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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Fri, 21 April 2017

Mikey February wears the striped leader’s vest in clean 3' surf in Durban today at the third event of the City Surf Series, the Corona Durban Surf Pro presented by Quiksilver and Roxy.  


STAR WITH STRIPES: Mikey Feb has dominated the City Surf Series. Photo WSL / Thurtell

A stiff SW buster along the Golden Mile of Durban greeted organisers of the WSL QS1,000-rated contest this morning, and with dropping surf forecast this weekend, they got straight down to business with the opening two rounds of Men’s competition and Round 1 of the Women’s event. The event champions will be crowned on Sunday afternoon.

the trend will be for smaller and smaller surf as we enter the weekend

A few days ago the surf was pumping, but it's eased now and the trend will be for smaller and smaller surf as we enter the weekend, says Spike. A pumping SW buster dies off overnight and Saturday and Sunday look super clean in the morning, but with diminishing swell. Still a few 2 to maybe 3' remnants of the SE swell on Saturday, but Sunday looks horribly flat.

A solid turnout of more than 130 surfers are battling for prestige, prize-money and points in the hallowed waves of New Pier. South Africans, hungry for points and a crack at the overseas leagues, are dominating the numbers. The third of five stops on the City Surf Series offers a prize-purse of R80,000 and points on international and regional rankings for Men and Women and Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for Men and Women 18-and-under.

EL 16th-April_ianThurtell_2017--2-of-19

LINEUP: Smooth waves this morning when the buster was pure SW. Photo WSL / Thurtell

Michael February (Kommetjie) has leapfrogged 21 places to No. 26 on the QS rankings after his victory in Port Elizabeth a fortnight back and runner-up finish in East London last weekend and he is wearing the striped Skullcandy rankings leader’s vest again in Durban.

Second seed Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) has an outstanding contest record in KwaZulu-Natal beach breaks and is joined by a bevy of hungry stars who are going all out to prevent February from increasing his lead in the race for the 2017 WSL Africa Men’s title.

Dylan Lightfoot and Matthew McGillivray from Jeffreys Bay, New Pier standout David van Zyl (Glenashley), last weekend’s runner-up Steven Sawyer (J-Bay), Braden Jones (USA) and Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) complete the high caliber top eight seeds, all of whom have the ability to clinch victory on their day.

EL 16th-April_ianThurtell_2017--6-of-19

EARLY HEAT: Surfers prepare for their Round 1 heat early this morning. Photo WSL / Thurtell

Hawaiian Zoe McDougall, currently ranked 13th on the QS Women’s leaderboard, takes over as top seed in the QS1,000 Women’s event in Durban after flying in from Barbados, and her talent is well known in South Africa after winning the Ballito women’s event last year.

Emma Smith (J-Bay) and KZN stars Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) and Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) fill the top four spots in the seedings while East London winner Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) and runner-up Tayla Hanak (AUS) will also pose major threats.

Bell has been the star of the Junior Women, although Kayla Noguera (uMhlanga) who won in Port Elizabeth, and Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) are more than capable of causing major upsets, while McDougall has also entered the JQS1,000 rated event.


LEFT TURN: Jake Elkington rips up an ankle snapper between the piers. Photo WSL / Thurtell

Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach), winners of the previous two JQS1,000 Men’s events, are determined to draw away from the chasing pack who include Max Elkington (Kommetjie), reigning WSL Africa champ Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Luke Slijpen (Jeffreys Bay).

An outreach programme will be conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) during the event. Participants are involved in beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest, beach relays and an Easter egg hunt with all participants receiving breakfast, lunch and a commemorative medal.

Live scoring, results, images, news and more for the Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits are available at www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The Corona Durban Surf Pro is supported by Quiksilver, Roxy, Volkswagen, Yesman, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador and Accelerate Sport.

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