TOP Jeffreys Bay surfer, Joshe Faulkner, clinched the presti-gious menâ€™s winning title at the Nelson Mandela Surf Pro held in good surf at Pollok Beach in Port Elizabeth over the weekend.
Minami Nonaka from Japan secured a first place in both the womenâ€™s and junior womenâ€™s division – a rare double.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro, Stop No. 2 on the WSL Africa Tour, comprised Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 rated events for men and women and JQS 1,000 events for junior men and women aged 18 years and younger.
Despite Faulknerâ€™s good start to the menâ€™s final, the result was in the balance until the last ride when Australian teenager Dylan Moffat had a chance to grab victory, but the wave closed out and he could not secure the 7.15 point score he needed for victory and had to settle for third place.
Faulkner, who chose to sit away from the other three finalists, steadily built his lead throughout the 30 minute encounter, adding a 6.40 to the 6.75 he had secured earlier (both rides out of a possible 10 points) for a title-winning total of 13.15 out of 20.
â€œThis is the best thing ever,â€? said an emotional Faulkner on the podium. â€œThroughout the years I sometimes make the semi-finals and then the next event I get knocked out in the first round.
â€œI am super-stoked to have my first QS win under the belt.â€?
- The Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro doubles as the first of four events in the City Surf Series (CSS) which, alongside the world-class surfing action, also embrace sustainability and transformation programmes such as the Surfing South Africa Learn to Surf outreach project in collaboration with Caltex, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and Ocean Pledge.
For more photos, information and results of the event, visit www.worldsurfleague.com.