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.

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 Juniors Prepare For Billabong Showdown In Aus

South Africa’s top junior surfers are all heading to Australia to compete in the Billabong World Junior Championships in January.

Representing us will be Klee Strachan from Winkelspruit, ASP Africa Pro Junior champion Chad du Toit from Durban, Casey Grant from Scottburgh, Beyrick de Vries from Umhlanga and another Durbanite, Kyle Lane.

This will be Klee’s third appearance at the event. “Last year I made round three but got knocked out by Julian Wilson (Australia) who is an unbelievable surfer, so I was not too bummed,” Klee said. “It’s an awesome event and all the surfers in the contest surf really well. I am definitely looking to do well this year. I’ve had three years to see how the standard is so I’ve been training to do well.”

Among the women who will represent South Africa are Sarah Baum from Athlone Park and Bianca Buitendag from George. They will try to beat defending champion, Pauline Ado from France.

The event will kick off at Sydney’s Narrabeen beach on January 9, 2010.

Smith Sails Into Third Round

South African surfer Jordy Smith continued his run in the Rip Curls Bells Beach Pro presented by Snickers in Victoria, Australia, yesterday when he defeated Damien Hobgood of the USA in waves described as “inconsistent but near perfect two metre[s]” to advance to the third round of this second stop on the 2009 ASP World Tour.

Despite seven lay days since his dominant performance in Round 1 and despite a minor back complaint, the 21-year old Durbanite managed to record scores of 7.50 and 5.50 to beat Hobgood.

“I think there were only three sets all heat and luckily I got two of them,” Smith said after only riding a total of three waves in the 30 minute heat. “I feel lucky to get through to the next round. When I woke up this morning it looked really good and I’m sure throughout the day the waves are just going to get better.”

In the third round, Smith will be pitted against giant-killer and wildcard, 19-year old Australian Owen Wright. Wright caused a huge upset when he beat nine-time ASP World Champion and defending Rip Curl Pro Champion, Kelly Slater. Wright handed the American surfing legend his second successive 17th place finish and increased the pressure on Slater’s bid for an unprecedented 10th world title.

Smith’s fellow Durbanite, David Weare – who is the only other South African still in the event after Greg Emslie from East London was eliminated in Round 1 – has yet to complete his Round 2 heat against Hawaiian Frederick Patacchia.

The Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford New Fiesta was completed on Sunday with Silvana Lima from Brazil claiming her maiden ASP Women’s World Tour crown by beating reigning two-times ASP Women’s World Champion, Australian Stephanie Gilmore, in the final.

South Africa’s Rosanne Hodge placed ninth in the event after she was ousted by Sofia Mulanovich from Peru in Round 3.

Well done, guys and gal!

Travis Logie Wins Down Under

South African surfing champion Travis Logie, widely regarded by his peers to one of the best small wave surfers, secured a victory in the Mark Richards Pro Surfing competition in Australia this past Sunday (22 March 2009) in what has been described as the ‘tightest of men’s finals in many years’.
“This is huge confidence boost. I’ve been training so hard so it’s good to see it pay off,” Logie said. “This is very prestigious event and I always come here. I am stoked to win at Newcastle. Mark Richards is a true icon of the sport of surfing and to win a trophy named in his honour is unbelievable,” he added.

Rosanne Hodge Does SA Proud at Roxy Pro Gold Coast

Rosanne Hodge, South Africa’s only representative on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, has gone through to Round 3 of the opening event of the year, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by LG Mobile, which is taking place in Australia right now.

Rosanne finished behind Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore, the reigning and two-time ASP Women’s World Champion.

Organisers relocated the opening day of the event from the primary venue of Snapper Rocks to nearby Duranbah Beach. There, in small 0.7 metre waves, Rosanne recorded rides of 6.0 and 6.03 out of 10 to secure automatic qualification to Round 3.

Well done, Rosanne!