Shaun Tomson Surfs into SA Hall of Fame

Shaun Tomson Surfs into SA Hall of Fame

Ballito, KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal. Shaun Tomson rode the crest of his career wave earlier this week, when he was honoured with an induction into the elite South African Hall of Fame, the highest accolade that any South African sports person or performing artist can receive.

Listed among the top ten surfers of the century, the former Durbanite was the 1977 World Surfing Champion and six times winner of the Gunston 500 in Durban. Apart from surfing, Tomson is also a renowned author, businessman, environmentalist and motivational speaker.

Shaun Tomson hall of fame2

Former World Surfing Champion, Shaun Tomson, receives his South African Hall of Fame award from Eugene Lewis (CEO, SA Hall of Fame, pictured left) and Johnny Burger (Chairman, SA Hall of Fame). Tomson, who was crowned World champion in 1977, was decorated with the highest honour for a South African sports person at the Coco de Mer Luxury Boutique Hotel in Ballito on Wednesday evening, June 27, 2018. Picture: Pierre Tostee

The South African Hall of Fame celebrates great achievements by extraordinary South Africans excelling in their field, who inspire and empower the youth to holistically reach their full potential. An individual’s integrity, sportsmanship and character are also taken into account.  

“The surfboard became a mere vehicle for an incredible human being, Shaun Tomson, to epitomise his passion and perseverance, and then he returned to create a message of hope,” said Johnny Burger, Chairman of the South African Hall of Fame.

“We firmly believe that character supersedes talent and that one human being, no matter how big or small can make an enormous impact. The biggest sporting legend that has ever walked South Africa, besides Gary Player, is Shaun Tomson. We honour you, we respect you and we thank you for leaving something bigger and longer-lasting behind, than just yourself, and that is a true legacy,” said Burger, before handing Tomson his accolade.

On accepting his newest award, Tomson, now California based, said “I am so humbled and so honoured to receive this award from my homeland. I know that I am going to do my homeland proud and spend more time here. What you will, you will become!”

Tomson’s powerful words of inspiration come from his book The Code: The Power of I Will, where he illustrates how people, especially the youth can change their lives in just twelve steps, each beginning with “I will…”.

Shaun Tomson has spent the past few weeks motivating local schools and organisations through the Positive Wave Tour as part of the 50th edition of the world’s longest running professional surfing event, the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong in KwaZulu-Natal

Such is his affinity with the local youth that it has earned him the affectionate nickname ‘Baba Tom’. Wiseman Cele, Manager of New Development for KwaDukuza Municipality said, “The youth that Shaun has interacted with in the last few days have been so greatly impacted by his friendliness, positive energy and accommodative manner, that they started referring to him as Baba Tom. He has become like a father-figure to them.”

“Alchemy is the transference of metals from one state to another  which occurs through heat or pressure. Shaun Tomson has to be celebrated not for his achievements, but for his ability to transfer his own pain and transcend every single negative thing that has happened to him to become the person that he is today, an alchemist,” said former South African Champion surfer Greg Swart.

Tomson recently spent an afternoon with Dr. Albertina Luthuli, daughter of anti-apartheid struggle icon, Nkosi Albert Luthuli, where the two philanthropists shared their sentiments on racism, sports, politics and their common love, South Africa.

Tomson’s visit to South Africa culminates with him spending 67-minutes at the Lethithemba Secondary School for the centenary celebrations of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on 18 July #LiveTheLegacy.

*Feature image: Pierre Tostee

Bianca Buitendag Uncut

Ok beachbums, check out this kiff clip by Dan the Director (Dan Mace) of Bianca Buitendacht heading into her world tour. The short film covers Bianca and her good friend Johanne Defay who’s also on tour. The ladies tour is receiving a lot more attention this year and I think it’s great. Bianca also mentions how we should celebrate the subtle differences between ladies and men on tour.

