Pollock Beach - The best surfing of the five-day Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley went down on the final day of competition, when Barbados surfer Chelsea Tuach won the Women's QS 3000 and South African Adin Masencamp won the Men's QS 1000.
It was a close final for the Women's QS 3000, with Tuach going toe-to-toe with Vahine Fierro from France in the small Pollock Beach surf. The conditions were clean and contestable, and with both girls on-point and focused for the win, it could have gone either way. Tuach was in the lead towards the back half of the final, and despite some desperate surfing from the French goofy-footer, it was eventually a very stoked Tuach who took a deserved win. "I knew I just had to get two waves," said an elated Tuach. "I also knew that Vahine wasn't going to be easy to beat, so my heart was in my throat up until the last second."
It was an action-packed QS 1000 Men's Final from the get-go, with an aggressive challenge between South African Adin Masencamp and Australian Sheldon Simkus for the first wave of the final, leading to the Australian banking the first score of a mid-ranger 4.50. The determination was obvious from both competitors. Masencamp has shown maturity and mental fortitude in his recent event, and he surfed a shrewd final. After waiting for 20 minutes, Masencamp picked up a left and banged it through to the inside for an excellent score of 8.17, with a small requirement to get into the lead. He quickly picked up another low score and the combination was enough to put him in the lead. Both surfers were trolling the line-up, looking for anything to up their totals, but Masencamp held out until the final siren for victory.
"I'm so stoked to get the win," said Masencamp. "I've had a good year so far and I feel like I'm picking up momentum now heading into Ballito."
The first Men's QS Semifinal was a very one-sided affair, with natural-footer Simkus absolutely on fire, catching anything that came his way, while South African Jake Elkington decided to wait for a bomb that never came. By the time he realized that there were no sets out there in the small offshore conditions, it was too late to play catchup, and the win and final berth went to the Australian.
The second Semifinal was once again Australia vs South Africa, with Masencamp looking decidedly confident against the Australian goofy Jordan Lawler. Masencamp was looking fast and strong, determined to win, picking up the best waves of the heat. After a tight 6.40 score, he picked up another great looking wave almost immediately afterwards and was awarded an 8.33, putting him in a substantial lead. Lawler didn't back down however, and was fighting all the way through to the final seconds, picking up a few lefts and going to the air, but it was not enough and at the final siren it was the young South African who headed for the final against Simkus.
In the first Women's QS 3000 Semifinal, it was always going to be a close affair between Australian Isabella Nichols and Tuach. While the Nichols looked dominant on paper, Tuach picked up one of the best-looking waves of the day and went to town on it, with a clean wrap, followed by a series of progressive turns and a tight finish, for the best score of the heat thus far of a 6.83. Nichols came into her game towards the end of the heat, but Tuach remained in the lead, and headed for the final.
The second Semifinal between Fierro from and Kirra Pinkerton from America was another great tussle, in the clean but small conditions. Reigning World Junior Champion Pinkerton from San Clemente was up against the ropes with little time in the heat, and the Tahitian goofy-footer pushed further into the lead with one excellent left, and time ran out. In the end it was Vahine heading into the final against Tuach.
The win saw Tuach grab 3,000 points in her bid to qualify for the Championship Tour, and Masencamp awarded 1,000 points for his bid to qualify, as well as his hunt for the Corona J-Bay Open wildcard, awarded to the highest placed South African on the QS after the Ballito Pro pres by O'Neill.
The tournament was the 6th stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Africa QS and the 4th City Surf Series (CSS) event of five. The next event is the Vic Bay Classic from 20-22 June.