Jordy Smith Leads World Team to Victory

Jordy Smith Leads World Team to Victory at Historic WSL Founders’ Cup Of Surfing

World Team celebrates win at WSL Founders’ Cup of Surfing (from L to R): Kanoa Igarashi (Japan), Paige Hareb (New Zealand), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), and Michel Bourez (Tahiti) – Credit: © WSL / Rowland

The World Team captained by South Africa’s Jordy Smith made history by winning the inaugural World Surf League (WSL) Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold in California on Sunday.

The first-ever official event at the WSL Surf Ranch, in front of a sellout crowd, was a showcase of incredible surfing and competition as the world’s best female and male surfers battled in teams for their home countries.

Highlighting how globally strong the sport of surfing is, it was the combined World Team who took an incredibly tight win ahead of Brazil in 2nd, USA in 3rd, Australia in 4th and Europe in 5th.

World Team was spearheaded by South African pair Jordy Smith (Team Captain) and Bianca Buitendag and superbly backed up by Michel Bourez (Tahiti), Paige Hareb (New Zealand) and Kanoa Igarashi (Japan).

Heading into the last heat of the Final, Brazil held the lead and the World Team needed a big performance from Smith on his last wave as he came up against USA Team Captain Kelly Slater and Filipe Toledo of the Brazil Team. Under pressure, Smith delivered a phenomenal final ride to earn the required score for the team’s victory at the Founders’ Cup of Surfing.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win as a team,” said Smith. “That was a wild few days and this just leaves room for bigger and better things to come. We’ve been talking about it as a team all weekend, and you can’t leave anything on the table when it comes to Finals Day. You just let it all hang out and enjoy it, and if you can pull that off you’ll walk away with a win. I think all week long we’ve been the underdogs and determination got us through it. Collectively, we just held our confidence up the whole time and supported each other all the way.”

The stunning World Team’s victory saw all five surfers perform amazing feats in the Final against the star-studded USA and Brazil teams. In the Qualifying rounds, the World Team actually finished in Equal 3rd place with Australia, which then forced a surf-off in order to advance. The sudden-death matchup against Australia saw Hareb clinch the win to qualify her team for the Final that eventually opened the door for their first-place result.

“The last two days have been so surreal and it’s still sinking in,” Hareb said. “The win came from nowhere I feel like and it’s the perfect ending to such a fun week. I am so proud to represent this team alongside Jordy (Smith), Bianca (Buitendag), Michel (Bourez), and Kanoa (Igarashi).”

The Brazil Team finished second, fractionally ahead of USA and Australia. Captain Gabriel Medina opened their final with an amazing 9.67 ride, the highest score in the Final. Toledo, Silvana Lima, Adriano de Souza, and Taina Hinckel pushed progression to new heights with miraculous tube-rides and imaginative aerial maneuvers.

“The team vibe was great and everyone was just pushing each other to do better,” Medina said. “I’m really happy with how we performed, even though it’s disappointing to come up short. We surfed really good as a team and it was a really fun event to show what we could do. It’s good to share this moment and have everyone talking to each other, especially with Taina [Hinckel] being so young. We’re so used to all the pressure, but it’s all new for her and we showed her a lot of support so hopefully, when she gets here in the future, she’ll be ready for this amazing atmosphere.”

Despite coming in second, the Brazil Team acquired the event’s highest single-wave scores and broke new ground at the WSL Surf Ranch. Toledo earned a Perfect 10 for his team, which also earned him the Jeep Best Ride Award for having the top-scoring wave of the contest. Toledo will drive out of Lemoore in the award’s prize, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

“It’s such an honor to be a part of surfing’s future and represent Brazil,” Toledo said. “Gabriel Medina, John Florence and I talked about how amazing it was to surf as teams. We were really tight together and the team had your back the whole way through supporting you. It was just an incredible experience and it’s something we will always remember.”

USA Team looked unstoppable after an incredible opening day had them in 1st place by over five points, but their performance in the Finals lacked the flair of the other teams. Team Captain Slater went extremely close to forcing a surf-off against the World Team on his final wave as he required a 9.27 ride to draw level with World Team. Slater surfed incredibly on the final ride but missed the score by only 0.2 points.

“I think it was a huge success,” Slater said. “Everybody had a good time, from those who didn’t know what was going on, to the die-hard surf fans. I think it translated well to everyone and there were a lot of smiles to be had. The other teams came together a little bit better in the end maybe, we were pretty cohesive, but they had the better plan to the Finals approach. When the situation lined up on my part it was a cool thing just knowing my wave would push us into a tie with Brazil or the World Team would win — which them doing so was terrific and really represents what we were doing here as a whole.”

John John Florence’s desperate attempts to defeat Medina in the Final fell short, but the two-time WSL Champion still claimed the event’s Quiksilver Best Air Award with his brilliant 9.80 in his second run on Saturday. Lakey Peterson’s consistent surfing helped earn the USA’s only Final heat win after Carissa Moore fell short to Lima with an 8.77. But, Moore’s overall event experience was one of the team’s best weapons and was a clear standout all weekend.

