NEPTUNE came to the party big time in Port Alfred over the weekend when cooker waves provided the perfect platform for South Africa’s top surfers to strut their stuff in the final Quiksilver Get Free Series event.
East Beach delivered perfect little pits for both days of competition.
Check out a full gallery of highlights from the event here >>
Although the usual suspects stamped their authority on the competition by surfing their way to the top of the podium, there were a couple of dark horses who made waves by getting out there and charging the four foot pits barrelling across the sand bar at East Beach.
More than 70 hot young groms, top professionals and even a few evergreen old ballies proved they have what it takes when it comes to high performance contest surfing.
Although the event only had three divisions – Under 16, Under 20 and Open – this did not stop surfers from as young as 12 years-old to over 50 from getting out their and blowing up in the 3A-rated Pro Surf Tour event.
Umhlanga’s Beyrick De Vries was on top of his game in the Open final when he edged out evergreen professional Greg Emslie and youngster Mikey February into the runner-up spots by scoring a perfect 10 on an insane double barrel ride that dredged across East Beach – drawing massive cheers and hoots from spectators on the pier and beach.
Beyrick De Vries scored a Perfect 10-point tube in the final to clinch victory.
“The waves were so good today,” De Vries explained at the prize giving. “I love coming here to Port Alfred, and this win gives me a lot of confidence going into my next few events overseas.”
De Vries said holding an event like the Quiksilver Get Free Series in cooking waves was good for competitive surfing in South Africa.
Despite being twice the age of many of the surfers in the event, Emslie proved he still has what it takes when it comes to top flight professional surfing by coming a close second to De Vries. His never-say-die attitude and hard surfing had De Vries worried right up until the siren ended the final.
Although the usual suspects clinched top spots in all divisions, it was standout performances throughout the event by dark horses like Durban’s Josh Smit and Seal Point-based Tristan Lev that got compo junkies talking. Both surfers charged on both days of the competition, with Smit killing his semi after getting tubed right across the sandbank to qualify for the Open division final with childhood friend De Vries. Although he finished fourth overall in the final, Smit showed everyone on the beach that he has what it takes to mix it up with the top dogs.
Adin Masencamp had a successful weekend, claiming the Under 20 title and finishing second in Under 16.
The Under 20 final was also a tight affair right up until the siren. Adin Masencamp from Strand hooked two epic rides that saw him claim victory over a charging Shane Sykes from Salt Rock.
Sykes, who won the second leg of the series in Umhlanga Rocks, put one huge score on the board with some massive manoeuvres but failed to back it up with a second decent scoring ride.
After being knocked out in the Under 16’s having being scored an interference, Tristan Lev pulled out all the stops in the higher Under 20 division and scored a well earned third – much to the delight of his coach and mentor Cody Futeran.
Riding a quiver of new boards that all had a design of a black horse on the bottom deck, Lev broke down in tears when he heard had he made it into the final. Jason Harris of Scottburgh finished fourth.
JJ Harris was in contention for the Under 20 title.
The Under 16 division was an ultra competitive affair that saw Sebastian Williams of J-Bay emerge top of the podium after scooping an early bomb in the final. Surfing with maturity and power beyond his years, Williams backed up the early nugget with more solid scores that had the other finalists scrambling to catch up.
Under 20 winner Adin Masencamp surfed back-to-back finals and was a close second to Williams, while J-Bay’s Joshe Faulkner finished a solid third. East London ripper Luke Malherbe rounded out the final in fourth.
East Beach local, Warwick Heny was looking sharp in the Open division.
Although Port Alfred locals like Warwick Heny, Cameron Rheeder and 12 year-old Kye “Gremlin” Macgregor all used their local knowledge to post good scores in their heats to advance through the opening round, they fell short as the competition heated up towards the business end.
Surfing in the Under 16 division, Macgregor got a second in his heat but got knocked in the quarters by Williams, Ford van Jaarsveldt and Tristan Lev. Fellow 12 year-old micro-grom Mitch du Preez of East London also impressed in the cooking waves.
Out of the contest scene for a while, Stanley Badger was a standout during the earlier rounds.
Stanley Badger was up to his old tricks.
Stoked Quiksilver marketing manager Dane Patterson said the waves at Port Alfred over the weekend were the perfect finale for the 2015 Get Free Series.
“We’re very happy with such a good 2015 series, the great waves today in Port Alfred just ended it off perfectly.”
Patterson said Quiksilver had invested in the sport and were hoping to grow on it moving forward.
“We need to create a platform for our local aspiring surfers to use in order to gain necessary experience and earn some prize money at the same time.”
The Quiksilver Get Free series put up a total of R108 000 as prize money. Key sponsors for the series include Techniblock sunscreen, Drift Action Camera’s, Skullcandy, Neff, Zigzag Surfing Magazine and Red Bull.
Beyrick was stoked to clinch the Open division title, his second of the Series.
1 – Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga Rocks)
2 – Greg Emslie (East London)
3 – Michael February (Kommetjie, Cape Town)
4 – Josh Smit (Amanzintoti)
1 – Adin Masencamp (Strand)
2 – Shane Sykes (Salt Rock, KZN)
3 – Tristan Lev (St Francis Bay)
4 – Jason Harris (Scottburgh, KZN)
1 – Sebastian Williams (Jeffreys Bay)
2 – Adin Masencamp (Strand)
3 – Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay)
4 – Luke Malherbe (East London)
Sebastian Williams was unstoppable in the Under 16 division.
Go to quiksilver.co.za/getfree for more.