High scores and some great surfing at the 2022 Sea Harvest Nahoon Open presented by Cell C

Ben Esterhuyse of Camps Bay posted a massive 18.25 points to win the U12 Boys Division at the  2022 Sea Harvest Nahoon Open presented by Cell C, which was completed in great surf at the Reef on Sunday (March 20th)

In the 2021 edition of the event, Esterhuyse scored his maiden SA Surf Tour win in the same division. The only other surfer in the event to come close to Esterhuyse’s score in any of the finals was Luke Thompson of Durban who won the premier U18 Boys Division.

Thompson beat Connor Slijpen of Hout Bay into second place with local favourite Dan Emslie taking third and John Whitmore’s great grandson, Noah Kahn of Glen Beach in Cape Town, securing fourth spot.

In an all East London U18 Girls Final, Aimee du Preez took the win ahead of Adriel Wolmarans and Lily Melin.

Former Nahoon Reef local Joel Fowles blasted his way to a maiden SA Surf Tour victory when he snatched the U16 Boys gold medal from Nate Colby of Durban in the last minute of their Final. Another Durban surfer, Joshua Jefferis, was third and Blake Crankshaw from the Southern Cape took fourth spot.

The U16 Girls Final was one of the best heats of the contest as four of South Africa’s top U16 Girls battled it out. In the end the win went the way of Gemma Hanafey whose local knowledge of Nahoon Reef earned her a maiden SAST victory. She reversed last year’s result, beating defending champion Mayah Potgieter of Margate into second with the inform Sarah Scott of Kommetjie having to settle for third for the second year in a row. Jeffreys Bay surfer Zia Hendricks, who has relocated to East London, came forth in this Final.

Cooper Smith, formerly of La Lucia and now living in Cape Town came fourth in the U14 Boys Division in this event last year but this time it was his turn to celebrate with a tie break win over Matt Canning of Durban. Both surfers were on 12 points when the siren went and after the tie was broken, Smith won the gold. Nathan Tayler of Ballito was third and last year’s winner, Rory Dace of Cape St Francis took fourth place.

In the U14 Girls Louise Lepront of Scottburgh beat Emily Jenkinson from Llandudno into second place with local girl,Taylor Emslie settling for third spot.

Carl Wiersma of Nelson Mandela Bay was second to top points scorer, Ben Esterhuyse in the U12 Final and last year’s runner up in this division, Joel Gernetzky of East London placed third. Callum Loftus of Nelson Mandela Bay came fourth.

The tiny girls competing in the U12 Final won the hearts of everyone at the event as they paddled into waves twice their height. Leah Lepront of Scottburgh won the Final but 9 year olds Maya Malherbe of Coffee Bay, Jasmine Venter of Melkbosstrand and newcomer Jordan van Eek, who finished in that order, made this a pretty special occasion.

The sixth annual Sea Harvest Nahoon Open was presented by Cell C and supported by Twizza, Oakhampton Guest House, SMTH Shapes, Robert Seymour Properties and Boardtalk. This year the event included a World Surf League qualifying contest for the top Men and Women surfers in South Africa.

The U12 to U18 divisions are part of the 2022 SAST Junior Tour and offered a total of R28000 in prizemoney which was equally divided among the boy and girls finalists. Each winner also took home a unique trophy depicting the history of Nahoon Reef. Each year special commemorative trophies are hand crafted by Olympic Coach, five time SA Champion and East London icon, Greg Emslie.

The Sea Harvest Nahoon Open was the first Prime SA Surf Tour tournament to take place in 2022 and it attracted entries from all parts of South Africa. As always it was efficiently hosted by the Buffalo City Surfriders who followed all Covid-19 protocols throughout the two days of competition.

Rip Curl Gromsearch #1

The next event is the Rip Curl Gromsearch #1, which will take place in Mossel Bay on 9/10 April.

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