The Vans Surf Pro Classic returns to the iconic surf break of YoYo's in Lamberts Bay for its second edition, adding a QS1,000 rated event for women to the highly successful QS1,000 men's and JQS1,000 junior men's events held for the first time last year.
Scheduled for Friday to Sunday, 2-4 June, the entry lists for all three events are full after attracting competitors from as far afield as Hawaii, USA, Australia, South America and Japan, all of whom are keen to test their skills at the break dubbed the ‘Trestles' of Africa after the outstanding waves experienced last year.
"Vans is honoured to be able to host the 2nd annual Vans Surf Pro Classic in the quiet fishing town of Lamberts Bay with its excellent waves," says Vans Marketing Manager, Warren Talbot. "Following the success of last year we have definitely attracted more international interest, which will provide a highly contestable arena for our local QS campaigners. We here at Vans would like to wish all the competitors the best of luck."
A total prize-purse of R70,000 is on offer along with coveted rankings points on the QS leaderboard for men and women which determine their qualification for and seeding in events worldwide. The junior men earn points that count towards selection of the WSL Africa squad who will represent the region in the annual World Junior Championship in Australia in January 2018.
The points from all events also count towards crowning the 2017 WSL Africa regional champions, titles which are currently held by defending Vans Surf Pro Classic winner Beyrick De Vries (uMhlanga), Faye Zoetmulder (Cape St Francis) and Adin Masencamp (Strand).
"The World Surf League is really excited to be back at Lamberts Bay for a second year and thanks to Vans we're happy to help boost tourism and the economy in the area while also supporting some of the local social responsibility projects," says WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch. . "Word has spread globally of the great waves and warm hospitality in this friendly West Coast fishing town and this year local residents will hear Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese and some French being spoken. As visitors we're committed to keeping the beaches clean, leaving only foot prints in the sand and taking away fond and lasting memories."
De Vries will be defending the men's title he won in a hard fought final against current QS No. 17 Michael February (Kommetjie), while a new junior men's champion will be crowned since 2016 winner Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) is no longer in the 18-and-under category.
Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay), Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) and Salt Rock's Sophie Bell head the local standings in the battle for the inaugural women's crown and they will be hard pressed by a quartet of Australian challengers.
The addition of the QS1,000 women's event has seen the event grow from two to three days and it will again be hosted by the local West Coast Boardriders Club with the invaluable assistance of the volunteers from Christian Surfers South Africa.