THE second round of the City Surf Series, the Buffalo City Pro, presented by Reef Wetsuits, took place at Nahoon Reef over the Easter weekend.
The event saw an outstanding field of 128 surfers from all over the world compete. The event is a Surfing South Africa and World Surf sanctioned event and featured surfers from as far as America, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany.
Despite the icy weather, surfers gathered to show their skills, competing in men, women, junior men and junior women divisions.
Over three days, surfers in each of the divisions battled the elements to compete for titles, a share of the R80000 prize-purse and points on the regional and international rankings in the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS).
The Buffalo City Pro is the second of five events in the City Surf Series, with the first competition held in Nelson Mandela Bay and the next stop being Durban.
The event was filled with excitement and close calls as a Thresher shark spotting halted the women’s final. Spectators spotted the shark leaping out of the ocean less than 100m from the finalists and officials immediately halted the event.
Despite the shark sighting, 16-year-old Sophie Bell from Salt Rock went on to achieve a double win, scoring the highest in both the women’s final and junior women’s final.
The men’s final was a tight battle between Michael February (Kommetjie) and Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) in the unpredictable waves. In the end, Sawyer received the highest score winning his first Qualifying Series 1000 event.
Seventeen-year-old Koby Oberholzer from Warner Beach, claimed his first Junior Qualifying Series 1000 event victory, winning the title after a display of high performance surfing, earning him a 9.33 from the judges.
Below are all the other winners:
Buffalo City Surf Pro presented by Reef Wetsuits Results:
Men’s QS1,000 final results
1. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 11.44 R12000 1000 pts
2. Michael February (Kommetjie) 11.07 R6000 750 pts
Women’s QS1,000 Final Results
1. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 6.73 R8000 1000 pts
2. Tayla Hanak (AUS) 2.04 R4000 750 pts
Junior Men’s JQS1,000 Final Results
1. Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) 13.16 R8000 1,000 pts
2. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 9.17 R4000 750 pts
3. Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) 8.27 R2500 560 pts
Junior Women’s JQS1,000 Final Results
1. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 11.83 R4000 1000 pts
2. Zoe Steyn (Durban) 8.33 R2000 750 pts
3. Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) 6.40 R1110 560 pts
2017 WSL Africa rankings (after two events)
1. Michael February (Kommetjie) 1750
2. Steve Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 1280
3. Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) 955
4. Beyrick De Vries (uMhalanga) 945
5. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 935
1. Crystall Hullett (St Francis Bay) 1420
2. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 1300
3. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 1145
4. Nicole Pallet, (La Lucia) 955
4. Teal Hogg uMhlanga 955
1. Jake Elkington, (Kommetjie 1560
2. Koby Oberholzer, (Warner Beach 1395
3. Max Elkington (Kommetjie) 1275
4. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 1050
5. Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) 1010
1. Sophie Bell, (Salt Rock) 1750
2. Kayla Nogueira, (Durban) 1395
3. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 1050
4. Tayla de Coning (East London) 840
4. Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) 840