Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres by Quiksilver
Jordy Maree and Josefina Ane Clinch Titles
Veteran Matthew Moir Crowned Men’s Longboard Champion
Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) were crowned the men’s and women’s champions at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver on Sunday – Photo: WSL / Thurtell
Jordy Maree (Cape Town) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) earned the biggest wins of their professional surfing careers today when they clinched the men’s and women’s World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) titles at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver.
Veteran former two-time ISA World Longboard Champion Matthew Moir (Cape Town) celebrated his first victory in a WSL rated event by defeating former WSL No. 2 Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in a high-performance final that highlighted the talent of local longboard surfers.
The inaugural Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver, Stop No 2 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour, enjoyed great waves and conditions at East Beach in Port Alfred, bringing WSL competition back to the Kowie Rivermouth for the first time since the 1990’s.
On a day when goofy foot surfers (those who ride with their right foot in front) dominated proceedings by filling all six spots in the three finals, Jody Maree led the charge with an outstanding win over red-hot Australian Jordan Lawler.
Maree opened his account in the final with two massive backhand turns and then safely completed the close-out re-entry to earn 7.25 out of 10, which ultimately was the highest score of the encounter. He continued to build his heat total with mid-range scores, but Lawler blasted back into contention with a 6.0 and then took the lead with a 6.90 with seven minutes still on the clock.
Holding his nerves in check and using the priority system intelligently, Maree waited for a wave that peeled down the sandbar and hooked into two huge backhand blasts that were rewarded with a 6.45 to regain the lead. Needing a 6.81 with just two minutes remaining, Lawler went for broke on a high flying aerial manoeuvre but couldn’t land it and Maree claimed the win.
“I’m really happy to win my first QS event and want to thank all the people that made the event possible,” said Maree on the podium. “I also want to thank all those who have supported me – my coach, my sponsors, my family and my girlfriend. Thank you so much for helping me get this win.”
Maree was very fortunate to advance from his first heat in the event when he was penalised for a priority interference but managed to progress with a single ride score of 6.75. On finals day he outpointed established QS surfer Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in the semi-finals and scored a narrow win over another seasoned traveler in Slade Prestwich (Durban) in the quarter-finals.
His victory earned Maree R12,000 and 1,000 points on the QS and regional rankings which, combined with his haul of 560 points for a third-place finish in Port Elizabeth last week, sees him jump to the top of the WSL Africa leaderboard.
Lawler started his finals day by eliminating Cape Town based junior Max Elkington (Kommetjie) in the quarters and then delivered the only perfect 10 point ride of the event in his semi-final win over Greg Emslie (East London), one of South Africa’s most celebrated surf stars. The Australian had already posted an excellent 8.0 score and finished with a heat tally of 18.0 out of 20, the highest in the entire men’s event.
Josefina Ane arrived in South Africa last week fresh off a career-best runner-up finish in a QS1,000 event in her hometown of Mar del Plata. The 19-year-old was elated to secure her first title by defeating 14-year-old standout Zoe Steyn (East London) today.
The highest QS ranked woman in the event at No. 56, the Argentinean ousted reigning WSL Africa Junior and QS champions Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) and Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) in the quarters and semis respectively. In the final she selected great waves and used her exciting backhand attack to build what became an insurmountable 13.75 point total that her younger rival could not match.
“This is my first QS win and I’m really happy and thankful for all the people who have this event,” said Ane in her heavy Spanish accent. “My English is a little bit bad but I’m really happy and thank you to all the people for coming to this event.”
Steyn usually competes in the junior events but was unfazed by her older opponents in Port Alfred and consistently produced high heat totals throughout the event. She ousted women’s longboard winner Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) from the event in their quarter-final match-up and then reached the final by eliminating Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) in the semis.
The result saw the youngster leapfrog into joint first place on the WSL Africa women’s rankings after two events.
The introduction of Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events to the WSL Africa schedule added an exciting new dimension to the contest and the performances produced by the top men and women proved that there is a hotbed of talent in the country The highest heat total of the entire event – a near perfect 18.50 out of 20 – was delivered by Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in his semi-final win over Michael Hill.
