Steyn and Ireland Win O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers JQS 1,000

Tide-Lee Ireland and Zoë Steyn, victorious © Tostee/WSL

BALLITO, Zoë Steyn and Tide-Lee Ireland won the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers World Surf League ( Junior Qualifying Series 1,000 today ahead of Sarah Scott and Connor Slijpen.

South Africa’s top juniors had their work cut out for them with a drop in swell and a strong southwest wind creating choppy conditions, and the surfing didn’t disappoint.

Sarah Scott and Zoë Steyn made the most out of the conditions on offer in the Women’s Final. First, Scott opened up the scoreboard, staying busy up and down the lineup. Then, Steyn waited patiently and soon found a couple of bigger right-handers to open up with her powerful backhand. With every next wave, the goofy-footer from East London continued to improve her score and increase Scott’s requirement to catch up. 

“I’m so happy to be back here. It’s so nice to restart competition here because Ballito is such a beautiful place, and the waves are always fun and contestable.” 

I just finished school this year, so I’ll definitely be focussing on doing more competitions in 2022,” said Steyn.

Zoë Steyn © Tostee/WSL

 In the Men’s Final, the local youngster Tide-Lee Ireland defeated Connor Slijpen in tricky, wind-chopped surf. Ireland locked in his two best waves straight after one another for a total of 14.50, and Slijpen found himself in a combination situation early on. Slijpen searched desperately for a wave that could give him a scoring opportunity. Still, his frustration was visible, and he struggled to convert his aerial attempts into a scoring ride.

“I’m stoked, the waves worked in my favour on the lefts, but it was very slow and bumpy. I was lucky to get the right waves. I tried to get the first better wave and be more patient because we had 25 minutes. I didn’t want to rush it and stick to the left and try to get another big score,” said Ireland.

Tide-Lee Ireland © Tostee/WSL

“My focus is now on 2022. I’ve been working all year, saving money, and I’m ready to go and do a few more QS events internationally and get more points.”

 As the first WSL JQS for the 2021/2022 season, the points from this competition will count towards the 2022 Junior rankings to qualify for the WSL World Junior Championships.

O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers JQS1,000 Results

Women’s Final Results

Zoë Steyn (East London) 12.25 DEF. Sarah Scott (Kommetjie) 7.90 

Men’s Final Results

Tide-Lee Ireland (Durban) 14.50 DEF. Connor Slijpen (Llandudno) 5.65

Chianca, Lenny, Dupont Continue Their Reign At Europe’s Premier Big Wave Venue

Tudor Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge Presented by Jogos Santa Casa

Pierre Rollet of France surfs during the Heat 1 of Round 2 of the TUDOR Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa on December 13, 2021 in Nazare, Portugal. (Photo by Antoine Justes/World Surf League)

It wasn’t as big as everyone was hoping for, but there were some pretty massive waves and a few new moves on the go at Nazaré this year. The big day was unfortunately covered in fog, and on day two, the sun was out, and the waves were clean, but they weren’t as big as everyone was hoping for.

Still, the surfers took to the water in their teams, and some great rides were had, with Lucas Chianca one of the top performers. He pulled off a perfect 360 spin before getting a Nazaré – sized shack and a score of 9.5 points. 

From that moment, it was game on. With the sets not as ferocious as everyone thought, it was great to see so many barrels and open-face hopping on some massive waves, with consequence.

Kai Lenny was also a standout but wasn’t finding the barrels Chumbo was finding. However, Justin Du Pont was on form. Even after suffering an interference call against her, she retained her title. Her attack on the rights and lefts, carving on the massive wave faces, proved once again unmatchable as she claimed back-to-back Women’s Best Performance award.

Billabong Pipe Masters ‘22

The surfers are ready, the contest is primed, the rookies have come on board, and the first crop of Challengers are in the mix for this year’s event. Matt McGillivray is the first replacement for the event, so let’s hope he gets a slot in the event. That would be good for South African surfing.