“In surfing, male and female have a different way of expressing what they know on a wave. Femininity in surfing is a beautiful thing and performance and masculinity in surfing is also and I don’t think it should be compared.”

Something is sure, they all have to be damn fit and on top of their game. Kudos to Bianca, Johanne and finally Dan for putting it all together!

Local surfing is still lekker!

This past week I saw two great barrel riding videos and thought to put them up against each other. No, I know in size and heaviness they don’t match even closely, but just look at local man Deon Lategan getting tubed off his nut in JBay. Local is still lekker I say…

Fiji Cloudbreak – Kalani Chapman

Supertubes Jeffrey’s Bay – Deon Lategan

Which would you prefer?

Round-Up: Masters Update, Billabong Junior Series, Fun & Games

So much going on on the surf scene at the moment, so here’s a quick round-up of events:

– According to the latest update from Panama, all of our surfers are still alive in the competition at the Panama ISA World Masters Surfing Championship! This means that South Africa is tied for first place with Brazil and Australia. The winners will be determined tomorrow, 4 September 2010. Good luck, guys and gal!

– In the mean time, back in home surf, the Billabong Junior Series has gotten underway in Herold’s Bay, near George, after organisers made the decision to relocate the event from Victoria Bay in search of better waves. The move paid off and now South Africa’s top junior surfers, including the likes of Dylan Lightfoot, Sarah Baum, Bianca Buitendag, Tarryn Chudleigh, Alice McGregor, SA Open champion Chantelle Rautenbach, Kirsty Delport, Benji Brand, Steven Sawyer, Mikey Venter, Jarred Veldhuis and Slade Prestwich are all vying for the title and one of three spots in the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour to take place in Bali at the end of October.

-For those of us who aren’t quite as skilled on the board, here’s your chance to conquer the biggest waves in some of the world’s top surf spots – including South Africa’s very own J-Bay – simply by using your fingers when you play a new game called Billabong Surf Trip. The arcade-simulation surfing game, which was developed by Billabong and Biodroid, a Portuguese game developer, can be played on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Featuring some of the best professional surfers in the world, such as Andy Irons, Taj Burrows, Joel Parkinson and Tiago Pires, players will be able to experience super-realistic waves from Billabong Surf Trip destinations such as Mundaka in Spain, Pipeline in Hawaii and many others.

The surf-art style graphics create super-realistic visuals, and the game has many highlights that create a whole world inside the surfing culture. Future platforms will include Sony PSP, Wii Ware, Xbox 360

2010 SA Masters Team ‘Best Ever’

The 2010 South African Masters Surfing Team has departed for Panama, where they will be competing in the 2010 ISA World Masters Championships.

The tournament, touted to be the greatest event in Masters surfing, is scheduled to get underway on August 27 in Santa Catalina, on the north Pacific coast of Panama. Competitors from all over the world will get a chance to prove once again that age ain’t nothing but a number, and that you don’t need to hang up the board and retire just because you’ve spent 35 years or more on earth.

The “old” toppies (and one chick) who will be representing South Africa at the Masters are:

Wayne Monk (Border), Andrew Banks (Southern KwaZulu-Natal), and their non-travelling reserve Gary van Wieringen (Southern KwaZulu-Natal), who will surf their stuff among the Over 35 (Masters) competitors.

The Over 40 (Grandmasters) representatives are Andre Malherbe (Border) and Robert Moore Boyle (Central KwaZulu-Natal), with Gareth Sepp (Border) as the non-travelling reserve.

David Malherbe (Border), Marc Wright (Central KwaZulu-Natal) and non-travelling reserve Mike Brent (Border) are the Over 45 (Kahunas).

If you’re over 50, watch out for South Africa’s Grandkahuna, Chris Knutsen (Central KwaZulu-Natal).

And the rest of the world’s women over 35 will have to know their stuff to compete against Heather “Fergie” Clark (Southern KwaZulu-Natal). This girl has been on such a roll since recovering from a terrible car accident last year. We couldn’t be prouder of her!

