After three days of marginal conditions Alkantstrand in Richards Bay turned on the magic on Day Four of the Citroen SA Surfing Championships. Steady off shore winds and highly contestable 3 – 4 foot surf greeted the contestants in the masters age groups, many of whom were getting their first opportunity to take to the water in the championships.
The Over 30 Women’s quarter finalists got the days surfing underway with some famous names making their way into the semi finals. Defending SA Champion Heather Clark (Ugu), five time SA Champion Kay Holt (Nelson Mandela Bay), three time SA Champion Tamarys de Maroussem (uThungulu), former division champion Tasha Mentasti (Presidents Team), Buffalo City stalwart Bianca Bosman and “rookie: Shelly Bergset (eThekweni) will fight it out for the four spots in Sundays Final.
Then it was the Over 35 Men’s Division’s chance to sample the best surf of the week as the second round contestants fought for the final six spots in Round Three of this division. Manfred Adrio (eThekweni), Martin Hartslief (Nelson Mandela Bay), Calvin Moore and Chris Cusens ( both Ugu), Andre Mory and Ryan Kuhn (both Cape Town) made the cut.
Twenty four surfers advanced to Round Three in the Over 40 Division while ten surfers in the Over 45 division made their way into the semi finals. Dave Malherbe (Buffalo City), defending champion Robin Lavery (uThungulu), former ISA World Champion Marc Wright (eThekweni) and former national team member Peter Lawson (Presidents Team) were the stand out surfers in the Over 50 Division while in the Over 55 Division current ISA World Champion Chris Knutsen (eThekweni) caught the eye as did Warren Wareing (Ugu) and former National team captain Barry Campbell (eThekweni).
uThungulu surfer Ray Harris had the locals on their feet as he cruised to victory in the first ever Over 60 heat at a national championships. Harris, who was given a guard of honour as he left the water at the end of the heat, beat Chris Morris (eThekweni), Dave Fish (Buffalo City) and Mush Hide (Nelson Mandela Bay). The oldest surfers in the contest will all compete in the Final on Saturday.
The 50th South African Surfing Championships are supported by Sport and Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Reef Wetsuits, Zigzag, the Zululand Observer, the uMhlatuze Community Tourism Organisation, the City of uMhlatuze and Monster Energy.
Heats,contest schedule and photos for the 2016 Citroën SA National Championships are updated each day on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
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Updated results are posted on facebook.co/zulusurfriders and twitter.com/zulusurfriders.
Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).