South Africans won all four finals in the Reunion Island Challenge which was held in testing, 3 foot onshore surf at Tiffany’s Reef, Salt Rock Sunday (January 25th). The contest involved surfers from KZN and one from Jeffreys Bay and a group of surfers and bodyboarders from the St Leu Surf Club in Reunion Island.
SA Team member and top KZN surfer Shane Sykes used his extensive local knowledge to win the combined Under 18 & U20 Division beating Reunion’s Mathis Poulot into second place. The two surfers produced a great display of contest surfing in their final and were deservedly named as the South African Surfer of the Contest and the Reunion Surfer of the Contest respectively. Richard Kidd and Seaton Swart, two Ballito locals, finished third and fourth.
In the combined Under 14 & Under 16 division visiting Jeffreys Bay surfer Sebastian Williams was the standout in the final and took the gold medal in style. Liam De Villiers of Richards Bay was a solid second ahead Calvin Goor of Salt Rock and Reunion’s Mathis Cozon, who were third and fourth respectively.
Talented Gabi Lailvaux of Westbrook beat Sophie Bell of Umhlali into second place to take honours in the Girls Final while Olivia Izzard of La Lucia was third. Julie Thomas of Reunion came fourth.
Garryd Ensor – Smith beat fellow KZN rider into second place in the Bodyboard Final and the two Reunion visitors, Sebastien Maillot and Hagal Sorlier had to settle for third and fourth.
The St Leu Surf Club members spent 10 days in Durban surfing in beach break conditions which are nonexistent on the volcanic island of Reunion.
The contest was presented by Surfing South Africa, the recognized governing body for the sport. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA) and hosted by the KZN Surfing Association.