Coach Antoni Brodowicz echoes our opinion that this is a great team: “The masters team is the most successful surfing team to ever leave our shores,” he told theBOMBsurf.

With an impressive three out of the eight going to Panama defending their current individual world championship titles, we agree that this is definitely a team to be reckoned with.

Kotze Takes Crown At 2010 Fox Surfer X

Some of the country’s top surf and motocross professionals descended on Durban this past weekend for what is widely regarded to be one of the highlights on the South African action sports calendar, the fourth annual Fox Surfer X.

In this unique, cross-over contest, participants show off their versatility and skills by competing in both a surfing competition on the Umhlanga coast and an MX race around the Springfield dirt race track. Points are given according to positions attained in the two contests and then those are added together to determine a contestant’s final ranking. The overall winner is the person who had managed to accumulate the most points.

In this case, the honours went to Plettenberg Bay boy Wihanne Kotze, who had a narrow win over Dylan Lightfoot to take home much of the R20 000 prize money and the title of 2010 Fox Surfer X champion.

The contest had kicked off on Saturday in idyllic surfing conditions. On Sunday, contestants were greeted by a powerful South Easterly wind and a shortened race course at the Springfield track. The wind made the race extremely challenging, with several crashes happening during the practice rounds.

But in the end, Wihanne Kotze’s performance during both events added up to victory in the Main Class, with Lightfoot in second place and Shaun Baker coming in third.

“Despite the challenging weather conditions at the track, this year’s Surfer X was as successful as we had hoped it would be,” said Jon Channing, Fox’s Marketing Manager. “The new format, with the introduction of the Pro Surf and Pro MX Class, made sure that all the races and heats were closely contested and provided more excitement for the spectators.”

The event was co-sponsored by Monster Energy and PS3.

SA Surfers Keep On Riding High

South African surfers continue riding high after yet another local yokel took a major title yesterday.

When East Londoner Greg “The Foot” Emslie emerged as the winner of the O’Neill Cold Water Classic South Africa in Cape Town yesterday, he became the first South African to do so in home surf in the entire history of the event.

With Emslie beating Australian Dion Atkinson at Kommetjie’s Long Beach, it means that the recent South African surfing winning streak continues.

“Jordy (Smith) won the other two local events and now I’ve won the third,” Emslie said after the event. “I was thinking to myself, ‘I beat Jordy in this event, now I can’t let the guy down and lose the final’. We’ve got to keep all the trophies at home, so I’m stoked I managed to do that.”

It was close though. As the Mercury reports, Emslie’s victory over Atkinson came down to a final wave in the dying minutes of the contest.

Jordy Smith Knocks Kelly Slater From No 1 Perch After J-Bay Win

Jordy Smith managed to become the first South African to win an ASP World Tour event since Shaun Tomson back in the ‘80s when he was crowned the Billabong Pro J-Bay 2010 champion at Jeffreys Bay on Sunday.

By accomplishing this amazing feat, during which he defeated Australia’s Adam Melling in the last round, the 22-year old also managed to secure the top spot on the ASP World Title Race Rankings, knocking the legendary Kelly Slater from his perch as the world’s number one surfer.

“This is the best day of my life,” Jordy said from the podium. “The crowd on the beach has been supporting me the last few days and hearing the cheers and the vuvuzelas just get me fired up to perform. It feels like they’re pushing me along. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I knew the swell was dying and I had to take advantage of every wave that came through.” Referring to Adam Melling, he said: “[He] is such a dangerous surfer. He’s been in form all day and I knew that if he got the waves, he would get the scores. I went out there knowing I had to open up strong.”

Adam said: “The ocean didn’t cooperate with me in the Final so that’s a shame but I couldn’t be happier. We had amazing waves and to get the best result of my career is huge. I came into Jeffreys with a long road ahead if I were to make the mid-year cut-off, and now that I’m 19th, I feel like I have a bit of a buffer heading into Tahiti. I worked really hard to get here and I want to stay here.”

