CAPE TOWN - Michael February of Kommetjie has established himself as the country’s top competitor on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) after dominating the opening three men’s events in the inaugural City Surf Series over the past month.
The lanky Capetonian won the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro in Port Elizabeth, finished runner-up at the Buffalo City Surf Pro and then won the Corona Durban Surf Pro at Dairy Beach last Sunday for a haul of R30 000 and a substantial lead at the top of the WSL Africa regional rankings.
As all three events were QS1000 rated, February also earned 2750 points in the international rankings which saw him leapfrog up into No 13 on the QS leaderboard and within 700 points of the top 10 who qualify for the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) at the end of the year.
“These City Surf Series events have been great,” said February after his victory last weekend. “They fill the gap between the two QS6000 events in Australia early in the year and the bigger events here and overseas still to come.
“The momentum I’ve built up will really help me in Japan next month.”
February will be departing for the Ichinomiya Chiba Open in Japan on May 18, the day after his 24th birthday, where he will be joined by compatriots Beyrick de Vries of uMhlanga, Matt McGillivray of Jeffreys Bay and Slade Prestwich of Scottburgh in the QS6000 rated event.
The South African contingent will return immediately after the Japan event for the most exciting series of surfing events staged in South Africa starting on the first weekend in June and running through to July 23.
It gets under way with the second annual QS1000 Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay on the West Coast which is followed by the inaugural QS3000 VW SA Open of Surfing in Durban, the QS1000 Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro at Bloubergstrand and then the first QS10000-rated event of the year, the Ballito Pro in KwaDukuza, which runs from July 3-9.
With over R4.5 million in prize money and 15 000 ranking points on offer, this quartet of events has attracted close to 80 international entries already, giving local competitors the opportunity to test their talent against the world’s best emerging stars in their home surf.
The four QS events all include QS1000 rated events for women and JQS1000 events for junior men (18-and-under) with the Durban, Cape Town and Ballito events also featuring JQS1000 junior women.
The country then hosts the world’s top 34-ranked surfers at Jeffreys Bay for the Corona Open J-Bay CT event from July 12-23 where Jordy Smith will be aiming to add a third title to those he claimed in 2010 and 2011 at the sixth of 11 events that will decide the 2017 world surfing champion.
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