The 10th Annual Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am, a 4A Rated South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) event, was held at Margate Main Beach from April 25 to April 27, 2009. The final day of the event got underway in cold, wet weather on Sunday.
Surf conditions had deteriorated slightly but were very contestable with one-metre waves.
Contest director Wayne Beekman decided to postpone the finals after all the semifinals were run in order to wait for the higher tide in the afternoon.
The Pro final pitted Wesley Fischer (Berea), Mark Watts (Durban), Jaryd Houston (Cape Town) and Warren van der Merwe (Empangeni) against each other.
Wesley was on form, also advancing to the Factory 7 Drop Knee final in style, where he was joined by Stuart Bradford (Westville), Sean Tickner (Cape Town) and Aden Kleve (Kommetjie). Spectators looked forward to the “Durban vs Cape Town Final”.
The Boys final was already decided on Saturday in an extremely good wedging shorebreak and saw the following boys battling it out: Murray van Vuuren (Millpark), Sebastian Koopmans (Melkbosstrand), Stephen du Preez (Bluff) and Ashley Wheeler (Margate).
The Ladies Final consisted of Tania dos Ramos (Bluff), Tiffany Higgins (Uvongo) and Nicky Dreyer (Uvongo).
The Masters finalists were Mike van Huysteen (Weltevreden Park), Kevin Williams (Uvongo), Karl Liebenberg (DBN) and Martin Otto (Uvongo).
Wayne Beekman (Uvongo), Jeffrey Davies (Durban), Steven Bahlmann (Uvongo) and Jaryd van Daalen (Wnklespruit) made up the Mens Final.
The Junior final saw a mixture of competitors from over the country, namely Bradley Moys (Shelly Beach), Iain Campbell (Westville), Aden Kleve (Kommetjie) and Terence Pieters (Uvongo).
But in the end, there could only be one winner in each category! Durban local Mark Watts took top spot in the Pro division in an awesome display of high risk manoeuvres. A huge crowd gathered on the beach as the sun rolled out perfectly from behind the dark clouds that drenched everyone earlier in the day.
But the ladies were first up. Tania seemed to have no trouble picking the better waves to claim 1st place followed by Tiffany Higgins and Nicky Dreyer in 3rd.
Conditions were difficult for dropknee with the rising tide and the wave shifting to the shorebreak. This didn’t seem to deter defending champion Sean Tickner from keeping his cool and retaining his title as the Factory 7 DK Champion. He was followed by Aden Kleve in 2nd, Stuart Bradford in 3rd and Wesley Fischer in 4th.
Kevin Williams won the Masters division thanks to some combo manoeuvres. Martin Otto came second, Karl Liebenberg came in 3rd and Mike van Huysteen took 4th place.
The Boys division was hotly contested but in the end it was Stephen du Preez who walked away with the title, followed by Murray. Sebastian was 3rd and Ashley took 4th.
Wayne Beekman was the favourite to win the Mens finals, since he has won the event numerous times before, but in the end he was beaten out by Jeff Davies. Jaryd van Daalen came third and Steven Bahlmann fourth.
The Junior final looked more like a Pro final the way these guys put it all on the line to take top spot, but Bradley Moys took the top spot with his clean air roll spins.
The Pro final is always kept for last as this is the elite division where the big prize money lies and competition is very fierce. All 4 competitors rode as best they could in the shorebreak conditions but ultimately it was Mark Watts who claimed victory with his no holds barred attitude to become the 2009 Wimpy/Rossi Pro Champion.
The Surf M’Ocean Best Trick of the contest went to Jaryd Houston for a massive backflip on the 1st day of competition, earning him R500 cash.
A special inspirational prize was handed out to 6-year old local Alex Nutt who entered the Boys division and showed massive determination and courage.
The even was generously sponsored by Wimpy Margate, Rossi Board Co, Lizzard, Factory 7, Surf M’Ocean, Criss-Cross Security, Face Forward Studio and Johnny Rockets.