Team Lizzard emerged victorious in the BloodScan Industry Cup division of the Jeffrey’s Bay Surf Challenge this past weekend. Their team, comprising of Antonio Bortoletto, Casey Grant, Klee Strachan and Gavin Roberts, blasted their way through the earlier rounds, and at the end of the day accumulated enough points to claim the trophy.
First place in the Industry Cup division went to Mikey February, surfing for Team BloodScan, who pocketed R15 000.00 for the victory. February also won the U20 Boys division and added a further R7 000.00 to his winnings, taking home R22 000.00 for a long weekend’s work.
The first couple of heats of the day were dogged by a strong northwest berg wind blowing up the point and making it difficult for the surfers to get good scores. Some surfers however, quickly worked out that the same wind that was ruffling the wave surfaces, was also good for aerial moves. Mikey February and Warren Dean were two such surfers who started pulling air moves into the wind and landing them for some good points from the judges.
The U14 Girls final saw St Francis Bay ripper Crystal Hulett take the win from Ashleigh Vaughn. Third and fourth slots were Kai Woolf and Lauren Ridge respectively. In the U14 Boys division Adin Masencamp took the honours, with Jake Elkington, Ethan Fletcher and Jose Faulkner filling up the minor slots.
By the time the U20 Girls headed out for their final heat, the northwest wind that had been blowing all day disappeared, and a few fun little lines started reeling down the point. Tanika Hoffman surfed to victory against Heidi Palmboom, with local sisters Emma Smith and Gina Smith coming in third and fourth respectively.
Mikey February, who had been the topic of conversation all day, picked up two good rides in the beginning of the U20 Boys Final, and kept the lead all the way to the final siren. Davey van Zyl was second, with Max Armstrong and Dylan Lightfoot coming in third and fourth. Mikey was getting good scores from the judges by constantly pulling off those big forehand reverse manoeuvres in the micro conditions.
The Red Bull Air Show saw a large contingent take to the water in a bid for that one big air move and the R7 000.00 cheque. A couple of surfers were blowing up in the small surf and Diran Zakarian and Beyrick De Vries were the two first-place candidates, both pulling off big, technical aerial moves for the judges. Eventually it was Beyrick who got the nod, for a big forehand air that had everyone on the beach whistling and hooting their appreciation.
Greg Emslie opened up the Industry Cup final with a solid ride, linking big turns all the way through to the inside on a wave that many thought was the heat winner. Greg went into the lead with an 8.2 score for the wave. Shaun Payne surfed a good final but couldn’t find the right waves and came in fourth place. Gavin Roberts fought hard as well, but could only get one good scoring wave and came in third. Emslie was winning all the way to the end, when Mikey picked up a medium wave and pulled a big reverse air and a few linking turns before launching into another similar air move on the inside, nailing it, and getting the score required for the win.
“It has been a great event,” said a grinning February on receiving his prizes and trophies. “Thanks to BloodScan, my supporters, my sponsors and my family.”
As mentioned, Mikey was the hot topic of conversation throughout the event. “Mikey February has definitely been the surfer of the contest,” said Head Judge Mike Ginsberg. “He has been blowing up all day with those big airs, and he has been surfing intelligently, knowing when to go for the big moves and when to surf to the next section.
The Industry Cup was finally wrestled from the Billabong mantelpiece where it has resided since 2003. This year it was the very stoked Lizzard team who claimed it. “This team has been together for so long,” said Team Captain Gavin Roberts. “We’ve surfed together for years, and we’re going to carry on surfing together and take the event again next year.”
The event was well-attended, and everyone who is anyone in the surf industry was in attendance. The industry participation was what everyone was speaking about, and some of the country’s best surfers were amazed at how loaded some of the heats were. Event sponsor Lewis Khoury from BloodScan was very happy about the event and the participation from the surf industry.
“This event has been awesome,” said Lewis. “It enjoyed a great turnout, and the South African Surf Industry participation has been amazing. So many of the surfers in the industry have expressed their appreciation at the event, which has been very positive.”
Lewis continued to say that there will be more participation from BloodScan in the future. “We will definitely be holding this contest again next year, but it will obviously be bigger and better,” said Lewis. “Everything worked out well at this event except for the surf, which was small throughout, but everyone knows that we could easily score some magic surf in the future. This is Jeffreys Bay after all.”
Final Team Results
tie 10 – Sector9
tie 10 – VonZipper
tie 12 – Hurley
tie 12 – O’Neill
13. Core Surf Shop
14 – EP Development Team
15 – TheBombSurf
16 – RVCA
Event co-sponsors were African Bank, Black Label, Sector9, Element and EP Skydivers.
Red Bull supplied the energy for all contestants.
The Jeffreys Bay Surf Challenge is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA) and Eastern Province Surfing Council (EPSC).