Cape Town's Adin Masencamp received a massive boost towards achieving his goal of finishing the year in the top 50 on World Surfing League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) leaderboard when he bagged 1000 international ranking points for his premier division win at the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro, presented by Graham Smith.
The Strand local managed to stay focused in howling onshore conditions to outclass fellow finalist, Jordy Maree from Kalk Bay.
'It was a very tricky final and I didn't have a great start. In the beginning, Jordy had better waves but then a bomb came through on which I capitalised,' said Masencamp.
'This win has been a long time coming. I've had three finals and this is third time lucky. It was very hard out there but I'm super stoked to take the win and it means a lot to me.'
He said a big part of winning this event was having the drive and motivation to win along with a lot of hard training over the last few months.
Finals day also produced its fair share of upsets with QS contender, Shane Sykes being sent packing in the round of 16 and Dylan Lightfoot not making it into the semi-finals. The surprise of the day came from Durban local, Chad du Toit who finished joint third after losing in the semi-final to Maree.
The men's longboarding final saw the proverbial two dogs fighting over a bone and it being stolen by a third. It was Steven Sawyer and Matthew Moir all the way until Michael Hill, who was sitting in fourth at the time, dropped a 7.25 in the last five minutes to the heat to catapult him into the lead. Moir came close to tasting victory but Hill's heat score of 13.25 earned him a sliver of a winning margin over Moir's 13.00 to take the crown.
The longboarding final in Durban featured the same four finalists as in the South African longboarding championships, which indicated that the event truly showcased the cream of the crop in South African longboarding.
Luke Slijpen from Llandudno got the better of fellow pro junior men's finalists Bryce du Preez (East London), Aya Gericke (Wilderness) and Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) to win the junior title. With a pair of 5.75, Slijpen's 11.50 heat total was enough to outclass runner-up, Du Preez by 1.75 points.
'It's always a bit stressful coming into these contests but when I'm in a heat and I've gotten a wave, it kind of takes the stress away for me. All the guys in my division are quite good and it could go either way but you've just go to keep your head in the right place,' said Slijpen who is amped for the next event in the City Surf Series, taking place in his hometown of Cape Town.
A surprise early exit in the juniors was top seed, Max Elkington who was knocked out in the semi-finals by Du Preez and Gericke.
Surfing South Africa hosted a group of development riders from the greater Durban area, treating them to a fun educational day on the beach. The kids were fed breakfast, taught about water safety and competed in a tag team contest, before being treated to lunch, a contest tee-shirt and front row seats to watch the finals.
Ilembe Surf Riders coach, Linda Hlophe said surfing with riders from other clubs was inspiring to the kids and many of their parents were proud to watch their children having so much fun at a high profile surfing event such as the Zigzag Durban Surf Pro.
The Durban event was the fourth of six stops in the City Surf Series and the next event is the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro presented by O'Neill, taking place from 14-17 June.