24 February 2014
South African surfing star Bianca Buitendag employed her trademark vertical backhand manoeuvres to clinch third place in the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic, a six-star rated ASP Qualifying Series (QS) event in Newcastle, Australia, on Sunday.
Buitendag was in sparkling form, winning three of the four heats she contested on her way to the semi-finals before bowing out to Hawaii’s Alessa Quizon by 11.83 vs. 14.50.
The 20-year-old from George collected 2 080 points, which moved her up to seventh place on the ASP Women’s QS rankings after three events.
The confidence-boosting performance was ideal preparation for Buitendag’s campaign on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT), which gets underway at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Queensland on 1 March.
In 2013 she finished her inaugural year on the WCT, the highest level of professional surfing, ranked eighth and was crowned the Rookie of the Year.
The Hunter Ports Women’s Classic was won by Malia Manuel who defeated fellow Hawaiian Alessa Quizon in the final.
South Africa’s Sarah Baum finished equal 13th and Faye Zoetmulder ended equal 67th.
Burton Toyota Pro
The Burton Toyota Pro, a six-star ASP QS men’s event, which ran in conjunction with the women’s event as part of the 2014 Surfest Newcastle Australia, was won by Matt Banting who beat fellow Australian Nathan Hedge in the final.
Beyrick de Vries and David van Zyl were the highest placed South Africans in equal 17th place, earning 625 points each. Slade Prestwich ended equal 49th, Dale Staples and Dylan Lightfoot were equal 73rd, and Michael February placed equal 97th.
Lightfoot also reached the quarter-finals of the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior, finishing equal 13th overall.
ASP Qualifying Series Rankings
- 1. Adriano De Souza (Bra) 6 564
- 2. Matt Banting (Aus) 3 729
- 3. Nathan Hedge (Aus) 3 470
- 4. Tomas Hermes (Bra) 3 000
- 5. Charles Martin (Glp) 2 716
- 42. Beyrick de Vries 1 005
- 51. David van Zyl 855
- 81. Dale Staples 610
- 89. Michael February 536
- 93. Slade Prestwich 500
- 155. Dylan Lightfoot 190
- 7. Bianca Buitendag 2 460
- 16. Sarah Baum 1 570
- 62. Faye Zoetmulder 433