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.

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

Mr Price Pro Ballito 2010

Winter in the gorgeous KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa means… well… sun, surf and the world’s top surfers battling it out at the Mr Price Pro Ballito from 1 – 11 July 2010.

The province of almost eternal summer is home to one of this week-long, 5-star rated surfing event, which forms part of the Association of Surfing Professionals’ (ASP) World Tour and the ASP Africa circuits is also widely regarded to be one of the longest running professional surfing events in the world.

But the top surfers are lured by more than just the historical significance of the event or the ASP ratings points that can be racked up. The R1 million prize money definitely holds an allure as well.

Among the local surfers who will be vying for that significant loot includes Durbanite and former ASP World Tour competitor Ricky Basnett, Greg Emslie from East London, Capetonian Royden Bryson, Durbanites Antonio Bortoletto, Brandon Jackson, Rudy Palmboom and Shane Thorne. Other Natallers competing in the event will include Frankie Obherholzer, Gary Van Wieringen and Gavin Roberts. One of the undisputed star attractions at this year’s event will be Jordy Smith, who is currently ranked number 3 in the world.

This year the Mr Price Pro Women’s event will be added, with the likes of Stacy Guy from Melkbosstrand, Sarah Baum from Athlone Park, Bianca Buitendag from George, and Tanika Hoffman from Kommetjie taking part. In the Pro Junior division, Beyrick De Vries from Umhlanga will battle it out against Davey Brand from Kommetjie, Matthew Bromley from Cape Town and Jaco Steyn from Melkbosstrand.

Apart from the sun and surf, some of South Africa’s greatest musical acts, like Prime Circle and Farryl Purkiss, will also be performing on the nights of the 9th and 10th of July. For more information, visit www.mrpricepro.com

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.

Quiksilver King of the Groms

The Quiksilver King of the Groms wrapped up yesterday in Southbroom, KwaZulu-Natal, and saw Davey Brand from Kommetjie and Beyrick de Vries from Umhlanga Rocks walking away with the  Under 16 and Under 20 wins respectively. They were also awarded the overall series titles at the final leg of the 2009 Quiksilver King of the Groms.

For winning, 15-year old Davey earned R3,500, plus another R3,500 for the series win and a trip to France to take place in the Quiksilver King of the Groms world final event.

Beyrick scored the R5,000 winner’s cheque, an additional R5,000 for the series win, and a return air ticket to Hawaii, the Mecca of all surfing, for the 2009 winter season.

The final results of the event were:

Under 16:
1. Davey Brand (Kommetjie)
2. Michael February (Kommetjie)
3. Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh)

Under 20:
1. Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga Rocks)
2. Chris Leppan (Umhlanga Rocks)
3. Brendon Gibbens (Kommetjie)

Three Saffas Advance at Quiksilver Pro Durban

Only three local surfers have advanced to participate in the next round at the 2009 Quiksilver Pro at Durban’s New Pier.

Travis Logie, one of the favourites in the competition, advanced to the next round by winning his heat yesterday morning.

The only other South African surfer to win his heat was Cape Town’s Royden Bryson.

“There were actually some fun waves out there, and I really enjoyed surfing in my heat,” said Logie after leaving the water. “It was quite inconsistent out there and I was in two minds if I should sit and wait for the good ones or just get some scores under my belt. In the end, I decided to just take off on anything half decent and went for the big turn option, and it seemed to pay off.”

The last South African to qualify to the next round yesterday was Durban’s Chad du Toit.  He placed second behind Logie to move in to the next round.

By far the biggest unpleasant surprise of the day was the elimination of reigning champion David Weare of Durban, who lost out to Tahiti’s Alain Riou and Hawaiians Jesse Merle-Jones and Mason Ho.

“I’m really bummed to be out of the event,” a clearly disappointed Weare said. “I really wanted to defend my title and I blew two waves that could have put me one step closer to it. I think I just too the wrong option going for that aerial on the second wave and it cost me. I blew a wave and lost a heat.”

Weare’s bitter disappointment is understandable. This event, which pits 136 of the world’s best surfers against each other, carries the highest possible ASP WQS rating as well as a very generous US$145 000 in prize money, with the winner pocketing US$20 000 as well as wracking up 3 500 ASP WQS ratings points.

Day 3 of the event is underway with the following South Africans surfing their heats today: Greg Emslie, Rudy Palmboom, Brandon Jackson, Manfred Adrio, Haydn Mac Nicol, David Richards, Paul Canning, Ricky Basnett, Daniel Redman, Kyle Lane, Keegan Nel, Shane Thorne, Antonio Bortoletto, Kyle Beach, Beyrick de Vries and Casey Grant.

Good luck, guys!