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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 1 November 2018

A welcome record has just been broken in Hawaii, with four South Africans reaching the last 16 of the HIC Pro presented by Vans in Hawaii, and two of them making the final.

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SUN RISING: The first time since the 70s that two Saffas made a final in Hawaii. Photo WSL / Heff

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) and Slade Prestwich (Durban) finished third and fourth in the final of the QS 3,000 rated WSL QS at Sunset Beach - the first time more than one South African has featured in a final of an event in Hawaii since the world professional circuit was inaugurated in 1976.

It was also confirms the rising presence of South Africans on the world surfing stage. The event was won by North Shore local Kiron Jabour with O’Neill Massin from Tahiti the runner-up in a wave-starved final that saw the winner ride just his two counting waves, Massin catching three and the two South Africans just one each.

Competing against a stellar field of international stars and hungry local experts, for whom the HIC Pro was the official trials event for the prestigious Hawaiian Triple Crown series of three major events on the North Shore, the South African contingent’s skill and commitment stood out from the opening day.

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PRESSING THE SWITCH: Slade took a credible fourth in the prestigious event. Photo WSL / Chlala

De Vries has had past success at Sunset Beach, earning a perfect 10-point ride during the 2013 Vans World Cup - a wave that was hailed as the best barrel ever surfed in competition at Sunset's west peak. He was again a standout at the HIC Pro with heat victories over the likes of former WSL Championship Tour stars Dusty Payne (HAW), Nat Young (USA) and Ricardo Christie (NZL), as well as eventual winner Jabour, on his way to the final. His haul of 1,680 points for third place, his best result of the year, saw de Vries jump 14 spots to No. 49 on the latest QS rankings.

Prestwich and Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) won their opening round heats and Davey van Zyl (Glenashley) was arguably the best performing Saffa in the earlier rounds, making good on his ambition to qualify for the Hawaiian events and winning three consecutive heats before being ousted in the semi-finals to place equal fifth overall.

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) maintained his position as South Africa’s highest QS rated surfer by advancing through two rounds, including a nail-biting Round 4 encounter where he and Van Zyl came from behind in the dying seconds to overtake Noe Mar McGonagle (CRC) and Hawaiian standout Joshua Moniz to grab the advancing first and second spots when the results were announced three minutes after the encounter had ended.

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BRAND MATCH: Benji Brand hacks the lip right off of a goodie. Photo WSL / Chlala

McGillivray was eliminated when he finished fourth in his quarter-final clash, placing equal 13th and maintaining his 25th spot in the rankings. Since pocketing 3,000 points for winning the 2018 season-opening event in Israel in January, the J-Bay local has consistently featured in the top bracket of most of the events he has contested, and with two huge QS 10,000 rated events still to be held, he finds himself just 4,000 points shy of a top 10 berth that will guarantee him a spot on the elite CT for 2019.

Prestwich posted his best QS performance when he finished fourth. Capitalising on an extensive travel schedule that has seen him compete in 34 heats in 13 events during 2018, the Durbanite improved his ranking by 49 places to a career-high No. 104 and he is likely to qualify for the Haleiwa and Sunset Beach legs of the Triple Crown

The WSL’s competitive focus now shifts down the coast to Haleiwa for the first event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS), the QS 10,000 rated Hawaiian Pro, which has a holding window of November 12 – 24. That will be followed by the QS 10,000 Vans World Cup at back at Sunset Beach from November 25 – 6 December and then the final CT event of the year, the Billabong Pipe Masters, where the 2018 WSL Champion will be crowned, runs from 8 – 20 December.

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MAKE OR BREAK: Beyrick breaks into the top 50 surfers on the QS. Photo WSL / Heff

1st – Kiron Jabour (HAW), 14.00
2nd – O’Neill Massin (PYF), 11.40
3rd – Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), 5.00
4th – Slade Prestwich (ZAF), 3.33

SF1: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), Kiron Jabour (HAW), Alonso Correa (PER), Luke Shepardson (HAW)
SF2: O’Neill Massin (PYF), Slade Prestwich (ZAF), David Van Zyl (ZAF), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

QF1: Luke Shepardson (HAW), Alonso Correa (PER), Lucas Silveira (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
QF2: Kiron Jabour (HAW), Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), Cody Young (HAW), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
QF3: David Van Zyl (ZAF), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Ian Gentil (HAW)
QF4: O’Neill Massin (PYF), Slade Prestwich (ZAF), Jake Marshall (USA), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)

South Africans (Top 104)
25 McGillivray,Matthew (Jeffreys Bay) 8750
49 De Vries,Beyrick (uMhlanga) 6620
61 February,Michael (Cape Town) 5870
73 Van Zyl,David (Glenashley) 5200
76 Masencamp,Adin (Strand) 5190
92 Lightfoot,Dylan (Jeffreys Bay) 4255
104 Prestwich,Slade (Durban) 3860

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