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Robb roars to victory in Ballito Women’s Pro
- Updated: June 29, 2015
East London’s Nikita Robb won the Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong at Willard Beach in KwaDukuza on Sunday, producing an assured performance in the tricky one-metre waves to outshine South Africa’s top women surfers.
A World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event, the Ballito Women’s Pro is the first internationally rated event to be run in South Africa since 2009 and offered total prize-money of R30 000 and coveted points on the QS rankings.
Robb, who competed at the highest levels of the sport, including a spending a year on the elite Championship Tour (CT) in 2010, defeated Fay Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth), local junior Teal Hogg (Umhlanga) and veteran Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) in the Final to claim the R10 000 winner’s paycheque and 1 000 points.
‘It’s just such an honour to have won this event,’ Robb said. ‘I came up to Ballito a couple of days early and just surfed every day. It’s been a long time since I surfed an event and I really had to get my head into it.
‘I started in Round One and had to surf four heats, so I worked hard for it. It wasn’t just a matter of one day and I’m getting 10 Grand, it was a matter of me putting the effort in the water, spending endless hours being the only girl out there and really getting to know the wave. I put the effort in and that’s what really counts.’
History was made at the event when 16-year-old Samukeliswe Cele (Durban) became the first female Zulu surfer to compete in a WSL event. Cele showed plenty of potential and finished third in her quarter-final.
‘I’m grateful, excited and it was kind of nerve-wracking. I’m no pro and I was very nervous but I knew I could do something out there because I’m a good surfer also,” said Cele. ‘It was fun and I really want to become a professional surfer. The one thing I want to be is a champion, the world champion, I want to win the world tour.’
The Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong, which ran in conjunction with the women’s event, was won by Brazilian Robson Santos whose dynamic manoeuvres and superior wave selection proved the difference in the Final.
Santos finished ahead of compatriot Flavio Nakagima, 18-year-old Matt McGillivray from Jeffreys Bay and Japan’s Reo Inaba. Santos and Nakagima secured the two coveted trialists slots in the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong, the R3 million, QS 10,000 rated event that starts on Monday and runs until Sunday.
‘For me this win is very important for getting points in the Prime (QS10,000) event. The Final was very, very hard, but I got two waves – and 8.50 and a 7.50 – and that was enough.”
While the surfers ride the waves, the Ballito Pro Festival is set to turn up the heat in KwaDukuza by offering the best in beach, music and extreme sports entertainment. Locals and holiday-makers will be spoilt for choice with the week-long festival featuring an extreme sports programme, the Coastal Living Bru Food & Wine Festival and an exciting retail area while the Tropika Ballito Pro Music Concerts Powered by 5FM bring some of South Africa’s most talented music acts to the stage in Salt Rock.
The Ballito Pro presented by Billabong is proudly supported by the KwaDukuza Municipality, Billabong, 5FM, Monster Energy, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing South Africa (SSA).
Photo of Robb in action on Sunday courtesy of WSL/Ballito Pro/Cestari
Ballito Women’s Pro Final
1 Nikita Robb (East London) 12.50 R10 000
2 Faye Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth) 8.50 R4 500
3 Teal Hogg (Umhlanga) 7.35 R2 600
4 Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) 6.65 R2 100
Ballito Women’s Pro Semifi-nal Results
S1: Faye Zoetmulder 13.00, Heather Clark 6.00, Crystal Hulett 3.25, Jade Mets 2.95
S2: Nikita Robb 11.15, Teal Hogg 7.75, Tarryn Chudleigh 5.85, Emma Smith 5.25
Ballito Women’s Pro Quarter-final Results
Q1: Faye Zoetmulder 12.25, Jade Mets 5.20, Tanika Hoffman 3.95, Sophie Bell 1.50
Q2: Heather Clark 8.90, Crystal Hulett 8.00, Sam Cele 4.65, Gina Smith 4.25
Q3: Tarryn Chudleigh 11.00, Teal Hogg 7.25, Heidi Palmboom 6.50, Nicole Pallet 5.15
Q4: Nikita Robb 12.00, Emma Smith 10.65, Chanelle Botha 8.05, Jade Story 3.15
Ballito Pro Trials Final
1 Robson Santos (BRA) 15.75 – Qualifies for Ballito Pro
2 Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 13.75 – Qualifies for Ballito Pro
3 Matt McGillivray (SA, Jeffreys Bay) 8.05
4 Reo Inaba (JPN) 7.75
Ballito Pro Trials Semi-final Results
S1: Matthew McGillivray 12.65, Flavio Nakagima 12.50, Matheus Navarro7.75, Slade Prestwich 4.55
S2: Robson Santos 16.25, Reo Inaba 13.00, Rafael Teixeira 10.75, Benji Brand 10.00
Ballito Pro Trials Quarter-final Results
Q1: Matthew McGillivray 14.25, Slade Prestwich 12.15, Jordan Maree 10.85, Tiago Pires 9.05
Q2: Flavio Nakagima 11.75, Matheus Navarro 11.50, Pedro Henrique 9.90, Shane Sykes 7.25
Q3: Rafael Teixeira14.85, Benji Brand 11.20, Conner Coffin 10.25, Dylan Lightfoot 9.00
Q4: Robson Santos 11.35, Reo Inaba 11.00, Matt-Lewis Hewitt 10.00, Jason Harris 7.05