Adin Masencamp Wins the Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill QS 5,000
Adin Masencamp (Strand) won the 52nd edition of the Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 5,000 ahead of Jordy Smith (Durban) in clean, offshore 4-5 foot (1.2 – 1.5 meter) surf.
Career-best Result for Masencamp
This is Adin Masencamp’s biggest Qualifying Series event win and the 5,000 points will give him a massive boost for the 2021/2022 season.
“It feels amazing. I had a couple of clutch moments where I had to perform under pressure. I worked really hard on my mental strength, nutrition, my surfboards, everything before this event. So for it all to come together, it’s the biggest result of my life and especially against Jordy Smith. He is the best surfer to come out of South Africa and beating him was the cherry on top. All I wanted to do was showcase what I can do as a surfer, so I’m really stoked,” said Masencamp.
Masencamp knew he had to work hard to defeat Smith and posted an excellent 8.17 as his opening ride. Leading the heat halfway through, Smith came out flying for a massive, clean aerial to bank a 9.00. Both surfers only had mid-range scores as a backup, until Masencamp found a wave far down the beach for two powerful turns in the critical part of the wave for a 7.77.
With only three minutes left, Smith was left hunting the lineup for a 6.94. He found a wave in the dying seconds, but it wasn’t enough and he had to settle for second place.
Coming back from injury, Championship Tour (CT) surfer and previous event winner, Jordy Smith (Durban) was in a league of his own. Throughout the event, Smith’s variety in his maneuvers was the point of difference that saw him win every heat until the Finals.
“I had a few good waves, but I kind of struggled throughout the day to find the open face waves, but nevertheless I’m stoked to be back competing,” said Smith.
When asked about his readiness for the 2022 season, he said he’s not there just yet.
“I think I have another month or so left but I will be ready when it starts, that’s for sure,” said Smith.
Standout Performances In Semifinals
Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) was one of the in-form surfers of the event, scoring some of the biggest rides, which saw him up against Smith in the first semifinal.
“It’s a dream to surf against Jordy, especially now, conditions are just perfect. You know you have to step up your game when you surf against him because the scoring goes up, so you have to perform well,” said Prestwich.
Prestwich fell on a couple of turns but shook off his nerves when he caught a set wave for an incredible turn back into the pocket and a strong finish to score a 7.67. With the clock winding down, there was a quick exchange of waves but Smith’s power and variety was just on another level. Prestwich showed incredible heart in the heat, but he fell short by an agonising 0.06 points.
“He’s an incredible surfer, he’s been around for a while and I knew it was going to be a tough match-up. I was fortunate to find that wave at the end,” said Smith.
The second semifinal was an exhilarating affair between Masencamp and Eli Beukes (Kommetjie), who put everything on the line. Beukes ripped his opening ride to pieces for an excellent 8.17 to put the pressure on Masencamp. However, it was Masencamp’s competitive experience that gave him the edge, and didn’t allow his nerves get the better of him. Beukes tried desperately to land some impressive airs but couldn’t complete his rides.
Event Wildcards Shine
WSL Wildcard Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) was one of the standouts on the day in his first-ever QS 5,000 event. In his Quarterfinal clash, Faulkner left everything out there, but couldn’t match a clinical performance from Prestwich. Faulkner’s equal 5th place still gets him 2500 points on the 2021/2022 WSL Africa QS rankings.
Men’s Final Results
HEAT 1: Adin Masencamp (ZAF) 15.94 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.37
Men’s Semifinal Results
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.50 DEF. Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 15.44
HEAT 2: Adin Masencamp (ZAF) 14.00 DEF. Eli Beukes (ZAF) 12.84
Men’s Quarterfinal Results
HEAT 1:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.83 DEF. Jordy Maree (ZAF) 11.90
HEAT 2: Slade Prestwich (ZAF) 15.50 DEF. Joshe Faulkner (ZAF) 13.30
HEAT 3: Eli Beukes (ZAF) 12.16 DEF. Max Elkington (ZAF) 7.33
HEAT 4: Adin Masencamp (ZAF) 13.66 DEF. Shane Sykes (ZAF) 13.16