Steyn goes 1-2 in Ballito, winning Junior’s and Women’s QS Title.
Cape Town’s Sarah Scott finishes second
South Africa – East London’s Zoë Steyn won her maiden World Surf League Women’s Qualifying Series 1,000 at the Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill in 3-4 foot surf ahead of Sarah Scott.
The contest was on hold for a couple of hours in the morning as organisers waited for conditions to improve with the incoming tide. It started off slow, but soon some great waves were rolling through.
The Final was a match-up between two of the most on-form surfers in Ballito this week. Sarah Scott and Zoë Steyn also faced each other in the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers Junior QS 1,000, where Steyn came out on top. After an intense Semifinal from Scott, it looked like luck might swing her way in the Final.
However, after a slow start, Steyn got one of the better right-hand waves for two strong turns and an excellent finish to lock in a 6.50. She stuck to her strategy of catching the right-hand waves and backed up her score with a 5.17 for a total of 11.67. Scott uncharacteristically got stuck on a few crucial waves, unable to complete her rides, and had to settle for second place.
“I’m so, so happy. It’s my first time winning a QS event and for it to be here is so special. The waves are really nice, all my friends are here, my mom is here, so I’m really happy. Ballito is predominantly a right-hander, so it’s similar to home, it’s punchy and has a lot of power and I really enjoy it.”
Steyn jumps to the top of the 2021/2022 WSL Africa rankings with this win.
“This win puts me in a good place for next year. I really want to qualify for the Challenger Series,” said Steyn.
Greg Emslie, who also coached South Africa’s Olympic silver-medalist Bianca Buitendag, said it was a very solid performance from Steyn.
“She’s been super consistent, sticking to the strategy and game plan, and it worked out really well. It was tough in that final, we made a call to go on the rights, and it worked out very well. I’m stoked. I couldn’t ask for much better. She had a great run. Pro Junior champ and Women’s champ, job well done,” said Emslie.