Matt McGillivray, Cannelle Bulard and Eli Beukes took the Men’s, Women’s and Junior Men’s surfing titles respectively at the 2018 Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lamberts Bay on the weekend.
The final day produced incredible high-scoring encounters as YoYos delivered pumping 1.5 to 2 metre waves in clean offshore conditions, and the final heat of the day saw the event’s highest score.
The Men’s final saw Dylan Lightfoot and Matt McGillivray go head to head with Lightfoot starting the stronger, leaving McGillivray needing to better 14 points before he’d even caught a good wave.
Once Matt McGillivray did get his first lined up righthander, he went ballistic with a couple of strong turns on the outside and then going for broke with a high risk aerial on the inside. The country’s highest QS rated surfer then went from strength to strength, overtaking Lightfoot with a 7.5 and then slamming the door with another gigantic aerial that the judges rewarded with a 9.65
Although Lightfoot was surfing really well, the 19.16 requirement was a bridge too far and it was McGillivray who claimed the title.
The Women’s final was a tightly contested encounter that was only decided in the dying seconds when Reunion Island’s Cannelle Bulard posted a 7.0, the highest scoring ride of the 25 minute matchup against Nicole Pallet, the WSL Africa rankings leader.
Bulard, who was competing in her first event in five years, and Pallet each earned 9.0 point rides in their respective semi-final victories with the Reunion Islander defeating an rising star Natasha van Greunen, who produced one of her best results. Pallet outpointed perennial rival and former WSL Africa women’s champion Faye Zoetmulder.
The Junior Men’s event saw a hometown victory of sorts as Eli Beukes, who grew up in Lamberts Bay, but now reside with his family in Kommetjie, beat all comers to clinch a title he had wanted to win for years by successfully landing a Hail-Mary aerial manoeuvre after the siren had sounded.
The Vans Surf Pro Classic is proudly supported by Vans, Zigzag, Hydro Flask, WSL and SSA.
Vans Surf Pro Classic Results
Men’s QS1,500 Final Results
1st Matt McGillivray 19.15
2nd Dylan Lightfoot 15.70
Women’s QS1,000 Final Results
1st Cannelle Bulard 11.75
2nd Nicole Pallet 8.40pts
Junior Men’s JQS1,000 Final Results
1st Eli Beukes 12.40
2nd Dylan Groen 9.80
Photos by WSL / Ian Thurtell and Alan Van Gysen.