Bay surf spot Pipe ready to welcome world at SA Open of Surfing

Joshe Faulkner will be just one of a host of surfers looking to keep the VW SA Open of Surfing title out of international hands when the competition gets underway this week.
Joshe Faulkner will be just one of a host of surfers looking to keep the VW SA Open of Surfing title out of international hands when the competition gets underway this week.
Image: Ian Thurtell

Surfing aficionados are expected to flood the sands of Pollok Beach as they cheer on the best local and international competitors at the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing which gets underway on Thursday.

The event, presented by Hurley and supported by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, is set to heat up the waters of the popular surfing spot Pipe, as the best surfers vie for valuable qualifying series points which go towards their World Surf League rankings.

Featuring a QS 3000 event for women, a QS 1000 event for men, and a Junior QS1000 event for boys and girls, the five-day showpiece is set to see some new champions crowned as last year’s winners look set to miss out on this year’s Bay event.

The surfing spectacle will be the penultimate stop on the City Surf Series calendar, and stop number six of seven on the WSL Africa Tour, which culminates with the Ballito Pro present by O’Neill on July 1.

The surfing spectacle will be the penultimate stop on the City Surf Series calendar, and stop number six of seven on the WSL Africa Tour, which culminates with the Ballito Pro present by O’Neill on July 1.

Being the only QS 3000 ranked event for women in Africa, the entry list will see no less than 22 countries represented, making up 80 percent of the field alongside the 13 South African competitors to compete at the illustrious event.

A new champion will be crowned as Brisa Hennessy (CRI) will not be defending her title.

The world-class field of international competitors will include top seeds Philippa Anderson (AUS) and Mahina Maeda (JPN) as well as former world champion Sofía Mulánovich (PER) and former Championship Tour surfer Pauline Ado (FRA).

Hawaii's Zoe McDougall, who earned a handful of victories in South Africa including the Volkswagen SA Open Junior title in 2018, returns to PE for her first competition on the WSL Africa Tour.

National hopes will rest squarely on the shoulders of former WSL CT competitor, Victoria Bay’s Bianca Buitendag, who will be the spearhead of a strong local contingent of South Africa female surfers.

Teal Hogg from Durban was awarded the WSL Africa wildcard while youngsters Zoë Steyn (East London) and Ceara Knight(Kommetjie) also received the two event wildcard entries.

The men’s QS1000 event is set for some epic wave battles as the cream of the QS charts head to the Bay.

Jeffrey’s Bay surfer Matthew McGillivray will compete in his first event on the WSL Africa Tour after a demanding international schedule for the first half of the year. McGillivray's hard work paid off after earning a third place finish at the Heroes de Mayo Iquique Pro in Chile.

He will face tough competition from a confident Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), who recently won two consecutive QS titles on the WSL Africa Tour, including the Royal St Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic.

Australia's Jordan Lawler, currently in 7th on the QS rankings will hope to secure his place in the top 10 with a good result in South Africa.

The juniors QS 1000 will be a hotly-contested affair with only a few hundred points separating Luke Slijpen (Llandudno), Luke Thompson (Durban) and Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) on the WSL Africa Junior leaderboard.

The finals day for both pro junior men and women as well as the Surfing South Africa Longboard men's and women's divisions will take place on Sunday, while the QS3000 women and QS 1000 men champions will be crowned on Monday. 

A total of R500,000 in prize money is set to be shared across all six divisions. 

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