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 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.

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!

Junior Saffas Take Reunion Island Challenge

Last weekend saw our local junior 2010 team fare extremely well in the team contest in the Reunion Island Challenge that took place at Kalk Bay Reef in Cape Town on Sunday.

Western Province, the hosts, took second place and the visitors from Reunion Island came third. The Emergin South African team came fourth and Boland came in at fifth place.

The U18 Boys Final title was snatched up by South African junior team member David Brand, who managed to beat current SA champion Matt Bromley of Western Province, pushing him down to second place. Hugo Dubosc of Reunion Island came third and Mikey February, another member of the South African team, came fourth.

This victory has managed to distinguish Brand as the top seed in the U18 SA Team when they compete in the ISA World Junior championships in New Zealand in January 2010.

The U18 Girls’ Final title went to Sarah Baum of the SA Team. She beat Camilla Davila of Reunion Island, who came second. Heidi Palmboom of the SA Junior Team came third and current U18 Girls’ champion Alice McGregor of the Emerging SA Team ended up in fourth place.

The U16 Boys’ finals saw the title going to Daniel Wilson of the Western Province. South African team members Steven Sawyer and Jarred Veldhuis came second and third. Fourth place went to another WP surfer, Benji Brand.

The U14 Boys’ Final victory also went to a WP surfer: Max Armstrong. He beat SA Emerging team member Benjamin de Castro. Lucas Jannier of Reunion Island came third and Brandon Benjamin of the Emerging SA Team came fourth.

The Reunion team members have been spending this past week training in Durban, where they will take on the SA team again, as well as a team from Central KwaZulu-Natal and Southern KwaZulu-Natal in Durban tomorrow and Saturday. The Reunion Islanders return home on Sunday, but they’ve already promised to host a reciprocal event on their home turf next year.

Well done Junior SA Team! Hopefully this weekend’s challenge against Reunion Island and the KwaZulu-Natal teams will see a stellar repeat performance!

Young Surfers Gear Up For Billabong Junior Series

South Africa’s hottest under 20 surfers are going to convene at Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape next week (23 – 26 September) to battle it out during the 13th annual Billabong Junior Series championships.

Apart from determining winners in the U20 category, there will also be U16, U14 and U12 categories. The event will also determine the ASP Africa Pro Junior champions for 2009 and who will be selected for the ASP Africa squad that will be taking part at the Billabong ASP World Championships in Sydney in January – which is THE top event in junior surfing.

Surfers who will be taking part include Casey Grant (20) of Scottburgh, Shaun Joubert of Mossel Bay, Matt Bromley of Kommetjie, Brendon Gibbens (also of Kommetjie), Klee Strachan of Winkelspruit, Chad du Toit of Durban, Dale Staples and Nick Godfrey of Cape St Francis, Kyle Lane of Umhlanga and another Scottburgh surfer, Haydn MacNicol.

The girls include Victoria Bay’s Bianca Buitendag, Tarryn Chudleigh of Kommetjie, Sarah Baum of Athlone Park, Heidi Palmboom of the Bluff, Chantelle Rautenbach of Melkbosstrand, Tanika Hoffman of Kommetjie, Alice McGregor of East London and Faye Zoetmulder of Port Elizabeth.

The U16 boys event will see the likes of Michael February of Kommetjie, Dane Staples of St Francis Bay, Steven Sawyer of Jeffrey’s Bay, David van Zyl of Glenashley and Capetonians Jarred Veldhuis and Daniel Wilson in action.

The U14 boys are Daniel Buitendag of Vic Bay, Benji Brand of Kommetjie, Slade Prestwich of Park Rynie, Diran Zakarian of Melkbosstrand, Max Armstrong of Scarborough and Dylan Lightfood of Jeffrey’s Bay.

The U12 boys will include Shane Sykes of Salt Rock, Donovan of Marina da Gama, Jody Maree of Kalk Bay, Ethan Fletcher and Jonah Paarman – both from Kommetjie – Matthew McGillivray of Port Elizabeth, and Steffen Burrows of the Strand.

The event will coincide with the Von Zipper Air Show, where selected surfers will show off and be rewarded for their skill at performing aerial manoeuvres.

KZN Tops At 2009 SA Surfing Championships

<!– @page { size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } –>Kwa-Zulu Natal came out tops at the recent annual South Coast Tourism South African Surfing Championships with two of their own surfers emerging as champions.

Having a home surf advantage certainly seemed to pay off, because the host province even surfed off with the President’s Cup.

Southern KZN team members Gavin Roberts and Heather Clark won the Men’s and Women’s titles respectively.

According to reports, this past Sunday’s weather in St Mikes was fine and conditions were near perfect with 3 – 6 foot surf.

Roberts beat 2007 SA Champion Devyn Mattheys of Border, pushing him into second place with Dan Redman of KZN coming in third. Eastern Province’s (EP) Ryan Payne came fourth and was crowned Surfer of the Contest for 2009.

Clark successfully defended the title she won at Victoria Bay last year. Nikita Robb of Border was second, Tammy Lee Smith of KZN came third and Faye Zoetmulder of EP was fourth.

The under 20 set also saw KZN surfers rising to the top. Shawn Dennis took the title with fellow KZN boy Kyle Lane in second. Bertie Stuurman of EP came third. Chris Leppan, also from KZN, came fourth.

Despite stitches to her face from an injury sustained when her board hit her in the face during the semi-final, Tarryn Chudleigh of Western Province (WP) still managed to take the Under 20 Girls title.

Sarah Baum of KZN was second, Alice McGregor of Border came third and Lauren Colberg of Boland was fourth.

KZN’s dominance in all four divisions secured them the Presidents Cup which they last won in 2005. Southern KZN came second, Border was third, Eastern Province – who was last year’s champion – came fourth, Western Province was fifth and Boland came sixth. The 2009 South African Surfing Championships were presented by Surfing South Africa, hosted by Southern KZN Surfing Association and sponsored by South Coast Tourism.