Joshe Faulkner and Minami Nonaka clinched the Men’s and Women’s titles respectively at the Nelson Mandela Surf Pro on Sunday, with Nonaka completing a rare double by also taking out the Junior Women’s event while Eli Beukes was crowned the Junior Men’s champion.
Finals Day Highlights:
The final day‘s action was held in solid head high waves and gusty offshore winds at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth. Despite Joshe Faulkner’s good start to the Men’s final, the result was in the balance until the last ride when Australian teenager Dylan Moffat had a chance to grab victory, but the wave closed out and he couldn’t get the 7.15 point score he needed for victory and had to settle for 3rd place.
Faulkner, who chose to sit away from the other three finalists, steadily built his lead throughout the 30 minute encounter, adding a 6.40 to the 6.75 he had secured earlier for a title-winning total of 13.15 out of 20.
Chad Du Toit forced his way into contention with the best ride of the final, for which he earned an excellent 8.25 and briefly took the lead, but he couldn’t find another good second score and ended runner-up. Koby Oberholzer appeared to peak in the semis and could only muster a pair of threes in the final to finish 4th overall.
Chad Du Toit
The Women’s event was an all Japanese affair. Minami Nonaka was in a class of her own in the final, opening her account with an excellent 8.0 and then waiting patiently for the best waves while her three rivals chased anything that broke throughout the lineup.
The eventual winner opened the scoring in the final with an excellent 8.0 which left her opponents needing huge scores to overtake her, and then sealed her victory with a 7.25 on the final ride of the heat.
Julie Nishimoto, who also reached the final of the Junior Women’s event, clawed her way into contention to grab 2nd place while Ren Hashimoto, who had earned the highest score of the entire event, a near perfect 9.65, on the opening day, started the final slowly and had to settle for 3rd spot with Shino Matsuda in 4th.
Eli Beukes captured the hotly contested Junior Men’s crown with a dominant performance from start to finish. Two good rides put the Kommetjie local into the lead and he then dropped a 9.0 that left his peers scratching for second place.
Luke Thompson came closest, completing a couple of powerful rail turns followed by an innovative tail reverse on his last ride that impressed the judges sufficiently to award him 7.75 which was enough for the runner-up position. Karl Steen and surprise finalist Ntando Nqdala were left needing to replace both their scores when the final ended.
Minami Nonaka reigned supreme in the Junior Women’s final, compiling a heat total of 12.95 and despite a much improved Ceara Knight flying the flag for the South African contingent with a pair of good rides that were rewarded with a well merited runner-up finish. Julia Camargo took 3rd place and Julie Nishimoto finished 4th in the first of her two finals on the day.
Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro 2019 Final Results
1st Joshe Faulkner 13.15
2nd Chad du Toit 12.50
3rd Dylan Moffat 9.85
4th Koby Oberholzer 7.20
1st Minami Nonaka 15.25
2nd Julie Nishimoto 11.50
3rd Ren Hashimoto 10.15
4th Shino Matsuda 8.25
1st Eli Beukes 15.0
2nd Luke Thompson 14.25
3rd Karl Steen 8.25
4th Ntando Nqdala 6.15
1st Minami Nonaka 12,95
2nd Ceara Knight 12.10
3rd Julia Camargo 8.75
4th Julie Nishimoto 7.25
Photos by WSL / Thurtell.