A top class field of nearly 100 local and international surfers will make their way to Lamberts Bay next week for the fourth edition of the Vans Surf Pro Classic, Stop No. 5 of eight on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Africa Qualifying Series (QS) Tour.
The contest will be staged in the renowned waves of YoYo’s from Friday to Sunday, May 31 – 2 June and features a QS1,500 rated event for Men, a QS1,000 for Women and a Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 Men’s event for surfers 18-and-younger.
“We’re always excited to be heading back to Lamberts Bay for our annual contest,” said Warren Talbot, Vans South Africa Marketing Manager. “This is our fourth year and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet. Vans would like to wish all the competitors the best of luck and we look forward to hosting everyone over the weekend.”
A new champion will be crowned in the Men’s event with 2018 winner, Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), currently campaigning in South America.
Reigning WSL Africa champion Adin Masencamp (Strand) will be competing in his first WSL Africa rated event of 2019 after a successful international campaign that has seen the 19-year-old rise to No. 35 on the QS rankings, currently the highest by a South African.
Masencamp faces tough competition from the likes of Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga), the winner of the inaugural Vans Surf Pro Classic in 2016, along with the in-form Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) who won his first QS event title at Port Alfred last month.
Others in contention for the 1,500 points at stake for the winner include former Junior event winners Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) and Jake Elkington, Luke Dillon (GBR), Pedro Coelho (PRT) and perennial standout David van Zyl (Glenashley)
The men’s field also includes Sung Min Cho, the first surfer from Mozambique to compete in a QS event, and Brian Furcy from Mauritius, who has been a regular competitor on the WSL Africa Tour for the past two seasons.
Defending Junior Men’s champion Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) is locked in a nail-biting battle for the WSL Africa Junior rankings lead with Luke Thompson (Durban), reigning WSL Africa Junior champion Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) and dark horse Thomas Lindhorst (East London). Beukes grew up in Lamberts Bay and he will rely on his local knowledge to defend the title.
A South African is yet to win the Vans Surf Pro Classic Women’s title and the local contingent will again face highly ranked international opposition.
The third edition for females features Port Alfred winner Ariane Ochoa (ESP), Germany’s Rachel Presti, Japan’s Ren Hashimoto and Nao Omura and Australian Pacha Luque-Light.
South Africa’s contenders include Nicole Pallet (La Lucia), Tanika Hoffman (Cape Town), Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) and rising star Zoe Steyn (East London).
In July, the worlds best surfers will be in Jeffreys Bay for the Corona Open JBay, a World Championship Tour event that takes place from 9 – 22 July.
The Corona Open JBay takes place at Supertubes, regarded as the worlds best wave and legendary surfers like Kelly Slater, John John Florence and Jordy Smith are all confirmed entrants into the event.
More information can be found at www.jbaywinterfest.com
The top seeds in the Vans Surf Pro Classic 2019 are:
1 Adin Masencamp (Strand)
2 Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga)
3 Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay)
4 Luke Dillon (UK)
5 Jake Elkington (Kommetjie)
1 Rachel Presti (Germany)
2 Nao Omura (Japan)
3 Anat Leilor (Israel)
4 Ariane Ochoa (Spain)
5 Ren Hashimoto (Japan)
1 Eli Beukes (Kommetjie)
2 Thomas Lindhorst (East London)
3 Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay)
4 Luke Thompson (Durban)
5 Karl Steen (Durban)