It might look like just another QS event, but the Sea Harvest Nahoon Open presented by Cell C QS 1000 will determine the WSL Africa region's Challenger Series qualifiers. So for the guys and girls who have been working towards CS qualification, a lot is riding on their results at Nahoon Reef.
As if Mother Nature could sense what's on the line, she provided clean and big 3-4 foot waves for the first day of competition to give the top surfers a challenging playing field.
WSL Africa rankings leader Adin Masencamp stayed cool, calm and collected in his heat to book his place in the Quarterfinals. Every round counts for Adin, and the competitor in him will want to increase the points gap between him and his fellow competitors as much as possible.
In the Women's draw, local star Zoë Steyn will be dealing with more pressure to keep Sarah Scott at bay, her closest rival challenging her for the Challenger Series qualification spot. Both girls advanced into the next round and they could face each other in their third consecutive final tomorrow to determine who will end up on top.
But there is strong opposition from experienced competitorsSarah Baum and Sophie Bell. Sarah is keen to get more points in local waters. She's been grinding away in Australia, her home away from home, and she's got a renewed fire in her to compete.
Sophie Bell put together an impressive heat with critical surfing under pressure. Coming from behind to take the win, she upset WSL Africa's third ranked surfer Natasha Van Greunen who competed on the Challenger Series in 2021, which means that's her CS qualification out the window.
More upsets included top seed Shane Sykes who only got to see the spray from Tide-Lee Ireland and Thomas Lindhorst in his Round fo 32 heat. Tide-Lee was on fire, whacking out the only excellent scoring ride of the day. Thomas is from East London and was just in tune with his home break.
Riding the momentum from his win at the Long Beach Open last weekend, Jordy Maree brought his A-game to East London. Even though he admitted that he will not compete on the Challenger Series this year, he will still be a force to reckon with on Finals Day.
The next call will be on Sunday, 20 March 2022 at 7:00 AM SAST for a potential start at 7:30AM with the Men's Quarterfinals.
The Sea Harvest Nahoon Open presented by Cell C is supported by Sea Harvest, Cell C, SMTH Shapes, Twizza, Seymour Properties and Oakhampton Guest House.