Great Waves For Opening Day of Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior 2019

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – pristine, ruler-edged three to four-foot lines were peeling down the point at Seal Point at first light, as another epic day dawned at this iconic Eastern Cape point-break. It was Day 2 of the Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior, and competitors were in for a treat.

In the U14 Boys, local duo of Joel Dace and Nathan Plomaritis continued their winning ways, with both winning their quarterfinals with relative ease. Plomaritis in particular banked a 14.75 heat total, a clear indication that he has his eyes on the prize. Other surfers to do well in this round were River Gericke and Connor Slijpen, both winning their heats.

Daniel Emslie once again showed that he is the dangerman in the U16 Boys, with some flashy surfing on the clean, open-faced waves. He banked an easy win with a heat total of 14.50, with Mitch Du Preez in second. There were also great performances from Luke Thompson, Nate Spalding, Brad Scott and Luke Van Wyk.


The Pro Junior Women put on a scintillating show in their round 2 heats, and it was the battle of goofy-foot supremacy, with Zoe Steyn and Ceara Knight both showing skills and tactics in their respective heats. Zoe advanced along with Taylor de Coning, while Ceara advanced with Aimee Du Preez.

The waves continued to pour through unabated, and started improving again on the pushing tide. By the time the Pro Junior Men’s were back in the water for their round 3 encounters, it was firing again. Max Elkington dominated his first heat for victory and advanced along with Luke Thompson in second. Mitch Du Preez and Tom Lindhorst advanced from the second heat in this round, while Bryce Du Preez and Tide-Lee Ireland advanced through their heat, along with Daniel Emslie and Eli Beukes in the final encounter.

The U12 Boys finalists were decided, with Rory Dace and David Emslie successfully advancing through their semifinal, along with Levi Kolnick and Josh Malherbe. The four will face off in their final that will take place tomorrow.

The U14 Boys finalists were decided in the same manner, with Kyra Bennie and River Gericke advancing through from their semifinal, along with Nathan Plomaritis and Nate Colby.

Once again the forecast for finals day looks promising, with fresh offshore winds predicted, and a little push in the swell expected. There will be a prize giving on the beach at the end of the event.

Massive Performances in Excellent Surf For Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior Day 2

Seal Point, Cape St Francis – pristine, ruler-edged three to four-foot lines were peeling down the point at Seal Point at first light, as another epic day dawned at this iconic Eastern Cape point-break. It was Day 2 of the Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior, and competitors were in for a treat.

Seal Point Lineup © Kody McGregor

In the U14 Boys, local duo of Joel Dace and Nathan Plomaritis continued their winning ways, with both winning their quarterfinals with relative ease. Plomaritis in particular banked a 14.75 heat total, a clear indication that he has his eyes on the prize. Other surfers to do well in this round were River Gericke and Connor Slijpen, both winning their heats.

Daniel Emslie once again showed that he is the dangerman in the U16 Boys, with some flashy surfing on the clean, open-faced waves. He banked an easy win with a heat total of 14.50, with Mitch Du Preez in second. There were also great performances from Luke Thompson, Nate Spalding, Brad Scott and Luke Van Wyk.

Daniel Emslie © Ian Thurtell

The Pro Junior Women put on a scintillating show in their round 2 heats, and it was the battle of goofy-foot supremacy, with Zoe Steyn and Ceara Knight both showing skills and tactics in their respective heats. Zoe advanced along with Taylor de Coning, while Ceara advanced with Aimee Du Preez.

The waves continued to pour through unabated, and started improving again on the pushing tide. By the time the Pro Junior Men’s were back in the water for their round 3 encounters, it was firing again. Max Elkington dominated his first heat for victory and advanced along with Luke Thompson in second. Mitch Du Preez and Tom Lindhorst advanced from the second heat in this round, while Bryce Du Preez and Tide-Lee Ireland advanced through their heat, along with Daniel Emslie and Eli Beukes in the final encounter.

