In Ia closely contested final day, it was St Francis surfer Dale Staples and Sophie Bell from Salt Rock who emerged victorious in the Rip Curl E-Pro. This tournament, a dynamic online surf contest, featured 56 of the top South African surfers battling it out for their share of the prize money, as well as bragging rights as winners of this unique event.
In the women's final, Bell came up against Zoe Steyn from East London, and it was a battle of power turns vs tube ride. Eventually, it was Sophie's north coast barrel that saw her win the event and the R10,000, as well as a pair of Oakley sunglasses for herself and for her videographer Quinton Jones.
"I haven't won a contest in years, so it feels pretty good,' said a stoked Sophie to commentator Gigs Cilliers on the live feed. "Thanks to everyone who voted and supported me, as well as all the sponsors."
In the men's final, it was a similar situation, with very different approaches from the two finalists. Shane Sykes from Salt Rock put a massive handsfree punt in as his final shot, while Dale Staples submitted a wave from Supertubes in JBay. Both surfers had already submitted their best waves, with Shane's semifinal entry his best wave. At the same time, Dale's barrel in round 4 was definitely his best clip by far.
So it was colossal handsfree punt from Ballito up against a barrel and some solid and powerful carving at Supers. No one knew which way it was going to go, but the judge's decision went to Staples for his combination of turns against Sykes' single move.
"It's one of the sickest concepts I have ever seen," said Sykes of the event." I'm stoked to get runner-up. It was a hard contest, and there were some of the best clips I've seen in years."
Dale Staples from St Francis Bay was one stoked winner of the inaugural Rip Curl E-Pro online surfing tournament. "My final clip definitely wasn't my best one, but it was enough to get the win. So I'm stoked about that. Still, Shane's straight air was absolutely ridiculous," said Dale.
Staples went on to the win the Red Bull Best Tube award for his massive barrel from the west coast, despite some fierce competition from the likes of Chad Du Toit, Josh and Dan Redman and Mike Frew.
"It has been such a winter of waves in South Africa, and there were so many good barrels in the contest, so I am so happy to win the best barrel as well," said Staples. "It was a great event. Thanks to everyone involved."
The Surf Web Series now moves on to the Chile E-Pro, which will kick off on 24 August.
In South Africa, there will be another online surf contest, in a partnership between Surf Web Series and Surfing South Africa. Details will be announced soon.
1. Sophie Bell - R10,000
2. Zoe Steyn - R5,000
1. Dale Staples - R10,000
2. Shane Sykes - R5,000
Red Bull Best Tube
Dale Staples – R10,000
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa. Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).
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Rip Curl, the Ultimate Surfing Company...
The Rip Curl E-Pro os presented by Shaka Surf
Shaka Surf is an eco surf store specialising in 100% sustainable surf products, including surf fins made from recycled plastics. Their mission is to reduce plastic waste and create awesome eco surf fins.
Oakley is an event partner
Wavescape is the Rip Curl E-Pro media partner
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by Surfing South Africa.
The Rip Curl E-Pro is powered by TCS-WiFi
The Rip Curl E-Pro is supported by VUM