The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour is the Billabong Pro Tahiti from August 23 through September 3, 2010.

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Final Results:

1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.93
2 – Adam Melling (AUS) 10.00

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Semi-final Results:

SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.83 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.40
SF 2: Adam Melling (AUS) 14.00 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.67

Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Quarter-final Results:

QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.43 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.20
QF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.17 def. Sean Holmes (ZAF) 11.83
QF 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.00 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 3.66
QF 4: Adam Melling (AUS) 16.43 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.67

Current ASP World Title Race Top 5 (after South Africa):

1. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 28500 pts
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 24750 pts
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 23500 pts
4. Dane Reynolds (USA) 20000 pts
5. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 19500 pts
6. Mick Fanning (AUS) 19250 pts
7. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18750 pts
8. Bobby Martinez (USA) 16500 pts
9. Jadson Andre (BRA) 16000 pts
10. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14750 pts

World’s Top Surfers in J-Bay For Billabong Pro

The world’s top pro surfers, including nine time world champ and current number one ranked Kelly Slater (USA) and number three ranked local Jordy Smith, are convened in Jeffrey’s Bay where they are participating in what is probably the most prestigious surfing event in South Africa: the Billabong Pro.

The 25th Billabong Pro kicked off in pristine conditions in this Mecca of South African surfing yesterday, Thursday 15 July 2010. Smith, Slater, 2007 Billabong Pro winner and Aussie Taj Burrow and and reigning ASP World Champ Mick Fanning, also from Australia, all proceeded to qualify for the third round yesterday.

Fanning, who was the top scorer of the day, posting rides of 8.83 and 7.87 (out of 10) to amass a total of 16.70 (out of 20), said it was important to take every heat seriously this year. “There are so many threats and even the rookies can do damage. I feel like I’ve been surfing well all year and I’m just focusing on every heat, and hopefully that takes me to a solid result.”

The Billabong Pro will continue until 25 July 2010. For more information, visit the event’s official website.

Jordy SA Surfer of the Year

Wow, but Jordy Smith really is riding a huge wave of success at the moment and that wave doesn’t appear set to come crashing down on the rocks any time soon.

If he doesn’t let up, this entire blog runs the risk of becoming all about him – but we won’t mind all that much. Just last week, we told you how the 22-year old South African professional surfer, who is ranked number two in the world after legendary Kelly Slater,  is nominated for Men’s Health Magazine’s “Best Men of 2010” awards and how he is using his name and fame to get involved in environmental issues.

On Sunday night, Jordy received the highest honour at the 2010 South African Surfing Awards when he was crowned South Africa’s Surfer of the Year. As Sports24 reports, the rapturous applause this announcement was greeted with solidifies “his growing reputation as one of the world’s most exciting surfers, as well as South Africa’s reputation as one of the leaders in world surfing.”

Another of the night’s honorees was Cape Town’s big wave rider Chris Bertish, who received the ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ title.

Three more surfers were inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame. They are Peers Pittard, Christine Petrucci (1942-2009) and Hugh Roe. The late Christine’s children were there to accept the award on her behalf.

The Surf Photographer of the Year award was given to Durban’s Greg Ewing, whose prolific and skillfully executed body of work has established him as one of the country’s leading surfing photographers.

Umhlanga’s Beyrick de Vries received The Blowing Up Performer Award, given to the country’s most exciting up and coming junior surfer under the age of 20.

Cecil Solomon from Cape Town received the Agent of Change award for “spreading the stoke of surfing among all communities and at all levels”  – which is a fitting description for the man who founded South Africa’s first non-racial surf club.

For a full list of the evening’s award recipients and honorees, read Sport24’s coverage of the event.

