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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Sat, 14 April 2018

Typically zippy, clean waves at Nahoon Reef greeted the surfers contesting the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef on Day One in East London yesterday.

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TOP VIEW: A drone captures the contest site at Nahoon Reef. Photo WSL / Thurtell

Crisp, hollow runners - some slightly overhead - were rolling across the urchin-infested reef to provide a liquid platform for some of South African's best open and junior surfers to strut their stuff. True to form, the top seeds comfortably moved through.

A freshening west winds from midday did little to affect the surf during Round One of the QS1,000 Women, the third stop of the 13-event WSL Africa Tour, which kickstarted with the QS1,000 Men’s event early in the morning. A gentle drizzle saw the wind drop again for the opening round of the Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) Women’s heats that ended the day.

The top four seeds – Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), David van Zyl (Glenashley) and the Jeffreys Bay pair of Matt McGillivray and Dylan Lightfoot – all posted comfortable heat wins. Lightfoot was the standout of the quartet, hunting down four great waves and utilising his trademark high performance repertoire to earn the day’s highest heat total of 15.40 out of 20.

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ELKE DAG: Jake Elkington smacks one off the top across the mid section. Photo WSL / Thurtell

National surfing legend Greg Emslie (East London) showed his local knowledge at the break he honed his skills on by delivering an excellent 8.0 ride and a heat tally of 13.75. But it was Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) who earned the highest single ride score, an outstanding 8.50, as he cruised into Round Two alongside heat runner-up Chris Leppan.

History was made when Jean Patrice Furcy became the first Mauritian surfer to compete in a WSL event. Thanks to the efforts of WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch, Furcy will be spending three months in South African competing in the local events. He was presented with two brand new surfboards by Hurricane Surf when he arrived at the event site this morning.

There were upsets in the women’s event when Kayla Nogueira (uMhlang) and Danielle Powis (Muizenberg) were eliminated in the first round, but Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) restored order by progressing to meet the top eight seeds in Round 2.

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WINTER AVOS: Eastern Cape ripper Avuyile Ndamase cuts some spray away. Photo WSL / Thurtell

Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay), winner of the women’s and junior women’s event in Port Elizabeth over Easter, and Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) took the honours in the opening heats of the junior women’s heats.

Today’s schedule will see both the women’s and junior women’s events concluded with the winners crowned at the event site at the end of the day’s proceedings. Competitors, organisers and spectators will observe a minute’s silence in keeping with the 10 days of mourning for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela declared by State President Cyril Ramaphosa. The South African national flag at the event will be flown at half-mast

Cranking surf is due on Saturday. Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.


SNE NE: S'Nenhlanhla Makhubu was knocked out in Round 3. Photo WSL / Thurtell

Men's QS1,000 Upcoming Round 3
S. Sykes; D. Lightfoot; D. Staples; TBD
J. Maree; B. De Vries; G. Emslie; TBD

Women's QS1,000 Upcoming Semifinals
Zoë Steyn vs Kai Woolf
Faye Zoetmulder vs Nicole Pallet

Junior Boys Upcoming Quarterfinals
M. Elkington; D. Hendricks; E. Beukes; L. Thompson
A. Faulkner; B. Du Preez; R. Lightfoot; M. Du Preez
C. Goor; L. Slijpen; A. Gericke; G. Borges
K. Oberholzer; T. Lindhorst; S. Randall; D. Orpen

Junior Women's Upcoming Semifinals
Kai Woolf; Gabriella Lailvaux; Nina Harmse; Olivia Izzard
Summer Sutton; Kirsty McGillivray; Kayla Nogueira; Zoë Steyn


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