Source : Surfing South Africa
For the first time in 49 years Mossel Bay will host the South African Surfing Championships from Thursday to Saturday next week and over 100 of the country’s best surfers representing eight provincial teams will participate in the event.
This year’s tournament will feature a current World Champion, a number of World Championship medal winners, all four defending South African Champions and a host of current and former national team member.
Presented by Surfing South Africa and hosted by the Southern Cape Boardriders Association, the 49th South African Surfing Championships will not only decide the four individual champions for 2014 but will also determine which province will claim the 43 year old iconic Presidents Cup.
Surfers will be competing for honour,trophies and medals and will be able to accumulate Surfing South Africa Pro Surf Tour ratings points as the SA Championships is a 3A Rated contest on the Pro Surf Tour.
The defending provincial champions are Southern KZN, who beat Western Province by the narrowest of margins (a mere 26 points) to take the title in Durban for the first time in the history of event. Hosts KZN Central were third with Border fourth, Eastern Province fifth and Boland sixth. Zululand came seventh and this year’s hosts, Southern Cape, were eighth.
Southern KZN will find Mossel Bay a challenge, especially as team captain Gary Van Wieringen is a late withdrawal due to injury and former World Masters Champion and seven time SA Champion Heather Clark is not available but two time and defending SA Champion Casey Grant, who has recently been selected for the SA Team, is a SKZN trump card. The MacNicol siblings Devan, Haydn and Carryn are all top class surfers as are Heather Klug, Dylan Gouws, Jade Story and Olivia Brand so the defending champions are bound to make life tough for the other teams.
Western Province are still smarting from their loss in Durban last year and are determined to win back the Presidents Cup. They have picked a star studded side which includes 2014 South African Team members Mike February and Davey Brand and star big wave surfer Matt Bromley, Jarred Veldhuis, Brandon Benjamin and Jordy Maree,2014 SA Team member Tanika Hoffman and regular WP representative Tarryn Chudleigh.
KZN Central will be counting on the likes of Chad Du Toit, Mikey Venter, Wade Simkiss, Nicole Pallet and Teal Hogg to produce the goods at Mossel Bay while Border have current World and South African Masters Champion Greg Emslie in their team. Emslie is well supported by South African Masters Team member and multiple SA Champion Wayne Monk, power surfers Devyn Mattheys and Tyrell Johnson and three time and defending SA Women’s champion Nikita Robb.
Eastern Province have included J Bay Open wildcard Dylan Lightfoot and fellow Jeffrey’s Bay surfer Steven Sawyer, 2014 SA Team member Faye Zoetmulder, current SA Under 17 champion Matt McGillivray, and Jeffrey’s Bay surfing sisters Emma & Gina Smith in their strong lineup while Boland will be counting on strong performances from Steff Burrows, twin sisters Penny Stemmet and Tammy Robarts, Rigard Smit and Hilton Pelser.
Scott Venter, Allan Johns and Liam de Villiers are the pick of the Zululand team while hosts Southern Cape will be counting on proud Mossel Bay local Llewellyn Whittaker, former SA Masters Champion Tasha Mentasti, Lincoln Logie and Riel Viviers to push the hosts up the rankings.
The 49th South African Surfing Championships will get under way with an Opening function for all the teams and officials at the Ochre Room in the Protea Hotel in Mossel Bay at 7pm for 7.30pm on Wednesday September 24th. This function will include the presentation on National Colours to the members of the 2014 South African Team which will defend the ISA World Title in Peru fin a months’ time.
The heats will start at 8am on Thursday September 25th and the championships will end at approximately 2,30pm on Saturday September 27th .
The Heats and provisional schedule for the Championships are available on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
The 49th South African Surfing Championships is supported by event partners Reef Wetsuits, Skullcandy Headphones, Neff watches, The Point Village Hotel in Mossel Bay, Bluegum Country Estate in Stanford, Campbells Peak Wines from Bluegum Country Estate, Primi Piatti and Zigzag, presenters of the Blowing Up Award