Lizzard Nandos Pro Surfing Event
The Lizzard Nandos Surf Pro was presented by Weekend Witness, with many big-name surfers participating. Together with the Junior Pro, there was a total of R107 000 in prize money to be won in this one-star World Qualifying Series contest, one of only three WQS events to be staged in the country this year.
Both the Pro Men’s and Pro Junior finals were taken by internationally acclaimed surfing superstar Jordy Smith of Durban, reaffirming his surfing supremacy. Smith is also reigning ASP World Junior Champion and at New Pier
he notched up a near perfect 19.17 total heat score (out of a possible 20 points), to defeat a trio of New Pier’s finest surfers including WQS campaigner Antonia Bortoletto, former WCT surfer David Weare and defending champion Warwick Wright. This was arguably the best Pro Men’s final seen on the South African Pro Surf Tour.
Smith, who surfed a total of five heats, said that he was lucky and happy to have come away with two wins. He admitted that he had to pull out the big guns as the other competitors, such as Antonio Bortoletto, were giving him a run for his money. Both Bortoletto and Smith were awarded 10 points for rides of theirs. Smith said when Bortoletto was awarded the first 10 points he knew what he was up against. He was however awarded the second perfect 10 point ride. After that Smith reached a 9.17 (out of 10) and ran away from Bortoletto who was scoring on 8.0 and 9.07. Impressive scores, but not enough to reach Smith’s summit.
Bortoletto finished in second place, which was bitter sweet for him. The WQS campaigner has wont two consecutive events at New Pier in the last three months and was counting on making it a third at the Lizzard. But he earned R7 000 for his efforts and was followed by Weare, who settled for third and R5 600, while Wright finished fourth earning R 4 900.
Smith snatched the lead in the Pro Junior Men’s final from top seed Brandon Jackson. Despite some excellent surfing by Jackson, as well as some impressive moves from Josh Redman and Umdloti, Smith took over with his aerial dominance and secured himself two excellent scoring rides and his second consecutive victory in this division.
Jackson did manage to grab second place and won the semi final ahead of Chad du Toit. He earned R6 300, while second semi-final winner Redman had to settle for third overall but was awarded the Zigzag Blowing-Up award for his explosive surfing throughout the event. Chad du Toit, national junior team member and Durban High School pupil, took home a fourth place finish.
In the women’s division Nikita Robb of East London took one off her older competitors, scoring a near perfect 9.0 (out of 10!) for a series of powerful backhand snaps. The ASP WQS rookie and National Junior team member took home R2 000.
The Lizzy team rider defeated former ASP Women’s World Tour campaigner Heather Clark (of Port Shepstone), Durban’s Tasha Mentastiand, and 13 yr old first time finalist Kirsty Delport, who also hails from Durban, for the minor placings.