Zululand’s Top Surfers Recognised

Fred le Roux, Richards Bay, walked away with the title of Zululand Surfer of the year along with the biggest trophy of the night when the Zululand Surfriders’ Association (ZSA) held the Annual General Meeting and Prizegiving on Wednesday 28 January.

Freddie, who is also the ZSA coach, was also awarded with the title for Masters Surfer of the Year and a merit award for his win at the the SA Masters Champs at Nahoon Reff, East London in 2014. Up and coming Junior surfer Liam de Villiers was the other prize winning standout of the evening with certificates for top Junior surfer, colours for competing at SA Open Champs, a merit award for being selected to compete at the National Junior Trials and the coaches award for best upstart 2014.

ZSA Chaiman Anton Knoetze opened the evening with his 2014 report, highlighting the achievements and areas to address going forward as well as acknowledging those who help out throughout the year. A copy of this report is available on the ZSA website viewing. Minutes were approved, financials applauded and office bearers elected before the major news of the evening was announced. The association will have a new name and look going forward as of the AGM closure and is now called uThungulu District Surfing under the regional banner of KwaZulu-Natal Surfriders Association - uThungulu, a change in line with the national directive.

Before the major announcement was made it was up to Fred le Roux, as a founding member of ZSA, to report on the rich heritage and history of the association:

Competitive surfing started way back in 1984 when a competition was organised between teams from 121 Battalion, local surfers and the navy. In 1986 Fred arrived in the Bay and co-founded ZSA. The peak was in 1991 when three of the team Zululand members made the South African team achieving Springbok colours, namely Gert du Preez, Tamarys Walters and Clayton Nienaber. Gert went on to win a master title in Australia, Tamarys won three titles for KZN and Clayton has become a well known and respected surfboard shaper. Home grown talent following in their footsteps included Kay Holt who won Zululands first ever national championship while she worked a the Zululand University as well as Mike Frew who won a Masters title for KZN. The association also went through a dip and lay dormant for a bit, even moving headquarters to Ballito but was then resurrected in 2010 by locals itching for competition and an evergreen Freddie who heard of the non-existence and reformed the committee. Now in 2015 the association is stronger than ever and Fred believes they will have a breakthrough year in 2015. “We have our first ever SA champs happening in August, the Masters, and this showcase and Gunston 500 like atmosphere will only help the up and coming kids improve.. 2015 lets Go” said an exuberant and thankful Fred.

The prize giving followed with all the SA Champs participants were awarded certificates and their ZSA colours.

The 2015 trial dates will be announced shortly so watch the press and social media. SA Masters is going to be a big event for our area so contact the association if you want to be involved.

2014 ZSA Prize Winners

SA Champs Finalists

  • Allan Johns
  • Andrew Banks
  • Vince King (Masters)
  • Scott Venter (Open)
  • Merit Awards
  • Fred Le Roux (SA Masters Champ Grand Kahunas)
  • Liam de Villiers (National Junior Trialist)

Achievers

  • Fred le Roux (Zululand Surfer of the Year)
  • Fred le Roux (Masters Surfer of the Year)
  • Liam de Villiers (Boys Surfer of the Year)
  • Liam de Villiers (Boys Surfer of the Year)
  • Kaylee Dry (Girls Surfer of the Year)
  • Monique Gresse (Ladies surfer of the year)
  • Scott Venter (Mens Surfer of the Year)

Coaches Awards

  • Nadia Rowling (Most Stoked)
  • Chris Koen (Freesurfer of the Year)
  • Liam de Villiers (Upstart Award)
  • Most Improved (Braiden Coates)

PHOTOS BY MAY KNOETZE

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