Victoria Bay - Flawless four to five-foot waves, light offshore conditions and long, lined-up walls were the order of the day for the second day of the Vic Bay Classic. It was a dream of high performance conditions for all the competitors, and the Men's JQS 1,000 competitors were the first sent out to bat.
As the tide started to drain, the waves improved even more, and surfers like Aya Gericke, Max Elkington, Luke Thompson and Eli Beukes were the top performers in the round of 16, winning their heats and advancing along with the heat runner-ups Luke Slijpen, Karl Steen, Daniel Orpen and Saxton Randall, with all surfers from South Africa.
The Women's JQS 1,000 was next to paddle out into the flawless conditions for their Semifinals. Piper Harrison from Australia continued her dominance on this tour, putting a 7.00 and an 8.00 onto the scoreboard for the heat-winning total of 15.00 points for some powerful forehand surfing. Rachel Presti from Germany advanced along with her, with Tru Starling from Australia, and South African Aimee Du Preez both eliminated from the event.
In the second Semifinal young goofy-foot Zoë Steyn from South Africa was rampant, and ran away with the heat, chalking up 15.00 points for the win, with Julie Nishimoto from Japan in second place with 9.00 points. Kayla Nogueira and Anne Dos Santos from Brazil were both eliminated.
The Women's QS 1,000 competitors went out to compete in their Quarterfinals, as the waves continued unabated. Top scorer in this round was former CT surfer and Victoria Bay local Bianca Buitendag, who picked up a 9-point ride for one incredible ride punctuated by a series of critical backhand turns, and combinations. She added a 7.50 for the highest score of the round at 16.50.
She wasn't the only one though, with French ripper Justine Dupont also looking very comfortable on the clean Vic Bay walls, and imitating the South African goofy-footer by scoring a 9-pointer as well, and backing it up with a 7.25 score. Dupont is a well-known big wave surfer and finished the Women's Big Wave World Tour season in 5th place. The high scores in this event however, were indicative of just how good the waves were, and just what quality Vic Bay actually can produce as one of the finest point-breaks in South Africa.
The Men's QS 1,000 lucked into some of the best waves of the day, and the best surfers in the country along with the international contingent of hungry competitors had every opportunity to show their skills to the judging panel. Some of them did not hesitate, and went pedal-to-the-metal from the get-go.
All eyes were on Vic Bay local and wild-card sensation Sean Holmes, as he paddled out into a stacked heat including top QS competitor Matthew McGillivray along with the dynamic Eli Beukes and the up-and-coming Luke Thompson. Holmes found some of the old magic to manage a solid second place behind McGillivray to advance, leaving Beukes and Thompson in their wakes.
Slade Prestwich and Beyrick De Vries faced-off in their encounter, with Prestwich coming out just ahead of De Vries, and in the third heat Max Elkington had an impressive performance and took the win for some huge backhand cracks.
Dylan Lightfoot and Koby Oberholzer were two more surfers, both natural-footers, who were loving the incredible surf that Vic Bay had on offer, with both winning their heats convincingly, allowing them to advance along with Pedro Coelho from Portugal and Jarred Veldhuis from South Africa. Veldhuis surfed an excellent heat, deposing of Jordan Lawler from Australia and Mexican surfer Sebastian Williams from the competition.
To finish off the round, last week's Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley winner Adin Masencamp won the final heat to continue his hunt for CT Qualification, and the wild-card for the upcoming Corona Open J-Bay. Masencamp dropped a 10-point ride, the first ride of the heat, to sound the horn that he was in it to win it, and nothing else.
"The waves were absolutely firing here in Vic Bay," said a stoked Masencamp. "That wave just came to me and offered multiple sections for critical turns. I got the job done, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow, it's going to be fun."
Masencamp has been on a role of late. "I've been training really hard, and it feels like it's showing in my surfing, and all the hard work is paying off," continued Masencamp. "Thanks to WSL Africa for putting on such a great event, it has been incredible down here."
The event finishes tomorrow, with a massive west swell looking to make landfall during the night, and surfers preparing for some bigger surf for the finals.