Instead of doing a list, we’ve decided to compile a couple of things we learnt from the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic presented by Quiksilver. So here we go, here are the 5 things we learnt.
Zoe Steyn is South Africa’s Next Great Hope
What do they feed the kids down there in Slum town? For a small city with a stuff load of sharks, Slum town has produced a stuff load of great surfers. And Zoe Steyn’s no exception. At just 14 years old (can you EVEN!), Zoe Steyn surfed her way through a stacked event of South Africa’s hottest female surfers all the way to the final until she lost to eventual winner, Argentinian, Josefina Ane. Now let’s just hold up for a second. Things are moving a bit fast here. Even though Zoe surfed damn well, she’s still got a bit of work to do. There’s technique she can improve on, but if she carries on going the way she’s going, come 16, good luck for any other girls that wanna beat her. Zoe’s our next great hope.
Nobody’s Safe in the City Surf Series
The City Surf series don’t care for names. It doesn’t care whether you’ve just returned from a win at a QS6000 somewhere in the ass end of South America. You enter the City Surf Series, you enter with a clean slate. In fact, it’s probably harder coming into the series with great results elsewhere cause you’ve been marked. Matty McG entered the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic presented by Quiksilver high on confidence. After a great start to the year, winning a QS3000 in the ‘Promised Land’ aka Israel, Matty was knocked out in the first heat he surfed. His competitors, Brandon and Diran put on a show, leaving one of the favourites of the event high and dry. Soon after, Beyrick, who’s also done particularly well in Australia and Central America was beaten in Round 5. A bummer for Berky and Matty McG, but great signs for South African surfing. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve won. Everyone’s surfing on a new level.
Greg Emslie’s Still Got it
Rumour has it that Greg was gonna take it easy this event. You know, hang back. Let the laaitjies shine. But apparently, Beyrick made a couple jokes about how Greg was looking old and wobbly, just some playful banter. “Greg and I have always had light-hearted, competitive banter…” said Beyrick. But perhaps Beyrick poked the bear a touch too hard, and the rest of the field suffered because of it. Like a bull in a china shop, Greg saw red. He went wild. Tearing the field to pieces. It took Australian Jordy Lawler, with the highest heat score of the event, and the only ten, to stop the raging bull in the semifinals. “It was crazy to see him find his rhythm and inspiring to see his competitive fire burning again.” Said Beyrick later. But we all know Greg feels no pressure. After spending a lifetime on the CT, and surfing in a final against Fanni, Greg feels no pressure around these little laatjies. “The most pressure Greg encounters is deciding whether to serve his guests marmalade or raspberry jam. White or brown toast.” Said Captain Kai. Has Ciabatta reached East London yet?
Hang and Bang Longboarding is Back
In Semifinal number one Steven Sawyer put on a glorious display of the finest hang and bang longboarding we’ve seen in a long time. He was awarded a 9 and a 9.5 for hanging five, cross-stepping like a madman and banging the lip harder than anyone. In fact, during the longboarding finals where Steven faced Matthew Moir, the two went absolutely ballistic! The waves were solid and the two held nothing back, banging the lip just as hard as the guys in the short boarding division. It was a sight to behold. Joel Tudor would’ve had some lame comment to make here, but Joel Tudor’s a bit of a tweaker and when guys put on a show like that, here at Zag we say, #LongLiveHang&Bang.
Jordy Maree’s A Man. It’s Official.
Dylan did everything right. As per usual. He pushed Jordy into a dog wave to start the heat. And right behind it, under a Snow White Christmas tree lay Dylan’s present. One of the best waves of the morning thus far. Dylan unravelled his present to find a 6.50 inside. Dylan paddled back out and threw a bit more pressure on Jordy, immediately gathering a backup in the form of a 6.00. While Dyl couldn’t put a foot wrong, the ocean gave Jordy nothing. He paddled left, waves broke right. He paddled in waves broke deep. Frustration rose. Jordy’s blood began to boil. 6 minutes to go and Jordy finally finds a wave worth riding. He belts it. Top-class backhand surfing for a 8.75. Jordy was out of the combination. Last 90 seconds and Jordy strokes into what will be his final appeal to the judges. It’s a good looking wave but he’ll have to destroy it. Jordy gives the wave two solid baseball bat whacks right in the guts, and the judges award his appeal with a 5.65. Jordy went on to take out one of the most in-form surfers of the event, Jordy Lawler to win the event. If Jordy Maree’s surfing isn’t man enough, his level head and ability to come from behind in the dying seconds of a heat should convince you. Maree’s a man.