The U12 Boys finalists were decided, with Rory Dace and David Emslie successfully advancing through their semifinal, along with Levi Kolnick and Josh Malherbe. The four will face off in their final that will take place tomorrow.

The U14 Boys finalists were decided in the same manner, with Kyra Bennie and River Gericke advancing through from their semifinal, along with Nathan Plomaritis and Nate Colby.

Nate Colby © Ian Thurtell

Once again the forecast for finals day looks promising, with fresh offshore winds predicted, and a little push in the swell expected. There will be a prize giving on the beach at the end of the event.

Lakey Peterson and Gabriel Medina Win Freshwater Pro presented By Outerknown

LEMOORE, California/USA (Saturday, September 21, 2019) – Lakey Peterson (USA) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) won the World Surf League (WSL) Freshwater Pro presented by Outerknown today. Peterson and Medina bested their respective fields at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California for the seventh stop on the women’s Championship Tour (CT) and the eighth stop on the men’s CT.

Pictured: 2019 Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown victors Lakey Peterson (USA) (L) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) (R). – Credit: WSL/ Cestari

Peterson’s and Medina’s wins put the 2019 World Title race in full swing with Peterson vaulting up to No. 2 on the World Rankings and Medina climbing to World No. 1. The 2019 CT will not only decide the prestigious World Title but will also determine who from the world’s elite will qualify to represent their country at surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo next year.

Peterson Captures Second 2019 CT Win, Moves to No. 2 on World Rankings

“I just can’t believe it, I feel like God was just with me on that one and I gave it everything I had,” Peterson said. “It all just came together today and it’s super special. I want to dedicate this win to everyone who was a part of the climate strike after watching everything on TV yesterday and how much our Earth needs our help right now.”

A heated Final came alive between the remaining Top 4 women and event standout Johanne Defay (FRA) shined bright right away with another near-perfect score of a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) on the righthander. In the end, it came down to Peterson and Defay as the last two women standing and fireworks ensued on the bonus waves to determine the 2019 winner. The Santa Barbara, California native brought her clutch form from overtaking Courtney Conlogue (USA) to earn her spot into the Final and did so once more with an incredible air-reverse, earning a 9.33 when needing an excellent score, on her final attempt to capture the win.

“That one was just so clutch,” continued Peterson. “The year’s been so up and down with so many different emotions. Obviously, for the World Title, this was huge to win it and with Caroline (Marks) and Carissa (Moore) right there for the Olympics, there’s a lot going on. I’m just so thankful.”

Pictured: Defay’s barrel-riding went unrivaled from the women’s contingent and left spectators in awe. – Credit: WSL/ Miers

Defay’s runner-up finish marks her best result of the season. Defay moved up one spot to No. 9 on the Jeep Leaderboard and is in a great position to represent France at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Frenchwoman’s composure throughout the event was unbreakable, even heading into the Final alongside Peterson, over eventual fourth-place finisher Caroline Marks (USA) and three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), who exited in third place.

“I knew Lakey (Peterson) would put on such a show and she deserved it,” said Defay. “Her surfing above the lip was crazy and I’m happy for second place. This is going to be good for my confidence heading to France and this year I’ve felt like things haven’t gone my way with opportunities, which put me down in the rankings. It’s going to be difficult, but it will definitely be good so hopefully I can stay in this mood. Surfing is going in such an incredible direction and I’m happy where I’m at.”

Gabriel Medina Defends Surf Ranch Victory and Takes Over World No. 1 

Medina’s comeback is in full swing with his second win at the Surf Ranch. The Brasilian’s opening runs in the Final eventually secured his second win in three events this season and sent him from World No. 4 to No. 1 to begin a surge toward a third World Title. Medina’s aerial assaults on the lefthander proved insurmountable once again after earning a near-perfect 9.93 to begin his Final and immediately backing it up with an 8.93 on his backhand.

