Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro Launches City Surf Series in Port Elizabeth
The most exciting and lucrative series of professional surfing events ever staged in South Africa will be launched in Port Elizabeth on Friday when the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong hosts a huge field of local and international competitors at The Pipe on Pollock Beach.
Comprising World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) rated events for men and women, plus Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for men and women aged 18-and-under, the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro offers a total prize-pool of R80,000 plus points counting towards international and regional rankings lists.
The historic event has notched up a slew of landmarks including being the first professional surfing contest to be staged in the city; the first of five similar tournaments in the inaugural City Surf Series, which will also visit East London, Durban (twice) and Cape Town; the first of four JQS events in the 20th annual Billabong Junior Series and the first event counting towards the crowning of the 2017 WSL Africa regional champions in September.
The QS1,000 rated men’s event features a 64 man field including the cream of South Africa’s surfers. The top seed is Michael February (Kommetjie), currently the country’s highest QS ranked surfer at No. 65, followed by 2016 WSL Africa champion Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Braden Jones (USA).
The men will be battling for a share of the R30,000 on offer with the winner pocketing R10,000 and 1,000 precious ranking points on the 659 man WSL QS leaderboard.
The QS1,000 women’s seeding is headed by Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) and Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) with Tayla Hanak (AUS) the only international among the 24 competitors.
Reigning WSL Africa Junior champion Adin Masencamp (Strand), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Kommetjie residents Jake Elkington and Ford van Jaarsveldt are the top four in the JQS1,000 junior men’s event, while the JQS1,000 women’s field is headed by Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), Taghiti Gericke (Mossel Bay) and Olivia Izzard (Umhlanga).
The rankings points accumulated in the JQS events determine the top four men and top two women who will represent WSL Africa at the annual WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January.
The three day event starts with two rounds of men’s competition on Friday, followed by the earlier rounds of the women’s and junior events on Saturday and concludes with the champions being crowned on Sunday.
Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.World SurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
An Outreach program featuring the Gromblitz surfers from Missionvale, the Waves 4 Change group from Motherwell and surfers from the Jeffreys Bay based Rebel Surf Team and the JBay Surf Club will be run during the event by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport and the Nelson Mandela Surfriders, who run surfing in the District. This programme will take place between10am and 1pm on Sunday at the beach adjacent to where the Main Event is being held.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong is supported by Volkswagen, Corona and the City of Port Elizabeth and is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa.
About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.
The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.
Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for all disciplines of surfriding in South Africa by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).