Davey van Zyl became the first international surfer to win the QS3,000 Vans Pro presented by HIC in Hawaii when he defeated a trio of Sunset Beach standouts in the solid 8-10 foot waves for yesterday’s final!
DVZ over in Hawaii after receiving a free ride for winning last year’s edition of the Striped Horse Challenge conquered an all-star Final today at the Vans Pro presented by HIC, a QS 3,000 event, after battling proper surf at Sunset Beach to come out on top of the 112-man field. Only the second non-Hawaii surfer to win the Vans Pro, Van Zyl is the first international athlete to take the title after besting former event winner and Sunset powerhouse Ezekiel Lau, big wave connoisseur Jack Robinson and North Shore standout Barron Mamiya, who earned runner-up, third and fourth place respectively.
His biggest professional win to date, Van Zyl, 26, had an underdog victory after climbing out of a combo situation in the Final and pulling ahead of heat frontrunner Lau. With priority, the South African scored a 6.67 for an aggressive, well-timed turn in the critical part of the section, then picked up another wave under priority toward the end of the heat. He went vertical on two turns to score an 8.00 and moved into first place to shake up the standings.
“I can’t believe it, I’m so stoked, I went into the Final just so stoked to have made the Final,” said Van Zyl. “I just wanted to surf and get a few waves, I wasn’t really planning on winning or doing anything crazy. I just wanted to get good scores and good waves. I was a bit nervous at the start, I actually was comboed for pretty much half the heat so to come back at the end was really special.”
“All these guys are insane,” Van Zyl commented of his fellow finalists. “Obviously Zeke, he’s won this event before, he’s so powerful and he knows this wave really well. Jack Robbo, he’s a master out here, he’s so good. He’s not Hawaiian but he pretty much is, he just rips this wave. And Barron is probably top 3, 4 guys out there, he’s really good and rides small boards. So coming into that Final I was just so happy to have made it and it’s just really special.”
Van Zyl is staying on the North Shore for two months with friend and countryman Benji Brand, who earned the event’s first perfect 10-point ride, and is looking to gain experience at Pipeline, Sunset and Haleiwa.
Fellow Saffas Matt McGillivray and Beyrick de Vries ended equal 9th; Benji Brand, who scored a perfect 10 in Round 1 of the event, was 13th; and Dylan Lightfoot 17th.