sawyer eased into the semi-finals, but came unstuck against youngster Kaniela Stewart, 18, who was eventual winner.

With Honolua Blomfield the women's champion, this was the first time in history that Hawaiians have completed a longboarding double, this taking place at Long Beach, New York, in clean 3 foot surf. Brasilians Chloe Calmon and Jefson Silva had their opportunity of a South America sweep, but both were vanquished at the last hurdle by the Hawaiians.

This was Stewart's first WSL victory: "It's so amazing to win my first event ever and just thought ‘oh my goodness, that just happened," Stewart said. "Hopefully there's plenty more to come and I'm just stoked right now. Jefson's a black belt in surfing too and it was hard to find two good ones but I can't believe I did."


STEWART AHOY: The 18-year-old Hawaiian took the first WSL win of his career. Photo WSL / Van Kirk

"I woke up this morning and saw the waves thinking this is finals day, it's doable. Then I had Steven (Sawyer) and thought ‘uh-oh, this is the World Champ.' He's got way more experience than me so that win was huge and this is just so amazing."

Before Stewart took his first-career win, a third-consecutive final between Blomfield and #1 Calmon delivered another brilliant showdown. Blomfield's finals day draw was no easy task having to take down 2015 WSL World Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) for a third time in the Semifinals this season to ensure another final appearance. The win inches her closer to Calmon, closing the gap to just 1,500 points, before the finale in Taiwan December 1-7.

The final event of the year will take place at the Taiwan Open World Longboard Champs beginning December 1-7, which Sawyer won last year to become world champ.

Men's Longboard Tour Updated Top 5
Justin Quintal - 12,000 points
Kaniela Stewart - 8,650 points
Steven Sawyer - 8,050 points
Kai Sallas - 7,150 points
Jefson Silva - 7,150 points

Women's Longboard Tour Updated Top 5
Chloe Calmon - 12,000 points
Honolua Blomfield - 10,500 points
Rachael Tilly - 7,100 points
Emily Lethbride - 5,300 points
Alice Lemoigne - 5,300 points

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