6 April, 2017 6 April, 2017

Pro City Surf Series Launches In PE

The exciting and lucrative series of professional surfing events will be launched in Port Elizabeth tomorrow, Friday the 7th April. The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong will host a large field of local and international competitors at The Pipe on Pollock Beach. Strategy will come into play with three days of pumping onshore and the possibility of a decent easterly swell.

Angelo Faulkner. © Ian Thurtell

The contest will comprise of a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated event for men and women, plus Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for men and women aged 18-and-under, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 plus points counting towards international and regional rankings lists.

The QS1,000 rated men’s event features a 64 man field and will see the cream of the crop of South Africa’s surfers. The top seed is Michael February (Kommetjie) who is currently the country’s highest QS ranked surfer at No. 65, followed by 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Braden Jones (USA).

Michael February. © WSL

The men will be battling for a share of the R30,000 on offer with the winner pocketing R10,000 and 1,000 precious ranking points on the 659 man WSL QS leaderboard. The QS1,000 women’s seeding is headed by Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) and Fay Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) with Tayla Hanak (AUS) the only international among the 24 competitors.

The series of QS 1000’s could be a total game changer for the athletes who dominate the events as those crucial points will see them land a spot in the higher ranked events.

Reigning WSL Africa Junior champion Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jake Elkington and Ford van Jaarsveldt are the top four in the JQS1,000 junior men’s event, while the JQS1,000 women’s field is headed by Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Taghiti Gericke (Mossel Bay) and Olivia Izzard (Umhlanga). The rankings points accumulated in the JQS events determine the top four men and top two women who will represent WSL Africa at the annual WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January.

Kirsty McGillivray. © WSL

The three day event starts with two rounds of men’s competition on Friday, followed by the earlier rounds of the women’s and junior events on Saturday and concludes with the champions being crowned on Sunday. Outreach programs designed to foster and encourage newcomers to surfing will be run during the event by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport.

Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.World SurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona and the City of Port Elizabeth.

*Featured Image: Emma Smith / Image By: Ian Thurtell

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