Versatile SA Surfer Nominated For “Best Men 2010”

Raking in titles and accolades are not unusual for South African pro surfer Jordy Smith. At just 22, he is currently ranked the number two pro surfer in the world, putting him just one step behind surfing great Kelly Slater.

That is just one of the many reasons why the O’Neill surf rider is up for Men’s Health Magazine’s “Best Men 2010” awards.  The surfer is nominated in the category “The Game Changer”, who the magazine defines as “… the man who is turning an industry on its head by inventing new and creative ways of working… and playing.”

Men’s Health also acknowledges Jordy for his invention of his ground-breaking “Rodeo Flip” aerial surfing manoeuvre. But apart from his undeniable skill on the board, he also gets our vote for revealing and breaking out his inner musician during a song writing and performance collaboration with local group Goldfish, in which he proved that he’s not even a fish out of water in the recording studio. The result of Jordy’s combined efforts with Goldfish is the track “Flying Stealth – Jordy Smith vs. Goldfish”, which can be heard and downloaded over here.

We also think Jordy deserves the title for his do-gooder side, which he displayed when he recently lent his support to the Surfrider Foundation’s “Oil and Water don’t Mix” t-shirt campaign to stop oil companies from drilling in the world’s oceans. The campaign was launched in order to prevent another catastrophic environmental disaster, such as the current BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, from happening ever again.

“From growing up in South Africa and travelling on the Tour, I’ve been given the opportunity to surf some of the nicest beaches around the world. So when I see what’s happening in the Gulf Coast, it’s a sad reminder how badly offshore oil drilling can damage our oceans and marine life. Hopefully this t-shirt will help bring more awareness to the issue and keep oil companies away from the waters we love,” Jordy said.

The limited edition t-shirt is available for US$20 from O’Neill. Funds will be contributed towards the clean-up efforts in the Gulf.

To join us in lending your support to Jordy, you can vote for him here. Go on! We honestly can’t think of a more deserving dude.

Border Takes Pres Cup At 2010 SA Surfing Champs

The 2010 Border surf team has done East London proud after winning not only the President’s Cup at the 2010 SA Surfing Championships at St Mikes on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Sunday, but by also taking the other two team trophies, the Master’s Cup and the inaugural Surfing SA Cup.

Border beat last year’s President’s Cup winners, Central KwaZulu-Natal, who this year came second overall. Southern KwaZulu-Natal, who hosted the event, came third, followed by Eastern Province, Western Province, Zululand, Boland and Southern Cape. This has only been the third time in 45 years that Border have managed to win the President’s Cup – which is awarded to the team with the highest total scores – but it was the fourth year in a row that they have won the SA Master’s Cup.

In the SA Cup, Central KwaZulu-Natal also took second place, with Western Province in third followed by Eastern Province, Boland, Zululand and Southern Cape.

The Master’s Cup second place went to Southern KwaZulu-Natal, who beat Central KwaZulu-Natal by one point. Eastern Province came fourth, followed by Zululand, Western Province, Southern Cape and Boland.

Greg Emslie won the SA Open Men’s title and also received his national team blazer as the first member of the SA team that will compete in the ISA World Surfing Games in Peru later this year.

The SA Masters selectors will use the results of the Over 35, Over 40, Over 45 and Over 50 age groups to select trialists for the SA Masters Team that will compete in the ISA World Masters Championships in Panama in September. South Africa is the two time defending World Masters Champions.

Other individual winners include legendary five time SA Men’s champion, ISA World Over 50 champion and multiple national champion in other divisions, Chris Knutsen of Central KwaZulu-Natal; Leonard Giles from Southern Cape who won gold in the Over 55 age group; and 2001 SA Champion Shane Thorne of Central KwaZulu-Natal, who won the Over 35 division.

The younger surfers also held their own with Beyrick de Vries, the SA Junior team captain, coming third in the Men’s Final and SA Junior team member Tanika Hoffman also coming in third in the Women’s Final.

