- WSL / Louis Wulff

It was a great day for the East London surfing community when local stars Daniel Emslie and Zoë Steyn won the 2023 Buffalo City Nahoon Pro Junior.

Emslie was a standout during the entire event, surfing in both the Nahoon Pro Qualifying Series and the Junior event. Emslie could be spotted in the lineup sporting a white swimming cap, thanks to the three stitches he got in his head on a warm-up surf on Friday. It didn't bother Emslie, who seemed to have an unlimited supply of energy this weekend.

He didn't waste time and banked two scoring rides early in the Nahoon Pro Junior Men's Final against Cape Town's Connor Slijpen. While Slijpen made a few errors, Emslie's ability to read the waves and pick off the best ones helped him increase his lead. He scored a 7.00 for a couple of tight turns on a big open face wave and it was enough to close out the heat for the win.

Zoë Steyn and Gemma Hanafey pushed the reset button after losing out in the Women's QS and used their experience at Nahoon Reef to book themselves into the Nahoon Pro Junior Women's Final, making the town of East London very proud. Halfway through the heat, Steyn found a wave under priority to fit in a strong two-turn combination for a 7.33. With only 0.90 as a backup score, the door was wide open for Hanafey to change the situation, but she could never find a wave that would rival Steyn's score.

Emslie, Steyn and Hanafey made their hometown of East London proud with their strong performances and it was special to see the Buffalo City surfing community coming together to support this event.

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