The Vans Surf Pro Classic WSL QS1,000 kicked off this morning in fun, contestable surf for day one of competition. The level of surfing was epic to watch throughout the day as Yoyo’s spat out one A-frame after the next.
The team at Vans and WSL have really come together with this event, selecting one of South Africa’s most contestable waves and bringing a splash of their unique flavour to the quiet fishing town of Lambert’s Bay.
All images ©WSL / Alan van Gysen and WSL / Ian Thurtell
Event: Vans Pro Surf Classic
Location: YoYo’s, Lamberts Bay, Western Cape
Status: QS1,000 for Men + JQS1,000 for Junior Men
Event window: May 14-15, 2016
Classic Conditions for Opening Day of Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay
YoYo’s at Lamberts Bay produced classic conditions for the opening day of the Vans Surf Pro Classic with the competitors in both the WSL QS1,000 men and WSL JQS1,000 junior events reveling in the 1.0 to 1.3 metre waves that reeled off in both directions.
The first World Surf league (WSL) events to be run north of Cape Town on the West coast of the country, the Vans Surf Pro Classic features the cream of the country’s surfers along with a handful of international campaigners who are competing for a total of R50 000 in prize-money and valuable points on the QS and WSL Africa regional rankings.
Early morning windless conditions saw a host of unranked competitors advancing from the men’s Round of 48 heats before Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) posted the highest heat total of the day, 17.50 out of 20, in the junior Quarterfinals, which was nearly matched when the top seeded men entered the fray as the onshore freshened during their Round of 32 match-ups.
“That went okay for me, I got two bombs. The first one was a 9.33 and my backup wave I did two turns and a fins-free slide that I didn’t think would be an eight, but I’m stoked with the score,’ said Faulkner about his heat. “I’ve never surfed on the West coast before and YoYo’s is a sick wave, it looks a lot like Trestles.”
All of the top eight seeds advanced to the last 16 of the men’s event with Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga), Michael February and fellow Kommetjie resident Davey Brand, and Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), the country’s highest QS ranked surfer, all earning heat totals of more than 16.0, including at least one ride in the excellent range.
De Vries, the No. 1 seed, who produced rides of 9.33 and 8.0, was full of praise for the choice of venue and the sponsor’s willingness to run the event off the beaten track in order to ensure good waves.
“Thank you so much to Vans for putting on an event for the surfers and not for the spectators,” said de Vries. “I think when the surfers are having fun the spectators enjoy it a lot more too – it’s visual, it’s evident. So thanks to a surf company that’s put the surfers first by finding a spot with a good wave and a cool vibe and putting on a QS 1,000 event”.
Peruvian Joaquin Del Castillo, winner of the Cape Town Pro QS1,000 at Bloubergstrand last weekend, proved that he will be a threat to the best local performers again this week by winning his opening encounter.
“I’m really happy to make my heat, there are very good surfers in the competition and fun waves, said Del Castillo humbly in his fast improving command of English. “I like these waves, they are like the waves near my home – at San Bartolo – that also break left and right. I’m focused for the next round and I’m confident.”
Chris Leppan (Umhlanga), winner of the Vans Surf Pro Wildcard Trials on Friday, advanced to the last 16 and will face Brandon Benjamin (Retreat) who was allocated the wildcard that Leppan did not need as he was already in the event. The pair will face McGillivray and Lightfoot in the last heat of the men’s Round of 16.
An increase in swell and windless conditions Sunday look are predicted to set up an exciting final day of action where the men and junior champions will be crowned.
Results of the Vans Surf Pro Classic can be followed via the live scoring on the www.worldsurfleague.com.
The Vans Surf Pro Classic is proudly supported by Red Bull, who will host the Red Bull Airshow with R5 000 on offer for the surfer completing the best aerial manoeuvre, the West Coast Boardriders Club and Christian Surfers South Africa. Zigzag Surfing Magazine is the media partner.
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.
The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.
Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
About the Surfing South Africa
The Vans Surf Pro Classic is registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in more than 75 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates nearly 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, the House of Vans.
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