Hulett, who also surfed in the women’s open quarter finals, paddled out in the longboarding final against Marishka Myers who on Friday upset current South African women’s longboarding champion, Christy Gilmour. With wave scores of 6.00 and 5.25, Hulett’s heat score of 11.25 was good enough to clinch the title and become Africa’s first ever women’s longboarding QS event champion.
Two international surfers, Jordan Lawler (Australia) and Josefina Ane (Argentina) remain in the men’s and women’s open divisions to battle it out against South Africa’s best rippers in the hunt for the inaugural Royal St. Andrews Hotel Port Alfred Classic, presented by Quicksilver title.
Lawler put up the highest wave score of the day (8.50) in his round five heat against David van Zyl, Brandon Benjamin and Angelo Faulkner while Ane claimed the scalp of defending Buffalo City Pro champion, Sophie Bell in the women’s quarter final. On Sunday, Ane will be up against current WSL Africa champion, Nicole Pallet in the semifinal and Lawler will face Max Elkington in the men’s quarter final.
The big upsets of the day saw three of South Africa’s four big QS riders who just returned from Barbados get knocked out in rounds four and five of the men’s contest. Matthew McGillivray was sent packing in round four by Brandon Benjamin and Diran Zakarian. Beyrick de Vries bowed out in round five to an on fire Dylan Lightfoot and Jordy Maree, while Shane Sykes was shown the door by veteran Greg Emslie and Max Elkington who is still Under 18 and was very strong on the backhand.
Jordy Maree done well to get through the round of 32 in spite of a priority interference that meant he had to rely on only one strong wave score to stay alive in the competition.
The value of experience was evident when Greg Emslie won all his heats and made it through to the quarter finals where he will be surfing man-on-man against David van Zyl.
Slade Prestwich was impressive on the day, winning both his heats but will have to get past Jordy Maree in the quarter final if he is to go any further in this competition.
In the women’s event, Emma Smith looked good in the quarter final and will be up against Zoë Steyn who sent Crystal Hulett packing with a very impressive 14.75 quarter final heat score.
In the men’s longboarding event, Steven Sawyer had a great quarter final, scoring 16.90 with wave scores of 8.00 and 8.90 against Sam Christianson. He will be facing last weekend’s Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Pro Surf presented by Billabong champion, Michael Hill while Thomas King is up against Matthew Moir in the semifinal.