New Pier, Durban (Sunday 30 June 2013) – The Southern KwaZulu-Natal (SKZN) surfing team made history today when they clinched the coveted President’s Cup by winning the team title at the Cool Shoe South African Surfing Championships for the first time in the 48 year history of the event.
Michael February. Photo:Karen/ D-Vine Images
The closest finish to the team event in the modern era saw SKZN finish just 26 points ahead of 2012 champions Western Province with host province KwaZulu-Natal Central (KZNC) taking third place 112 points further back and 2011 champions Border in fourth spot.
In the individual SA titles, Casey Grant (SKZN) successfully defended his Men’s crown, Nikita Robb (Border) won the Women’s division for the third successive year and was also named the Surfer of the Contest while Mikey February (WP) reclaimed the U20 Boys’ title he won last year and Emma Smith (EP) was crowned the U20 Girls’ champion for the first time.
The organisers decision to start the final day’s proceedings 30 minutes earlier than the preceding three days paid off when the very contestable one metre surf faded as the tide went out with virtually no waves coming through in the last 10 minutes of the men’s final.
Casey Grant contributed a massive 4 000 points to his team’s winning total by holding off the challenge of the vastly experienced ISA World Masters champion Greg Emslie (Border). Using a powerful array of powerful carving manoeuvres, Grant posted a title-winning total of 13.25 out of 20 early in the final leaving Emslie, third placed Klee Strachan (SKZN) and fourth placed Matt Bromley (WP) scratching for waves with any scoring potential as time ran out.
Former WCT campaigner Nikita Robb dominated every heat she contested during the event, including the final, and finished well ahead of runner-up Heather Clark (SKZN), the 42 year former two-time ISA World Women’s Masters champion. Lynne Mackey (KZNC) collected the bronze medal for third place in her first final at a nationally rated event and Tanika Hoffman (WP) earned the copper medal.
Mikey February, a member of the SA Senior team that won the team title at the ISA World Surfing Games in Panama in April, racked up a heat total of 16.75 points in the U20 Boys’ final, the highest recorded on the last day. The lanky Capetonian finished well ahead of SA Junior team members David van Zyl (KZNC), Dylan Lightfoot (EP) and Max Armstrong (WP) who placed second to fourth respectively.
Emma Smith convincingly outscored Nicole Pallet (KZNC), Anoush Zakarian (Boland) and Chanelle Botha (SKZN) who finished in that order.
The awards ceremony held on the beach at New Pier in Durban after the event saw the finalists in each division receiving gold, silver, bronze and copper medals with Nikita Robb named the Surfer of the Contest and Southern KwaZulu-Natal collecting the coveted President’s Cup.
Cool Shoes SA Surfing Championships (New Pier, Durban)
1. Southern KZN 22 856 pts Gold Medal & President’s Cup
2. Western Province 22 830 pts Silver Medal
3. KZN Central 22 718 pts Bronze Medal
4. Border 21 266pts Copper Medal
5. Eastern Province 20 836 pts
6. Boland 17 170 pts
7. Zululand 15 652 pts
8. Southern Cape 13 790 pts
1. Casey Grant (SKZN) 13.25 Gold Medal
2. Greg Emslie (Border) 10.30 Silver Medal
3. Klee Strachan (SKZN) 8.35 Bronze Medal
4. Matt Bromley (WP) 7.85 Copper Medal
1. Nikita Robb (Border) 15.25 Gold Medal
2. Heather Cark (SKZN) 11.75 Silver Medal
3. Lynne Mackey (KZNC) 6.80 Bronze Medal
4. Tanika Hoffman (WP) 4.75 Copper Medal
1. Michael February (WP) 16.75 Gold Medal
2. David van Zyl (KZNC) 11.0 Silver Medal
3. Dylan Lightfoot (EP) 8.10 Bronze Medal
4. Max Armstrong (WP) 7.75 Copper Medal
1. Emma Smith (EP) 13.50 Gold Medal
2. Nicole Pallet (KZNC) 9.45 Silver Medal
3. Anoush Zakarian (Bol) 6.10 Bronze Medal
4. Chanelle Botha (SKZN) 2.95 Copper Medal