“It feels amazing and it’s been a long three days for me but it’s amazing to get the win against these guys – they are the best in the world,” Medina said. “Those two first waves of the Final felt really good and it’s amazing to beat guys like Juilan (Wilson), Filipe (Toledo), Owen (Wright), and (Griffin) Colapinto, they all surf amazing. Now hopefully I can keep up my results to the end. I’m really happy with my performance here and these are really important points.”

Pictured: Toledo’s impressive run at the Freshwater Pro witnessed him earn a second-straight runner-up despite troubling injuries. – Credit: WSL/ Morris

Once more Filipe Toledo (BRA) earned runner-up with another brilliant performance throughout the week that included multiple, near-perfect rides including a 9.63 in the Final. But the 24-year-old sustained an injury on his second runs which plagued Toledo with pain heading into the bonus waves. With a vital homestretch ahead Toledo will prepare as best he can after taking on the world’s best in amazing fashion.

“It was really amazing and nervous moments being on the screen before that Final but it was motivation at the same time,” Toledo said. “I did those last few waves because the crowd was just feeding me energy and I have to thank the WSL staff for doing everything they could to take the pain away. I’m so stoked for Gabriel with an incredible performance, as well as Lakey and Johanne, and also the that whole leaderboard – everyone just came out swinging on the first waves which I was not expecting.”

“Now I’ll relax a little bit, my plan was to do Ericeira but now I don’t think I’ll be able to,” Toledo added about his injury. “I’ll still go and try to put the jersey to see what’s up but then head straight to France to work with doctors there. I’ll get through these three last contests and maybe get that Title.”

One-Year Anniversary of Equal Prize Money

Pictured: The Rising Tide initiative made its way to the Surf Ranch and the next generation such as Samantha Sibley (USA) put on a showcase. Credit: WSL/ Cestari

The Freshwater Pro marks the WSL’s one-year anniversary of announcing equal prize money across all WSL owned and controlled events. To celebrate, the event hosted two editions of WSL’s Rising Tides program, a women’s roundtable and a celebration of 1982 World Champion Debbie Beacham.

Rising Tides, which is set to expand in 2020, is a global beachside engagement program for girls that kicked off in Australia at the start of this season in an effort to inspire the next generation to take to the surf.

Before the event started, Rising Tides hosted the women’s Freshwater Pro Trials and saw seven of the best up-and-coming American surfers compete at the Surf Ranch to battle for the event wildcard.

Today, as part of Rising Tides, the next generation of young Californian talent were first to take to the water and Sierra Kerr, Kirra Pinkerton, Caity Simmers, Sawyer Lindblad, Samantha Sibley, and Alyssa Spencer had the opportunity to surf the wave while wearing the jersey of their favorite CT surfers.

“When I heard that they were going to pay men and women equally I was so excited,” said Sibley. “As a young girl, it’s just so much more inspiring to see the men and women being on an equal platform. It’s so exciting that we are the only sport that is equal like that and I’m stoked that I chose surfing, and to be a part of the community is awesome.”

 

Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown Men’s Final Results:
1. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
2. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
3. Owen Wright (AUS)
4. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
5. Julian Wilson (AUS)
6. Yago Dora (BRA)
7. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
8. Jordy Smith (ZAF)

Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown Womens’ Final Results:
1. Lakey Peterson (USA)
2. Johanne Defay (FRA)
3. Carissa Moore (HAW)
4. Caroline Marks (USA)

2019 Men’s Championship Tour Jeep Leaderboard Following Freshwater Pro

  1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) – 44,695
  2. Filipe Todelo (BRA) – 44,400
  3. Jordy Smith (ZAF) – 40,195
  4. Kolohe Andino (USA) – 36,505
  5. Italo Ferreira (BRA) – 34,600

2019 Women’s Championship Tour Jeep Leaderboard Following Freshwater Pro

  1. Carissa Moore (HAW) – 47,260
  2. Lakey Peterson (USA) – 43,850
  3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) – 42,070
  4. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) – 39,810
  5. Caroline Marks (USA) – 38,220

The next stop on the 2019 CT is the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France, which holds a competitive window from Octobr 3 – 13, 2019.

