Roxy team rider, Bianca Buitendag qualified for the elite 2013 ASP World Surfing Tour by winning the Sata Airlines Azores Pro in the Azores Islands, a small chain of islands off the coast of Portugal.
The eighteen year old from George in the Southern Cape, now based in France, has had an incredible year of results, highlighted by her victory at the 6 star-rated Movistar Pro in Peru in July and today (Saturday) at the 6 star-rated event in the Azores.
The tall goofy-footer was in blistering form throughout the final day and managed to use her excellent backhand attack to out-surf fellow finalist Pauline Ado of France to claim the title and US$ 8, 000 (R66 400) first place cheque.
“I am so excited and happy with the win and to qualify, it has been a dream of mine from a young age. I have put in a lot of hard work, concentrating on my consistency and it has definitely paid off. I need to thank my family and sponsors for their support and I cant wait to be competing in the big league next year,” commented Buitendag.
Competing in nine WQS (World Qualifying Series) events throughout the year, pocketing over US$ 30, 000 (R250 000) in prize money, Buitendag ended up in second position on the qualifying rankings behind American Sage Erickson. After a grueling year of competitions Buitendag will join the elite tour of female surfers which will consist of the top ten surfers from the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour and six qualifying surfers from the ASP Qualifying Series. The opening event will be the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast of Australia at the end of February 2013 followed by the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.
Buitendag’s main sponsors, Roxy, are exceptionally proud of her achievements and look forward to even bigger and better things to come. “Bianca is a true professional, she is a great ambassador and an unbelievable role model for all female surfers. She has always shown great potential, this became evident to us at the 2004 Roxy Wahine Cup in Durban and ultimately led to her long term relationship with the brand. We hope to see her taking down a few big names next year, ” said a delighted Roxy marketing and team manager Tamara Pedlar.
Buitendag will be back in the country at the end of October to enjoy a well-deserved break and summer holiday in South Africa before jetting off to Australia for the Roxy Pro.
For more information on Bianca visit her website. You can also follow her on Twitter: @biancabuitendag and Instagram: @biancabuitendag.