Micheal February Produces Sensational Performance on Day 2 of Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong
Men, Women and Junior Men Post Excellent Scores at the Pipe in Port Elizabeth
Michael February produced a sensational performance at the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro presented by Billabong in Port Elizabeth today, starting his quarterfinal heat with an excellent ride of 9.57 and then backing that up with the first perfect 10 point ride of the event for a near perfect heat tally of 19.57 out of 20.
Greeted by wild conditions with 1 to 2 metre waves breaking 150 metres offshore and onshore winds, organisers delayed this morning’s start. This paid off with conditions cleaning up as the tide filled in and two rounds of Men, Women and Junior Men were completed,
While February (Kommetjie), the top seed in the QS1,000 rated Men’s event, was the day’s star performer, Women’s top seed Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) also stood out by delivering two rides in the excellent category (over 8 points out of 10) for a 16.50 heat total, while Luke Slijpen (Cape Town was the top points scorer among the Junior Men.
“I started the heat super far out and that first one just popped up next me,” said February of his quarterfinal. “I did a couple of turns and the wave kept delivering so I rode it all the way to the beach. It was a long paddle back but I heard that I got a nine something, so I just needed decent backup. Then I went left on a wave that allowed me three big turns and was stoked to be awarded the10!”
February was joined in tomorrow’s first semifinal by fellow Kommetjie residents Jordy Maree and Jarred Veldhuis, along with Brandon Jackson (Durban North). The second semifinal will be determined after the remaining two quarterfinals are completed on Sunday morning.
Pallet, who spent a month in Australia earlier this year competing in WSL events, overcame her nervousness about the conditions and the ability of her opponents to record the best return in the Women’s event by getting an early mid-range score before racking up her pair of eight plus rides.
“I was pretty nervous before the long paddle out because the waves were really messy and I had Australian Tayla Hanak in my heat,” said Pallet. “I had one ride and then my coach Quintin Jones put me in good spot and I caught that right that gave me an 8.33. Then Sophie (Bell) just missed one and I caught it further in and I managed to get an 8.17.
“I’m so glad that the girls are going to have seven events in South Africa this year. It’s great being able to earn points here at home so we can qualify for the big events overseas. And I’m really excited about tomorrow.”
Pallet faces Hanak again in the semifinals, along with 2016 WSL Africa women’s champion Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) and Tarryn Chudleigh (Cape Town). The second semifinal includes Teal Hogg (uMhlanga), Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay), Tasha Mentasti (Durban) and Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay).
The Junior Men’s event was dominated by Slijpen who delivered the two highest scores of 14.83 in Round 1 and 15.10 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semis. Others to shine in the JQS1,000 rated event for surfers 18-and-under included Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) and Calvin Goor (Salt Rock).
The opening round of the Junior Women’s event was held over to Sunday and will be run before the semifinals and finals of all the events sees the champions crowned at the event site.
The Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Athol Trollip, will present the winners with their trophies and cheques. He will also present special commemorative trophies to the 2016 WSL Africa champions Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), Faye Zoetmulder, Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock).
Live scoring, results, photos and video footage will be available on www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App, with highlights on the WSL QS Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
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