The Easter weekend saw phenomenal surfing action take place at the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong in Port Elizabeth. Kai Woolf was the standout surfer taking both the Women’s and Junior Women’s titles while David van Zyl won the Men’s event and Dillon Hendricks the Junior Men’s.
Kai Woolf won every heat she contested in both events. In the QS 1,000 Women’s event, Woolf defeated reigning WSL Africa champion Nicole Pallet in the final, catching two waves early in the final and delivering scores of 6.25 and 7.25. A howling SW wind come in midway through the heat altering the lineup and Pallet was left the near impossible task of finding an excellent 8.50.
Earlier Woolf was equally dominating in the four-person JQS 1,000 Women’s final, again posting her best scores early in the encounter to leave Sophie Bell requiring a solid 7.0 when the siren sounded to end the heat. Anna Jellema-Butler and Olivia Izzard took third and fourth places respectively.
David van Zyl justified his top seeding for the QS 1,500 men’s event in PE, averaging heat scores of 13.56 during his first event of the year. Van Zyl narrowly overcame Dylan Lightfoot in their quarter-final duel and posted an outstanding 8.75 to pip Jordy Maree in their semi clash.
In the final van Zyl opened his account against Adin Masencamp with a well ridden 7.50 and surfed consistently add to his total in the testing conditions. He earned three scores in the six-point range before a 7.0 closed the door on his opponent hopes and saw van Zyl pocket the R40,000 winner’s cheque and 1,500 precious ranking points.
Masencamp, in his rookie season in the open ranks, had a confidence-boosting run in the event. The 18-year-old defeated Ty Watson in the quarters and then Richard Kidd in the semis to set up his first man-on-man QS final in South Africa.
Dillon Hendricks came into the event seeded outside the top 10 but cut a path through his opponents to earn his first JQS title. He outpointed Daniel Emslie and Luke Slijpen to reach the final where he relegated multiple event winner, Max Elkington to the runner-up spot by the narrowest of margins.
Both surfers scored heat totals of 13.50, but Hendricks got the nod thanks to a highest single score of 7.75, which he earned on a mid break wave where he belted the lip multiple times. Elkington’s best of 7.50 was enough to see him finish ahead of Koby Oberholzer and Bryce du Preez who had to settle for third and fourth places.
The Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro, is the first of five events on the 2018 City Surf Series and enjoyed great conditions for Saturday and Sunday before experiencing four seasons in eight hours on the final day.
Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro Results
QS 1,500 Men’s Final
1st David van Zyl 14.50
2nd Adin Masencamp 11.50
QS 1,500 Men’s Semi-Finals
SF1: David van Zyl 14.25 def. Jordy Maree 12.15
SF2: Adin Masencamp 11.25 def. Richard Kidd 9.65
QS 1,000 Women’s Final
1st Kai Woolf 13.50
2nd Nicole Pallet 9.00
QS 1,500 Women’s Semi-Finals
SF1: Nicole Pallet 11.25 def. Teal Hogg 8.50
SF2: Kai Woolf 12.15 def. Zoe Steyn 8.75
JQS 1,000 Men’s Final
1st Dillon Hendricks 13.50
2nd Max Elkington 13.50
3rd Koby Oberholzer 8.90
4th Bryce du Preez 6.30
JQS 1,000 Women’s Final
1st Kai Woolf 11.75
2nd Sophie Bell 9.15
3rd Anna Jellema-Butler 7.45
4th Olivia Izzard 6.60
Photos by WSL / Thurtell.