Australian wins Ballito Women’s Pro

Sophia Fulton of Australia, the winner of the 2017 Ballito Women's Pro QS1,000 in action PHOTOS: WSL/Kelly Cestari

AUSTRALIAN surfer, Sophia Fulton claimed the title at the Ballito Women’s Pro presented by Billabong at Willard Beach on Saturday, defeating Hawaiian Zoe McDougall in an all-international final held in inconsistent shoulder-high waves and a stiff cross-wind.

The World Surf League (WSL) QS1,000 rated event with a field of 32 local and international competitors was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, but was completed on Saturday as small surf was expected on Sunday.

McDougall started the final with a 6.33 and followed it up with a 4.50 before Fulton had anything substantial on her scorecard.

But the Australian started her comeback with a 3.83 for a great opening turn before the wave petered out.

Zoe McDougall of Hawaii placed runner-up in the final of the Ballito Women’s Pro

Fulton found a wave and strung together a series of manoeuvres earning a 7.50 that took her into the lead.

Needing 5.01 for victory with seven minutes remaining, McDougall stayed patient at first, but as time wound down she caught two further waves without managing to get the required score.

The teenager, who is No 3 in the WSL Australia junior women’s rankings, has spent a month in South Africa, starting her first overseas trip with a win on the West Coast and ended it in style with another victory at Ballito.

McDougall, whose runner-up finish saw her move to No 14 of Women’s QS rankings, won the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel JQS1,000 event in Ballito on Thursday.

The woman have now given way to the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong which is expected to finish on Sunday.


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Larry Bentley
Journalist / Editor: Agri Eco

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