“You really just wanted to do well for your team and we would’ve loved to win, but it was such a fun experience competing together,” Moore said. “Kelly (Slater) was so close, I think all he needed to do was a turn and I’m glad he pushed it. That’s how this sport is going to get better. I’m just going to really remember being part of a team and the whole experience. To be a part of the first WSL Surf Ranch event and witness the fans here was incredible, and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Australia Team earned the fourth-place finish after barely missing qualification in their sudden-death, surf-off against the World Team. Unfortunately the experienced team, consisting of Team Captain and six-time WSL Champion, Stephanie Gilmore, three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning, two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright, and Matt Wilkinson, fell short under the pressure and was eliminated ahead of the Finals.

Earlier this morning, Europe Team’s Run 3 did not help them improve the needed scores to receive a Finals spot and saw them finish in fifth on the Jeep Leaderboard. Team Captain Johanne Defay scored two 7-point rides alongside Portugal’s Frederico Morais. Jeremy Flores and Leonardo Fioravanti had standout barrel rides but did not have the opportunity to continue into the Final. Frankie Harrer struggled to keep pace but is excited to return to the WSL Surf Ranch to continue to gain more experience.

Jeep Leaderboard:

1 – World Team
2 – Brazil Team
3 – USA Team
4 – Australia Team
5 – Europe Team

Final Results HERE: https://www.wslfounderscup.com/results

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com and WSLFoundersCup.com.

About WSL Surf Ranch

The WSL Surf Ranch facility, which was revealed online to the public in December 2015, boasts the best man-made wave in history – a 700-yard, high-performance, bi-directional wave featuring barrel sections and maneuver sections. Primarily existing as a testing facility, the Lemoore site has spent the past two years dialing in the technology under the guidance of 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and feedback from visiting WSL surfers. A private test event last September proved very successful, paving the way for the Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold to be the first time the public will be allowed onto the grounds.

For more information, please visit www.WSLFoundersCup.com .

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Skipper thanks NSRI

Ship’s Master thanks NSRI

Following the amazing effort by NSRI the skipper of the SA Amandla, the ship that was able to tow the stricken tugboat and ship to safety wrote the following to the crews involved.

Dear Ian Gray, Station Commander NSRI Port Elizabeth

Please see below from Capt Duse – I would like to echo his comments.

Many thanks, you and your team managed to alleviate what could have been a very serious maritime incident.

Best regards

Dave Murray | BU Manager : Offshore Marine Services

“I would like to forward my deepest and sincere appreciation and thanks to the NSRI teams – Rescue 21 St Francis and Rescue 37 Jeffrey’s Bay and their base support teams that came out to give support and medical standby during the time of the bridle wire recovery and tow connection.  We had on this occasion had to work as close as <5 meters from the bulbous bow of the MT ORDER  to recover the very short bridle pennant on deck. It was comforting and morale up lifting to all onboard to have the rescue teams in close standby should any immediate evacuation of crew had been required

I take my hat off to those guys who offer their time and life  for the preservation of life to all connected with the seas.

Well done to all… Give them all a Bells from us

Kind regards

The Master , Officers and crew

Russel Duse

Master – m.t. “SA Amandla”

At 19h30, Friday, 04th May, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were alerted following reports of the Tug Boat AHT Carrier reporting that while towing the MT Order (towing to Maputo) the towing rope had separated and rope had fouled the tug boats one motor tethering her to the casualty boat. She was unable to recover the tow rope to re-attach a towline to the casualty vessel and reporting that effectively both the tug boat and the casualty vessel were drifting shorewards in the currents but at that stage still at least 15 nautical miles off-shore.

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NSRI St Francis avert potential disaster

NSRI St Francis in massive disaster prevention effort

National Sea Rescue

It is appropriate that our photo of the week has the NSRI Spirit of St Francis Rescue boat featured alongside the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior for our local lads and ladies from NSRI did us proud this weekend both in preventing a disaster as reported below but also on a personal note at the Kromme Descent.

At 19h30, Friday, 4th May, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were alerted following reports of the Tug Boat AHT Carrier reporting that while towing the MT Order (towing to Maputo) the towing rope had separated and rope had fouled the tug boats one motor tethering her to the casualty boat and she was unable to recover the tow rope to re-attach a towline to the casualty vessel and reporting that effectively both the tug boat and the casualty vessel were drifting shorewards in the currents but at that stage still at least 15 nautical miles off-shore.

The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), NSRI St Francis Bay, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and NSRI Port Elizabeth were placed on alert and while no lives were in any immediate danger with the 2 vessels tethered to each other the sea rescue stations remained on high alert to respond if an emergency developed.

The tugboat investigated all possibilities to detach herself from the casualty vessel and to re-attach a towline.

At 23h50, with unconfirmed information suggesting that the casualty vessel and the tugboat to be anywhere between 5 to 10 nautical miles off-shore and NSRI unable to gather accurate information on the exact amount of crew on the tugboat NSRI assisted to gather information from the ship’s agents.

