Kommetjie duo shines in the surf

2017-06-06 06:01
Michael February from Kommetjie clinched the men’s title at the 2017 Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lamberts Bay on Sunday. PHOTO: WSL / Van Gysen

Michael February from Kommetjie clinched the men’s title at the 2017 Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lamberts Bay on Sunday. PHOTO: WSL / Van Gysen

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Michael February and Jake Elkington, both from Kommetjie, claimed the men and junior men’s titles respectively in the Vans Surf Pro Classic held in pumping 1.5m waves in Lamberts Bay on Sunday.

The World Surf League (WSL) qualifying series (QS) events took place at a break similar to the high-performance waves at Lower Trestles in California and attracted the country’s top competitors and dozens of emerging international stars.

February was the standout performer throughout the three day men’s event, capitalising on meticulous heat strategies and earning excellent scores for his stylish manoeuvres, particularly on his backhand in the reeling left-breaking waves, while also shredding on the rights.

Taking on good friend Davy van Zyl (from Glenashley) in the final, February had a slow start but grew in confidence after an 8.17 on a right. He then sealed his third win in four events in South Africa this year on a long-running left that came in at 7.50.

“The final went pretty well. I was up against one of my best mates and I was happy getting into the final with him,” says ­February.

“Being here at Lamberts Bay you know you’re going to get good waves. I felt a bit shaky on my first rides but managed to put it together on a good right and that calmed the nerves a bit. Then I got a good backup on my backhand, so I’m really happy.

“These QS1000 events here at home have been really great for building momentum for the QS3000 and QS10 000 events coming up this month.

“It’s nice that Beyrick [de Vries] and I are pushing each other on the rankings and this win will really help me.”

In the man-on-man semi-finals Van Zyl dropped two excellent rides to leave Renan Peres in a combination situation and needing to replace both his rides to get into ­contention.

February was on fire in his semi-final, posting scores of 9.33 and 8.0 that left his Brazilian opponent Wesley Leite behind. February caught his last wave in the final seconds and punted back-to-back aerials, an enormous air reverse followed by alley-oop, to earn the only perfect 10-point score of the event and the highest heat total of 19.33 out of 20.

In the JQS1000 junior men’s event, Elkington won every heat, including the final in which he added an 8.23 to the 8.50 he had earned earlier to overtake archrival Adin Masencamp (Strand), who had taken the lead with a 9.0 with just minutes remaining.

“It was a really great final with amazing waves. I started off with a great ride, but then didn’t get another for a long time while everybody else was shredding,” says Elkington.

“Adin went into the lead near the end and I thought that was it, but then my last score dropped in, and it was just an amazing feeling.

“Lamberts Bay is one of the best waves in the world, one of my favourites in South Africa.

“This result is another keeper in my campaign to qualify for the WSL junior champs in Australia in January. I just want to keep this rhythm going and take this confidence into the next event.”

The junior men’s runner-up spot went to Masencamp who was followed by Joao Chianca and Takuto Ohta in a high-scoring affair where each of the competitors recorded a ride of 8.0 or higher.

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