For complete results, visit surfingsouthafrica.co.za

2010 Roxy Invitational Competitors Announced

The ten young female surfers who have been invited to take part in the 2010 Roxy Invitational to take place in Ponto d’Oura in Mozambique later this month, have been announced.

The event, presented by Saltwater GIRL Magazine, will feature a mix of novices, title holders and experienced professionals. An invitation to the event is not only an incredible honour, but since competitors vie for an impressive amount of prize money (the first-place winner gets a cool R10 000), invites are therefore quite sought-after. Another enticement is that the competitors will be staying at the Turtle Cove Resort in Tofo. So when they’re not battling it out in the surf, they will be able to unwind with yoga, skin diving and horse riding.

The invited surfers from South Africa are Kirsty Delport, Chantelle Rautenbach, Sarah Baum, Heidi Palmboom, Tarryn Chudleigh, Alice McGregor, Holly Armstrong and Faye Zoetmulder. They will be surfing against internationals such as Philippa Anderson and Paige Haggerston, both from Australia.

The event will be taking place from 23 May to 1 June 2010.

SA Surfer Honoured At ASP World Champs Awards

South African women’s surfer Roseanne Hodge received the Most Improved Female Surfer award at the prestigious ASP World Champions’ Crowning event, where the best professional surfers in the world are honoured.

The 22-year old East London native has qualified for her fourth consecutive season on the ASP Women’s World Tour after finishing in the top ten (she’s ranked at No. 9) at the end of 2009. Hodge also got to rub shoulders with surfing’s elite.

Other honorees at the event, which took place at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Queensland, Australia, last Thursday evening, were Gold Coast natives duo Mick Fanning (28) and Stephanie Gilmore (22) who were officially crowned ASP World Champion and ASP Women’s World Champion respectively.

Another Australian, 28-year old Joel Parkinson and Brazilian Silvana Lima (25), received the 2009 ASP World Runner-Up and ASP Women’s World Runner-Up respectively.

Former nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No 6, 38-year old Kelly Slater also attended the event and was on hand to give Fanning the ASP World Title trophy.

SA Surfer Tarryn Chudleigh Backed By Billabong Again

Billabong has recently announced that it is re-signing one of South Africa’s most talented young female surfers.

Tarryn Chudleigh, the 20-year old surfer from Kommetjie in the Western Cape, has been with the brand’s Girls’ Surf team since she was a tender twelve years old and she is thrilled to have their continued support. “I’m super excited to have re-signed with Billabong again this year. I feel confident going into the New Year backed by such a supportive and strong company.”

Apart from backing her surfing, the former women’s surfing champion has also collaborated with Billabong’s design department to design a co-op signature t-shirt. The shirt will form part of Billabong’s 2010 range and will be available in November. “I’ve had so much fun working on my signature tee,” Tarryn said. “It’s been a dream of mine to have something I designed from Billabong and I can’t wait to see it in store.”

Starting on the 4th of March, Tarryn will also grace our television screens in the reality series Billabong Girls Get Out There Tour. The show, which debuts on 4 March on the Vuzu channel on DStv, details Tarryn’s road trip with seven other Billabong ambassadors as they travelled from South Africa’s surfing Mecca Jeffreys Bay to Durban and on to Cape Town all along the South African coastline in a bright pink bus.

However, Tarryn won’t be hanging about on the couch to watch herself on TV. Come mid-March, she’ll be jetting off to West Australia to compete in the first World Qualifying Series contest. “My goals for 2010 are to make the Top 6 on the ‘Q.S and qualify for the 2011 world circuit.”

Go, girl! If anyone can meet those goals, you can!

Saffa Wins Surf Contest In Wipe-Out Conditions

A South African surfer managed a miraculous victory in a surf contest held in treacherous, wipe-out conditions in the U.S. over the weekend.

