Damien Fahrenfort overcame a stacked field to win the Volcom Elephantfish Title at East Beach, Port Alfred on Sunday. In perfect 6ft+ waves, Fahrenfort edged out runner-up, Ryan Payne, in a close final thanks to an impressive display of massive forehand surfing. Payne’s long tube ride midway through the heat brought him agonisingly close to a victory but it was a series of huge, aggressive turns that eventually secured the win for Fahrenfort.
Third place went to Port Alfred local, Robbie Schoefield, with Dane Patterson placing a credible fourth which allows him, along with all the other finalists in each division, to compete in the South African VQS championships to be held in Durban early next year.
With perfect surf pouring through the line-up at East Beach, the highlight of the day, and indeed the entire event, was watching Dale Staples go to town on the long right-handers. His solid performance throughout the event made him the natural favourite to take the title, which he eventually did by beating out Shaun Joubert and Nick Godfrey into second and third with Justin Grey taking fourth place. Staples admitted that his final was the best heat of his life so far as he finished with two nine-point rides and a combined tally of 18 out of a possible 20 points.
Nick Godfrey’s third place finish in the Junior Division was an astounding effort considering that he is young enough to take part in both the Junior and the Grom divisions. Taking part in both divisions meant that the St. Francis local surfed more heats than anyone else in the event in very powerful conditions. His youthful vitality and calculated surfing allowed him to take the Grom title convincingly from Derrick de Vries. Dale’s younger brother Darren Staples placed third while Justin Grey finished in fourth.
The Girls Division was dominated by former US Open Champion Nikita Robb from East London. In very large, difficult surf, Robb overcame Alice Macgregor, Faye Zoetmulder and Ruth Saunders.
Although sporadic rainfall might have dampened proceedings on the final day there was still a large crowd present who were rewarded with an exhibition of top-drawer surfing as well as free product giveaway from Volcom.
Elephantfish was the first of three regional qualifiers that make up the South African leg of Volcom’s Totally Crustaceous Tour. From here the tour will move on to Durban for the Rhinofish event on 21-22nd October and finally the Baboonfish event in Cape Town on November 11-12th.
The finalists of all the events will then be invited to take part in the South African VQS finals to be held in Durban, during March of next year, where a VQS* champion will be crowned and whisked away to California to compete in the VQS* World Championships at Newport Beach.
The South African leg of Volcom’s Totally Crustaceous Tour boasts over R40,000 worth of prize money, as well as product giveaways from DVS Shoe Company and Redbull and is Sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA).
- 1. Damien Fahrenfort (Durban)
- 2. Ryan Payne (St. Francis)
- 3. Robbie Schoefield (Port Alfred)
- 4. Dane Patterson (Durban)
- 1. Nick Godfrey (St. Francis)
- 2. Derrick De Vries (Umhlanga)
- 3. Dane Staples (St. Francis)
- 4. Steve Sawyer (Jeffrey’s Bay)
- 1. Dale Staples (St. Francis)
- 2. Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay)
- 3. Nick Godfrey (St. Francis)
- 4. Justin Grey. (Port Elizabeth)
- 1. Nikita Robb (East London)
- 2. Alice McGregor (East London)
- 3. Faye Zoetmulder (East London)
- 4. Ruth Saunders. (Mossel Bay)
More info at: www.volcom.co.za