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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Tue, 8 August 2017

Michael February sits 2nd on the QS to move within striking distance of the CT next year after his 5th place at the QS10,000 Vans US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach in California.

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CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Sage Erickson and Kanoa Igarashi celebrate. Photo WSL / Morris

The 24-year-old from Kommetjie in Cape Town continued his superlative 2017 form, winning four consecutive heats against the world’s best surfers to reach the quarterfinals in California. There he lost to Carlos Munoz (CRI) in a wave-starved heat where each surfer only had two rides in the 35 minute clash. Local Kanoa Igarashi won the event. The women's CT event was won by Sage Erickson.

February’s haul of US $7,000 (about R94,000) and 5,200 pts saw him take the tally from his best five results this season to 14,750 points, overtaking Brazilians Willian Cardoso and Yago Dora and moving #2 on the QS leaderboard behind runaway rankings leader Jesse Mendes, also of Brazil.

The Capetonian, who ended 2016 ranked 53rd, has already won 26 competitive heats this year, six more than No. 8 ranked Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) whose 20 heat wins is the second highest for 2017. February has featured in the final of four QS1,000 events, winning three, and also reached the semifinals of QS10,000 Ballito Pro last month.

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FEBRUARY ON HIGH: Mikey is now ranked second on the QS series. Photo WSL / Morris

“This has been my best start to a season and just thinking about what’s different, we usually have a big gap between events after Australia, but this year we had about four or five events in South Africa,” said February last week. “Just to be able to surf a lot of heats has been nice to get that practice in leading up to Ballito, getting a result there, and really just enjoying surfing, which is always great.”

Based on the 2016 season, February will need a minimum of around 19,000 points to have a chance of finishing in the Top 10 on the QS and joining Jordy Smith in 2018.

“I’m not going to lie and say I don’t want to qualify, everyone on the QS is trying to do that and I’m stoked with results from my last few events and just want to keep the positives alive going into the next few,” February continued.

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LITTLE LINEUP: The waves dropped dramatically for finals day. Photo WSL / Morris

He will be targeting the QS6,000 rated events scheduled for Pantin in Spain, the Azores (where he posted his previous career-best performance with 3rd place last year) and in Maresias, Brazil; along with the QS10,000 in Cascais, Portugal to try an pick up the necessary points.

The final two QS10,000 events in Hawaii in November and December are notoriously difficult, not only featuring some of the world’s biggest and most powerful waves, but also a host of highly competitive local entries, and also all CT members in danger of not making the Top 22 cutoff for re-qualification on the elite tour.

The Vans US Open of Surfing was won by Huntington Beach local Kanoa Igarashi (USA) who secured a popular victory over Tomas Hermes (BRA) in the final to clinch the US $100,000 winner’s pay cheque and 10,000 points that resulted in the Californian rocketing up 66 places to No. 3 on the QS rankings. That's the difference 10,000 points make.

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WISE SAGE: Erickson won the 6th stop on the Womens Championship Tour. Photo WSL / Morris

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS10,000 Final Results
 1 - Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 17.23
2 - Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.10

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS10,000 Semifinal Results
 SF 1: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.26 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.92
SF 2: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.84 def. Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.70

Vans US Open of Surfing Men’s QS10,000 Quarterfinal Results
QF 1: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 13.30 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.83.
QF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.43 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.10
QF 3: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 10.06 def. Michael February (ZAF) 5.17
QF 4: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.47 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.40

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s CT Final Results
1 - Sage Erickson (USA) 11.84
2 - Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 9.80

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s CT Semifinal Results
SF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.10 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 7.34
SF 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.33 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.46

2017 WSL Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Vans US Open of Surfing)
1 - Tyler Wright (AUS) 41,400 pts
2 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 39,900 pts
3 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 38,300 pts
4 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 34,750 pts
5 - Johanne Defay (FRA) 33,400 pts

2017 Men's QS Rankings (After Vans US Open of Surfing)
1 - Jesse Mendes (BRA) 22,700 pts
2 - Michael February (ZAF, Kommetjie) 14,750 pts
3 - Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 13,310 pts
4 - Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13,010 pts
5 - Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12,380 pts
11 – Jordy Smith (ZAF, Durban) 10,000 pts
46 – Beyrick de Vries (ZAF, uMhlanga) 5.375 pts
70 – David van Zyl (ZAF, Glenashley) 4,090 pts

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