Minami Nonaka from Japan and Jordan Lawler from Australia are the 2018 QS 1,000 Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres by O'Neill champions. An awesome day of small-wave ripping saw the two surfers defeat the two loaded finals and take home the winner's trophies after an excellent day of high performance surfing at Big Bay today.
Smaller waves and stiff cross-shore winds prevailed for the Final day and, despite being small, the waves were still highly contestable. Among the women, competitors delivered some great rides in the Semifinals. Nicole Pallet once again showed her competitive knowledge and depth of talent by winning the first Semifinal, with Nonaka in second, with some long rides punctuated by a number of high risk moves and the subsequent winning scores.
The second Semifinal was a great result for the South African contingent as the goofyfooted duo of Sarah Baum and Kayla Nogueira took first and second, with former Women's World Champion Sofia Mulanovich from Peru getting eliminated, along with Tiana-Breeze De Mooij, from New Zealand. The two South Africans dominated, getting their good scores early as the waves faded somewhat during their heat.
Over in the men's QS 1,000, there was some exciting surfing going down, with the men picking up some of the fast inside waves and performing numerous high risk moves and combinations that were rewarded with excellent scores.
In the first Semifinal it was perennial winner Matthew McGillivray, who found the best waves and rode them with confidence and panache to get the scores needed to win the heat convincingly. McGillivray has put his head down this season and is on a mission to qualify for the elite WSL Championship Tour (QS surfers who finish the year in the Top 10, not including CT surfers who double-qualify), or get higher seedings in the 2019 season.
He is looking the most confident local going into the rest of the South African surfing season and he was accompanied by Chad Du Toit, from Durban, in advancing to the Final, with German surfer Dylan Groen coming in third and Brasilian Pedro Nogueira fourth.
In the second Semifinal Adin Masencamp continued his winning ways and found some of the best waves of the heat. Adin has been on a tear at this event as well as at many of the City Surf Series event this year. He too has his sights set on the upcoming second half of the season, including the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley and the Ballito Pro pres by Billabong. He charged through to the Final with Lawler joining him.
It was Nonaka, the 16-year-old Japanese surfer, who took the bull by the horns in the women's Final, banking two great scores to keep the rest of the contestants at bay until the final siren. Baum, originally from Durban, fought back hard and was desperately looking for one more high scoring ride towards the end of the Final, but could not secure that ride and finished in a satisfying second place, with Pallet and Nogueria finishing off in the minor slots.
The men's Final was a dynamic affair with all four surfers showing flashes of brilliance. Lawler has surfed in the entire WSL Africa QS circuit this year and has already earned a number of good results including a 9th at the VW Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres by Billabong, a 2nd at the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic and a 13th place at the Vans Surf Pro Classic.
The Australian showed his class in the Final, first waiting for good waves and then deciding to get busy. Scores of 7 and an 8.25 put him in an unassailable lead, with the rest of the three surfers fighting for second place. Masencamp put in a valiant effort but could not find what was required and he ended up in the runner-up position, followed by McGillivray and Du Toit.
The South African tour now moves back to Port Elizabeth for the final City Surf Series event of the year, the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley which is set to take place from 20 - 24 June.