Pictured: Before the event got underway, a special roundtable discussion unfolded with some of the sport’s most iconic women. – Credit: WSL/ Miers

Huge Waves Challenge QS Stars at Azores Airlines Pro

PRAIA DE SANTA BARBARA, Sao Miguel – Azores Islands (Saturday, September 21, 2018) –  Surfers, event officials and fans have all been looking anxiously at maps for the past five days and what everyone was waiting for finally materialized. The Atlantic ocean distilled chunky eight foot plus surf for the fifth day of competition at the QS6,000 Azores Islands Pro to challenge surfers looking to advance into finals day.

Pictured: Frederico Morais (PRT) advanced into Finals day alongside compatriot Vasco Ribeiro. – Credit: © WSL / Masurel

When most surfers chased the bowling lefts with the craziest sections, Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) focused on the rights and did the job with carves and a strong finish to move into Round 5.

“It was always going to be a roll of the dice to see if you’re in the right position on those 6-to-8 foot waves,” De Vries said. “I’m just stoked a couple rolled my way. I think two more heats here would be good points-wise, I’d like to make the semis or better, every point counts and I’m hoping this is going to be a keeper. I just love coming here anyway it’s a great island and always good for the soul not just the points.”

Jackson Baker (AUS) put on a clinic on the infamous lefts, chasing the most vertical sections to lay down his power turns. Still nursing an ankle injury, the Australian did not hold anything back as he attacked the big waves fearlessly.

“It’s pretty crazy out there,” Baker said. “I was a little bit nervous with my ankle cause I haven’t really surfed a wave over 2 foot let alone 6 foot bumpy, but I got a wave on the board and just kept moving from there. My ankle didn’t feel great but I’ll take it. ”

Pictured: Reef Heazlewood (AUS) was a standout today in the solid conditions. – Credit: © WSL / Masurel

Reef Heazlewood (AUS) posted the biggest single score of Round 4, attacking a meaty left viciously to post a near-perfect 9.50. The goofy foot went all out as he hit the lip twice before committing to a big finish which he rode out of perfectly clean.

“I’m still in shock it all happened pretty fast for me out there,” Heazlewood said. “I can’t really remember the first turn but I was stoked with the second cause I hit the lip well and then that big whitewater section came at me and I hit it, I’m really stoked on the 9.50. My sister was here on holidays the first couple of days so we did a bit of touristing and it’s just so beautiful here I’ve really been enjoying it.”

Heat 7 of Round 4 was the most exciting battle of the day as Luel Felipe (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS) and Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) threaded the big lefts and posted huge scores one after another. O’Leary had the single highest score in the heat with a 9.20 but somehow lost against Felipe’s incredible 17.04 total and Ribeiro’s 14.46.

“I’m so tired right now those waves are so powerful and there’s a lot of paddling,” Felipe said. “I’m super stoked to have a good heat like that and make it to the next round. I’ve had to borrow a friend’s board cause mine were too small and I’m stoked it actually works really well.”

Pictured: The athleticism of our athletes was really tested today with massive waves in the lineup. – Credit: © WSL / Masurel

Earlier in the day, Ribeiro scored his own near-perfect score for a very similar ride and the exact same number, a 9.50 out of 10. Ribeiro went on to advance through his Round 4 bout as well and will feature on Finals day alongside Portuguese compatriot Frederico Morais (PRT).

Only 16 surfers remain after today’s showdown of epic proportions and they might be in for a treat with what is expected to be the best conditions of the whole event waiting period. This massive swell will peak through tonight and slowly decrease tomorrow as winds are supposed to switch to the South, cleaning up the lineup for potential big barrels on Sunday.

The Azores Islands Pro will unfold from September 17-22, 2019 at PRAIA DE SANTA BARBARA, Sao Miguel – Azores Islands. For all results, photos, video highlights and press releases, log on to worldsurfleague.com.