George and South Africa's Bianca Buitendag won the ASP six-star Sata Airlines Azores Pro on Saturday. Her victory was the latest in a string of fine performances this year which had already ensured her qualification for the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the pinnacle of women's surfing competitions.
The 18-year-old from George was on fire all day and started her Azorean campaign with an incredible 9.5 out of 10 in the very first heat of the event. Six rounds later, she defeated France's Pauline Ado to lift the title.
"It's the most heats I've surfed in a day for sure, I think six since 7:30 this morning," Buitendag said afterwards. "My mom's been feeding me all day - orange juice, chocolate, everything she could find that helped." Buitendag's title-winning performance puts an exclamation mark on a superb season.
"With two event wins (the other being in Peru), a third place and two fifth places counting in her five best results of 2012, the rising star has shown consistency in the major events and will be a force to be reckoned with next year amongst the Top 17 on the elite WCT. Looking ahead to competing on the WCT, she added: "It's such an honour to be seen as a Top 17 woman in the world."