Lamberts Bay - The swell on the west coast had subsided enough for the contest organisers to move the Vans Surf Pro Classic back to the original contest venue of Yoyos, but there were still some solid sets rolling through the break. A light northwest wind ruffled the faces of the waves, making the sets tricky to negotiate and there were some big slams and damaged surfboards during the morning's heats.
Dale Staples from St Francis Bay was one of the early morning standouts, falling from the sky and successfully pulling off a risky backhand floater on a huge left shore dump, to the amazement of the spectators and fellow competitors combined.
Yoyos is a premier west coast surf break, and the Vans Surf Pro Classic always seems to score good waves at this venue. This, the third edition of the event, has already enjoyed highly contestable waves during the first two days of competition, and the forecast for the final day looks promising.
The event is fielding top class local and international surfers, all intent on winning QS points at the 1,500-rated event. There is a chance for three surfers to obtain wildcards into the QS 10,000 Ballito Pro, and points awarded from this event will be included in the awarding of these slots.
In round three of the men's division it was Beyrick De Vries from uMhlanga who once again showed his superiority, advancing through to the quarterfinals with a solid performance in the six-foot surf. Other surfers who excelled in this round were Dylan Lightfoot and Matthew McGillivray, both from Jeffreys Bay, and David Van Zyl from Durban.
The local contingent however were pushed hard by the international guests, with Luan Carvalho and Eduardo Motta, both from Brazil advancing, along with Colin Doyez from France and Arran Strong from the United Kingdom.
Last year's Vans Surf Pro Classic event winner was Michael February and he used the 2017 South African circuit to leap-frog onto the World Surf League's premier Championship Tour. He is currently competing on that tour, along with Jordy Smith. Up-and-coming surfers on this South African tour have every opportunity to qualify for the premier tour as well as to secure seedings for the bigger QS events.
In the women's QS 1000 event it was also an international flavor standing out with Cannelle Bulard once again putting on a virtuoso performance and winning her heat, and Hawaiian Zoe McDougall also putting on a great performance to advance with her. Faye Zoetmulder, Nicole Pallet and Tanika Hoffman also surfed well, and will also be surfing in the semifinals on the final day of competition.
Brazil's Eduardo Motta was also a stand-out in the men's JQS division, amassing a heat total of 15.85 out of a possible 20 points to advance with ease from round 2, along with the likes of perennial junior standouts York Van Jaarsveldt, Max Elkington, Eli Beukes and Calvin Goor.