It was reported that salvage divers had been activated from Cape Town but it would take quite some time to reach the scene.

It was then confirmed that there were 14 crew onboard the tugboat AHT Carrier and no crew onboard MT Order and at 05h00 NSRI learnt that they were now at least close to 4 nautical miles off-shore and that the SA Amandla salvage vessel had been activated but they were only due to arrive on the scene at 14h00.

At 05h10, Saturday, 05th May, NSRI made the decision to activate an emergency and the NSRI St Francis Bay sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and the NSRI Jeffreys Bay sea rescue craft Eddie Beaumont II launched.

On arrival on the scene we found both vessels approximately 5 nautical miles off-shore and in the current drift, they were approximately about 2 hours from running aground.

All crew onboard the tug were safe but they were helpless without a tender boat to recover their towline from the water and with rope fouled around one motor leaving the MT Order at risk of running aground.

Rope fouled around the motor of AHT Carrier had been loosened but one motor was still not operational.

On investigation we found a cable lying in the water off the stern of the casualty vessel.

The NSRI sea rescue craft maneuvered around the ship and followed that cable lying over her stern into the water and we found a chain attached to that cable and then thick rope attached to that chain.

The thick and very heavy rope that we found was hauled with great difficulty but successfully by our NSRI rescue crews onto the sea rescue craft (as much of the thick rope as was possible was recovered) and NSRI then rigged a patent line, using NSRI normal towing rope, and we were able to feed that patent line that we had rigged to the crew of the tug boat and the tug boat recovered their towline and stern to stern, on one motor, the tow ropes integrity was sound and the tug boat was able to hold the casualty ship by using her one operational motor from drifting and stopping their drift towards shore at 08h18.

NSRI sea rescue craft remained on the scene and only returned to re-fuel.

The tugboat, with her one motor operational and tow-line rigged stern to stern, they were able to gently head further out to sea.

NSRI met the SA Amandla on her arrival at around 13h00 and we stood by on the scene while the SA Amandla took over the tow of the casualty vessel from AHT Carrier.

Once the tow was safely taken up by SA Amandla NSRI returned to base and later in the afternoon we have been requested to take the salvage divers out to the AHT Carrier.

The SA Amandla has now towed the casualty ship further out to sea and no further NSRI assistance has been requested.

During the operation, Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with communications and Disaster Risk Management had also been placed on alert and SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) are assisting with coordinating this operation.

NSRI St Francis Bay, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and all involved in this operation are commended for averting a disaster at sea today.

From NSRI Press Release

Kromme Descent 2018

Kromme River Descent – A Great Event

Wow! What wonderful weather we enjoyed over the weekend. And what a great advert for St Francis with the swimming of the annual Kromme Descent. Swimmers, not only from St Francis and Port Elizabeth but even a few from Cape Town and possibly even further afield descended on St Francis for the swimming of the Kromme Decent. From small beginners with only a handful of swimmers four years ago the descent has blossomed into a major and epic swimming event on the Eastern Cape calendar.

Sensibly the organisers are limiting entry to just 50 pairs (100 swimmers) lest the event becomes overcrowded. Rather than being an individual event the swimmers compete in pairs with the times of both swimmers deciding their eventual success in the placings. Another rather clever idea is that as the event is held over two days the starting order for the second day is not what one would expect with the ‘first in’ on the first day being the ‘first out’ on the second day. Rather, to assist in all the swimmers crossing the finishing line in as short a time as possible, the slowest in on the first day ae the first out on the second day. A little confusing at the finish line for some when expected when odds-on favourite, local Liquid Lines owner and coach Haydn Holmes was preceded by three or four oldies.

In another twist to the event St Francis Runners got in on the act and had an informal race where the challenge was for them to run 15 kilometres in the time it took the first swimmer to reach the Cove. The runners won I nail-biter by with Richard Morris crossing the line just 10 seconds ahead of the first swimmer in. That said however, had Hadyn Holmes started at the same time as the runners rather than as the last swimmers group it would have been ‘no contest’. So St Francis Runners have the bragging rights until next year.

Well done all the swimmers.

On a somewhat personal note I would lke to thank NSRI, or rather to two of your crew along with Craig Jarvis. Whilst swimmers were crossing the line this scribes sister-in-law in an attempt to come ashore from a boat, attempted a swallow dive from boat to jetty that sadly and seriously ended in rather bad belly flop. The NSRI crew immediately came to her aid and with Craig fetching his emergency medical kit they were able to staunch the bleeding and bandage her up so that she could be transported to Dr Jean Malan. Thanks too , to Dr Malan for his immediately interrupting his Sunday and attending to Dawn. Unfortunately the injuries were rather severe and required specialist surgery in Port Elizabeth.

As I missed the prize-giving as a result of the accident I thank Richard Arderne for the prize-giving photographs.

 

Winners – Haydn Holmes and Ant Pearse (centre)

Ladies Winners – Maria Houbenova Holmes and Tracy Gous.

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