Slijpen wins junior WSL title

2019-06-04 06:00
Hout Bay’s Luke Slijpen in action during the Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lambert’s Bay.PHOTO: WSL/Alan van Gysen

Hout Bay’s Luke Slijpen in action during the Vans Surf Pro Classic in Lambert’s Bay.PHOTO: WSL/Alan van Gysen

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Three new champions were crowned on the final day of competition at the Vans Surf Pro Classic in the clean, glassy conditions at Lamberts Bay on Sunday .

The Junior QS1 000 final kept the crowds on their feet and it was a tight heat between Hout Bay’s Luke Slijpen, Luke Thompson, Angelo Faulkner and American Jackson Butler.

Thompson looked strong and was leading for most of the heat, but a last minute exchange saw Slijpen unleash everything he had left to give for an excellent 8.50.

“I’m so stoked, I knew what I had to do and which waves I had to go for and I wanted it so bad,” said Slijpen, beaming with pride after being carried up the beach.

In the men’s final, Jeffreys Bay’s Dylan Lightfoot scored back-to-back World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) wins after he took out the Men’s QS1 500 on Sunday. It was a close final between Lightfoot and Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) who put on an impressive performance throughout the event. “It feels great. I’ve been putting a lot of effort in my surfing, both mentally and physically, and surfing a lot,” said Lightfoot. “Koby was surfing amazing and I was on edge until the last five seconds, and fortunately for me, the ocean went flat.”

After taking the runner-up berth at Lambert’s Bay last year, Lightfoot arrived in town a week before the event to practice and the additional time spent in the waves at YoYo’s paid off this handsomely. Oberholzer continued his confident approach in the first men’s semi-final against Jake Elkington from Kommetjie. It was an exciting encounter which saw the lead change a few times, but it was Oberholzer who clinched the win in the end with a 7.60 ride. The high-performance surfing continued with Lightfoot and Kalk Bay’s Jordy Maree both producing excellent rides in their semifinal clash, but Lightfoot prevailed with a nail-biting 0.05 points more than Maree.

In yet another dominant display from the Japanese girls Hinako Kurokawa and Ren Hashimoto, the lone South African still in contention on the final day of the women’s event, Muizenberg’s Natasha van Greunen, was eliminated in the semi-finals.

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