North Beach, Durban - power surfing won the day for the final day of competition at the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro pres by G-Force. Despite the onshore conditions and three foot sets, the top WSL Africa QS surfers - both men's and juniors - threw caution to the wind and battled it out in the difficult but contestable conditions.
In the JQS event it was a hard battle for the top junior men in the country, with the heat going back and forth between the four finalists, with all four showing promise and the possibility of a win. At the final siren it was Luke Slijpen who displayed enough high scoring turns to take the win from a spirited Bryce Du Preez, with Aya Gericke and Calvin Goorin the minor placings.
Slijpen, one of the brightest stars among the junior surfers, headed to the top of the WSL Africa junior ratings with this victory by a good margin, ahead of Dillon Hendricks and Bryce Du Preez, on adjusted ratings. Below Slijpen, the junior ratings has a tight cluster at the top, and a single good result could see any of the surfers placed second to fifth jump the ratings considerably.
A polished surfer and focused athlete, Slijpen was his smooth and powerful self throughout the event, and his maiden JQS win was well deserved.
In the Men's QS 1,000 division Adin Masencamp came up against David Van Zyl in semifinal 1, and it was Masencamp who showed an affinity with the small onshore waves, finding pockets and throwing spray with his powerful style to take the win from Van Zyl.
The second semifinal saw WSL Africa QS ratings leader Jordy Maree up against Durban local Chad Du Toit and despite some fierce surfing and a few big attempts at some aerial moves from Du Toit, it was Maree who advanced to the final to meet up against Masencamp.
It was natural-footer vs goofy, heel vs toe in the final with both surfers displaying their unique styles in the difficult afternoon conditions. The WSL judging criteria, in essence, rewards speed, power and flow, and it was Masencamp who best harnessed these criteria on his two scoring waves to emerge the winner in an action-packed final. The natural footer took a little while to get going, but an 8-pointer took him to an unassailable lead, and Maree was left needing a very attainable 5.66 score, but unfortunately running out of time.
Once the spray had settled, Maree found himself still leading the WSL Africa QS ratings, with a strong lead over second placed Van Zyl, and with young Masencamp rising up from fifth to third spot on the ratings.
The Zigzag Durban Surf Pro pres by G-Force was the fourth event on the 2018 WSL Africa Qualifying Series and the the third in the City Surf Series (CSS). The next event is the Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay on the West Coast on June 1-3 which features QS1,500 men's, QS1,000 women's and a JQS 1,000 men's event. The CSS returns with the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres by O'Neill, which will take place in the middle of June.