February, Hulett, Elkington, Noguera take titles at NMB Surf Pro

2017-04-12 06:00
Dylan Lightfoot from Jeffrey’s Bay in action at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong at Pollock Beach on the weekend.                     Photo: IAN THURTELL

Dylan Lightfoot from Jeffrey’s Bay in action at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong at Pollock Beach on the weekend. Photo: IAN THURTELL

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THE inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong wrapped up three days of high-performance surfing action on Sunday with Michael February (Kommetjie) and Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) taking out the Men’s and Women’s titles respectively.

Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Kayla Nogueira (Durban) clinched the Junior Men’s and Women’s crowns.

The first internationally rated World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) events to be staged in Port Elizabeth enjoyed contestable, but testing, surf and great weather for the three days and featured 128 competitors, including South Africa’s top exponents and entrants from the USA and Australia.

February demonstrated why he is the country’s highest ranked QS surfer by dominating throughout the QS1 000 rated Men’s event, including the final.

Fellow QS campaigner Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) kept pace for the first half of the 25 minute final, but an excellent 8.67 by February late in the heat left Lightfoot, third placed Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) and fourth placed Beyrick de Vries (the 2016 WSL Africa champion), all requiring 16.01 points for victory.

“Super happy with that result. I haven’t won an event for a couple of years and that’s my first QS1 000 event title,” said February.

“The final was tricky. The waves were really far out and you couldn’t hear what the situation was, but after I’d had two decent rides, I stayed close to Dylan (Lightfoot) and Jarred (Veldhuis) and used my priority to keep them off the good ones.

February pocketed R10 000 and 1 000 coveted rankings points which will see him vault from 91st into the top 40 on the QS leaderboard and he takes the early lead in the race for the WSL Africa title which means he will wear the Skullcandy zebra striped ranking leader’s vest at the next event on the City Surf Series in East London this weekend.

Hulett scraped into the women’s final after losing half of one of her scores when she incurred an interference penalty in her semifinal match-up. She went on to post the highest score of the encounter, a 7.67 out of 10, before adding a mid-range 4.27 to clinch her first WSL QS event title.

The Junior Men’s final was dominated by the Elkington brothers from Kommetjie, with younger brother Max leading until the last minute when older sibling Jake rode the highest scoring wave of the 25 minute clash to grab the victory.

Nogueira has been on roll for the past three weeks with the 13-year-old Durbanite surfing to victories winning both the U/14 and U/16 titles on successive weekends before capturing the 18-and-under title on Sunday.

Results, images and video footage from the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com.

NMB Surf Pro Men’s Final results

1. Michael February (Kommetjie) 1 000 pts

2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 750 pts

3. Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) 560 pts

4. Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) 525 pts

NMB Surf Pro Women’s Final

1. Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 1 000 pts

2. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 750 pts

3. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 560 pts

4. Tayla Hanak (Australia) 525 pts

NMB Surf Pro Junior Men’s Final

1. Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) 1 000 pts

2. Max Elkington (Kommetjie) 750 pts

3. Luke Slijpen (Cape Town) 560 pts

4. Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) 525 pts

NMB Surf Pro Junior Women’s Final

1. Kayla Nogueira (Durban) 1 000 pts

2. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 750 pts

3. Julia Ploughman (Cape Town) 560 pts

4. Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 525 pts

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