The final day of the Vans Surf Pro Classic 2017 kicked off with rainy, moody conditions and a welcome increase in swell. The Pro Junior men got us underway, and the future stars showed great maturity and experience by easily tearing up the lumpy Yoyos A-frames. Dutchie Louw, the West Coast Boardriders Club founder, and a major catalyst for bringing the event to Lambert’s Bay, gives us some insight into the roots of the event. “We brought the event to the West Coast because of the quality of waves, and to showcase this amazing place to the world. Yoyos is tailor made for competitive surfing, it’s so consistent and provides a level playing field. Our role is to facilitate the set up and maintenance of the event infrastructure, empowering the local community, and spreading goodwill by contributing to the development of the town.”
As the day progressed the wind swung offshore and the sun came out, just in time to begin grooming the lines for the Women’s, Men’s and Junior’s semifinals. The level of surfing hit 6th gear and the competitors showed real hunger to reach the finals. The anticipation on the beach was heightened as we awaited the stacked finals, but first the spectators were treated to some explosive Red Bull airshow action. The bowls were there for the boosting, and it was none other than Beyrick de Vries who launched a big single grab to take the honours.
The Junior Men’s final pitted SA’s Jake Elkington and Adin Masencamp against Brazilian Joao Vitor Chianca and Takuto Ohta of Japan. The boys were ripping with the lead changing hands a few times but even after a late 9 point ride gave Masencamp the lead, Jake Elkington bounced back in exceptional style with a fantastic high 8 to take out the win. “This year I’ve just been on a roll, feeling good, riding good boards, and I’m wanting to take this rhythm forward for my campaign to get to the WSL World Junior champs later this year. It’s an amazing feeling to win the event against international competitors, and I realize that this is what I want to do, and I’m feeling confident that I can do it. A big shout out must go to Vans and all the organizers for a great event, to my parents and to all my sponsors, thank you.”
The Women have been seriously tearing in this event and the final was no exception. Internationals Zoe Mcdougall and Sophia Fulton were up against Saffa’s Nikita Robb and Nicole Pallet. All competitors had good opportunities but it was Fulton who made them count with an 8.50 and 8.47 to pip Hawaiian Zoe Mcdougall for first place, with Nicole and Nikita filling 3rd and 4th spots.
The Men’s final saw the two form surfers of the event face off: Davey Van Zyl and Mike February. Both having displayed great power, flow and technique throughout. MFeb smashed his semi with a 9,33 and a perfect 10 for his last wave, an absolute doozy, displaying his variety with two massive airs. In the final, Davey got busy early and built some momentum, but Mikey pulled the trigger and tore up a Yoyo’s right hander for an excellent score. Davey was still in contention but couldn’t recapture the ocean rhythm he displayed throughout the event, and the writing was on the wall when February went deep and vert on a perfect left hander to seal yet another QS1000 win. “Being in the final with my best mate, Davey Van Zyl was awesome and I was just excited to have a fun heat with him. I’m super stoked to win this event especially since it’s my sponsor, Vans, so, a big thank you to them.”
So, that puts a wrap on an epic event and we’ll leave you with the last word from a very stoked Warren Talbot, the Vans Marketing Manager: “We’d like to thank the town of Lamberts Bay, and the WSL. To all the internationals who came out we’re really stoked that they could be a part of our specialty event. We’re super proud of our team rider, Mikey, for coming back for the second year and fighting for the title and taking the win. We’d like to congratulate Davey Van Zyl for surfing so amazingly throughout the event, and all of us here at Vans are really stoked.”