Matthew Moir has been at the top of the worldwide longboard scene for two decades and put on a master class to capture the LQS men’s title by defeating Sawyer by 15.25 vs. 13.90 in a pulsating final that saw both men effortlessly combine traditional and new school manoeuvres on their nearly three metre long surfboards.
“It’s amazing that the sponsors let longboarding be part of a shortboard contest,” said Moir. “It is also so good that the World Surf League recognises longboarding again in South Africa. The contest was extremely well and I’m just stoked to win it.”
The final of the LQS1,000 women’s event was run on Saturday with Crystal Hulett taking the win over Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay).
The event also hosted activities designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background. These were coordinated by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport, and run by SSA Development Officer, Danielle Powis.
Full results, news, photos and video footage from the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver can be found at:
QS1,000 Men: https://bit.ly/2q99Kfd
QS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2qcAw6G
LQS1,000 Men: https://bit.ly/2H2i8H4
LQS1,000 Women: https://bit.ly/2HhKbQD
Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver
QS 1,000 Men’s Final
- Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 13.70
- Jordan Lawler (Australia) 12.90
QS 1,000 Men’s Semi-Finals
SF1: Jordy Maree (Cape Town) 14.40 def. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 13.25
SF2: Jordan Lawler (Australia) 18.00 def. Greg Emslie (East London) 12.50
QS 1,000 Women’s Final
- Josefina Ane (Argentina) 13.75
- Zoe Steyn (East London) 7.50
QS 1,000 Women’s Semi-Finals
SF1: Josefina Ane (Argentina) 11.25 def. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 3.70
SF2: Zoe Steyn (East London) 9.75 def. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 5.05
LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Final
- Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 15.25
- Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 13.90
LQS 1,000 Men’s Longboard Semi-Finals
SF1: Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 18.50 def. Michael Hill 14.50
SF2: Matthew Moir (Cape Town) 17.85 def. Thomas King (Cape Town) 11.75
LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Final
- Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 11.25
- Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 9.50
LQS 1,000 Women’s Longboard Semi-Finals
SF1: Marishka Myers (Jeffreys Bay) 10.0 def. Mia Baard 4.15
SF2: Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 10.75 def. Tarryn King (Cape Town) 9.25
WSL Africa – Men’s QS Rankings (after event #2 – Port Alfred Classic)
1 Maree,Jordan (Cape Town) 1560
2 Van Zyl, David (Glenashley) 1420
3 Masencamp,Adin (Strand) 1050
4 Lightfoot,Dylan (Jeffreys Bay) 980
5 Kidd,Richard (Ballito) 745
WSL Africa – Women’s QS Rankings (after event #2 – Port Alfred Classic)
1 Pallet,Nicole (La Lucia) 1310
1 Steyn,Zoe (East London) 1310
3 Woolf,Kai (Jeffreys Bay) 1300
4 Smith,Emma (Jeffreys Bay) 955
5 Hogg,Teal (uMhlanga) 860
Next weekend sees the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits at Nahoon Reef in East London, Stop No. 3 of 13 on the 2018 WSL Africa Tour and the second of five events in the City Surf Series.
2018 WSL Africa Schedule of Events
Completed Port Elizabeth *Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Completed Port Alfred Royal St Andrews Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver
Apr 13-15 East London *Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits
May 18-20 Durban *ZigZag Durban Surf Pro pres. by G-Force Surfboards
Jun 1-3 Lamberts Bay Vans Surf Pro Classic
Jun 14-17 Cape Town *Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill
Jun 19-24 Port Elizabeth *Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
Jun 22-24 Ballito Billabong Junior Series #1
Jun 25-1 Jul Ballito Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong
Aug 29-2 Sep Dakar, Senegal Senegal Pro (Tentative)
Sep 4-9 Casablanca Anfaplace Pro Casablanca
Sep 27-30 Cape St Francis Billabong Junior Series #2
Jan 1-31 Dec Durban Cell C Good Wave