Chris Bertish, a 35-year old surfer from Cape Town, raked in $50 000 (about R3.85 million) when he came first in the invitational Mavericks Surf Contest at California’s Half Moon Bay on Sunday – the same event where massive rogue waves swept dozens of spectators from a sea-wall, causing serious injuries. According to the judges and the competitors, the 40- to 50-feet high waves were the biggest they have ever witnessed in a paddle-in surfing competition.

Chris, who is part of the O’Neill South Africa surfing team, became the rather unlikely champion – not merely because he emerged even after being hammered by several brutal wipe-outs, but also because he wore a borrowed wetsuit. In fact, he had even borrowed the money to pay the airfare to get to the States. Part of his winnings, he said, will be spent on paying back his brother and the friends he had loaned the money from. Fellow South African, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, was eliminated during the semi-finals.

American surfer Shane Desmond from Santa Cruz came second.

Global Surfing Community Bands Together To Help SA Surfer

An overwhelming outpouring of support has flooded in for South Africa’s top female surfer Heather Clarke. The reigning International Surfing Association (ISA) world master’s surfing champ sustained serious injuries following a car crash near her home in Port Shepstone last October.

With the surfer and her family facing mounting medical costs, and with Heather’s loss of income due to the accident and the lengthy recovery process taking her out of commission from her other job as swimming instructor and surfing coach, it didn’t take long for members of the global surfing community (and their friends and supporters) to jump into action and find ways to help.

From virtual calls for donations on the web, to a recent fundraiser in Bournemouth in the UK, the support has been amazing.

Heather and her family have expressed their gratitude in a letter that was published on Surfline.com today:

“Heather and her family are very touched by the awesome love and support shown by everyone all over the world. A huge thank you to all of you who have contributed towards the fund – thank you so much!

The hospital costs are already quite formidable and they require most of the costs upfront which is a daunting prospect for the family. Heather was also supposed to have started her swimming school next week and now will not be able to do so, which means a loss of income for her. Please help where you can and spread the word – every little bit, no matter how insignificant you might think it would be, WILL help. Your contributions despite the economic recession mean a great deal to Heather and her family.”

If you would like to help by contributing to the JettyGirl Benefit for Heather Clarke, you can do so by going here.

Bianca Buitendag Takes Roxy Wahine Cup

Sixteen-year old Bianca Buitendag from George managed to win both the U20 and premier Open divisions of the 2009 Roxy Wahine Cup at Suncoast Beach near Durban this past weekend, snatching up R12 500 in prize money and one of the most prestigious titles in South African surfing.

“It was a bit stressful surfing two divisions,” Bianca said after the final. “Saturday wasn’t too bad, because I only had a couple of heats to surf, but making both finals [on Sunday] meant I had to surf five heats. So I had to really conserve my energy, especially with the Open final being the last of the day, because that’s the one everyone wants to win. Fortunately I was staying at the Suncoast Hotel, so I was able to go back to my room between heats and rest to maintain my energy levels through the day.”

By winning the Open division, Bianca managed to defeat defending champion Tarryn Chudleigh from Kommetjie, who came second. Chantelle Rautenbach from Melkbosstrand came third and Tanika Hoffman – also from Kommetjie – came fourth.

In the U20 finals, Bianca beat New Pier’s Kirsty Delport, reigning South African U18 champion Alice McGregor from East London (who came third) and Tarryn, who ended up in fourth place.

The U16 final was won by South African Junior Team member and Warner Beach native Sarah Baum. Sabrina Scott came second, and Emma Smith and Cara MacDonald tied for third.

The U14 youngsters who battled it out were Channelle Botha, who beat Gina Smith, Jordan Vanhoutte and Tahra Uren.

The Novice Division, open to girls who had never surfed a contest before, was won by Jelaine Hermitte, who managed to secure herself a year-long Roxy sponsorship. Jamie-Lee Glazer was runner-up, Holly Konig came third and Michelle Verreynne came fourth. We’re sure that we’ll be seeing more of these names in future!