The Western Cape's west coast is a rugged, unflinching stretch of coastline, with much attention focused on the perfection that is the left-hand point-break of Elands Bay. There are however, many more jewels along this stretch of coast, some of them more known than others and some of them less accessible than others. Cape Town surfers and other wandering surfers have done the hard yards working out the best swells, wind and tides over these waves, and all the combinations in between.
One of the better-known waves is Yoyos, on the northern edge of Lamberts Bay. A somewhat under-rated wave, Yoyo's is a left and right hand peak, breaking over a combination reef and sand bottom, with high performance waves peeling perfectly in both directions all the way to the shoreline, providing multiple opportunities for high-performance surfing. So good is the wave that is has been compared to Trestles in the past.
Yoyos is the venue for the third annual Vans Surf Pro Classic, and it is a revamped and invigorated contest that will take place this year. Featuring a Men's QS 1,500 event, upgraded from a QS 1,000, as well as a Women's QS1,000 + Men's JQS1,000, the total prize purse has nearly tripled from last year to R190,000, and the valuable WQS points are now substantially increased, making the event extremely important for surfers wishing to qualify for major events worldwide on their quests for Championship Tour qualification.
There is some powerful weather and a big swell heading for Lamberts Bay on the opening day of the event period, Friday 1 June, and the event organisers, West Coast Boardriders Club, have made a few contingency plans. One of them is choosing a possible back-up venue should the swell be too big for Yoyos. There is a chance that the competition will move down the road to a surf break situated inside the shelter of the Lamberts Bay Harbour known as Billa's Beach.
This wave consists of multiple beachbreak peaks, has been used before as a competition venue, and is very contestable. Should the powerful swell persist over the weekend, this venue will provide great opportunities for all surfers competing in the event. Historically this event has always scored great waves at Yoyos however, and this year looks like there are going to be some excellent windows of surf throughout the contest period.
The entrants include a host of international competitors from as far afield as Hawaii, USA, Australia, South America, Europe, Mauritius and Japan.
In the women's division Zoe McDougall, a Hawaiian natural-footer and last year's runner-up, is top seed, followed by another international star in Justine Dupont from France. South African talent like Nicole Pallet and Kai Woolf will have their work cut out for them and there should be exciting encounters in this division.
David Van Zyl is going to be the man to beat in the men's division, but he is going to face some determined surfers like Beyrick De Vries who won the event in 2016, and current regional rankings leader, the focused goofy-footer Jordy Maree.
The highly competitive JQS event will see a crew of extremely talented surfers, all intent on following their dreams and qualifying for the Championship Tour, battle it out for points and prize-money. Luke Slijpen has shown incredible form of late and will definitely be one of the surfers to beat, along with Max Elkington and Bryce Du Preez. Slijpen was the winner of the JQS division at the recent Zigzag Durban Surf Pro pres by G-Force and is currently ranked number one on the WSL Africa Men's Junior Tour Rankings.