What a thrilling start we had for the opening event of the South African QS season. It started off horribly; onshore, windy, cold, rainy and (extremely) small but ended in scintillating fashion, cooking surf, some of the best Pipeline we’ve ever seen and there was even a webcast! OMG bet nobody saw that coming. Here are a couple of things we’re looking forward to heading into the Port Alfred Classic.
All images Ian Thurtell
(Some) of the big boys are back
Beyrick De Vries, Shane Sykes and Slade Prestwich were all missing from the opening event of the season. Maybe they were chasing big boy QS points abroad or perhaps the world class lines offered by the Pipeline weren’t enough of a drawcard, either way, they’ll be facing off at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic. Beyrick, Shane and Slade are further along in years than the crew that competed at the Nelson Mandela Surf Pro and it’s always wonderful to see the veterans take on the groms.
How will Joshe fair?
Joshe put on a stellar performance at the Nelson Mandela Surf Pro. He surfed with remarkable poise and the wisdom of a veteran, something we hadn’t seen from Joshe in a long time. He suddenly seemed convinced of his own abilities and believed that he could take anyone out. It was Joshe’s first QS victory and in the post heat interview he mentioned that he has consistently experienced fluctuating results without making a breakthrough. Well, Joshe has just had his breakthrough result and so the big question is: how will he back it up? Will he go back to the old Joshe or is the new Joshe here to stay? And more importantly, how will he fair against the ‘big boys’? Personally, we’re massive fans of Joshe’s surfing and we’re here for the show.
Port Alfred’s a great wave
Port Alfred lays host to one of South Africa’s finest right-hand sand bottom point breaks and just on the other side of the river mouth there’s a wonderful rippable left wedge. Now doesn’t that sound like a good time? You’re tired of rights? How about you go left? We’re going to be honest, the forecast isn’t exactly looking all time. In fact, it’s looking rather dismal but we reckon the Port Alfred sand bank is going to hold up through the onshore and we’re going to see some superb surfing. Similarly dismal conditions loomed for the Vans Surf Pro Classic last year; it was big, wild and onshore but there was also swell and clean faces and the boys and girls went to town.
Can someone (please) take out the Japanese Four?
In the Bible there’s a story about a man named Goliath, a giant who would taunt the Israelites saying, “Send out your bravest fighter, there’s no one who can take me down!” – that wasn’t a direct quote but you get my drift…the Israelites trembled in their boots. You see Goliath was huge and insurmountable! For 40 days Goliath taunted the Israelites. Every morning he would go out and make them look like fools. Until one day, David son of Jesse stepped on scene. With a simple sling, a few pebbles and some faith he was able to lay rest to the great Philistine. Now we’re not saying the Japanese Four are Goliath or that they’re taunting us, all we’re saying is who will be the one to take them down!? Who will be our David!? Who will rise to the challenge!? Who has the faith to take down the insurmountable!? I’ll leave you with that.