The weather was great and spirits were high after an amazing opening ceremony (story by Zululand Observer) the night before at the Richards Bay Multi-Sports Club where all competitors were welcomed with a meal, goodie bags and inspiring messages from His Worship the Mayor Cllr Mhlongo, SSA General Manager Robin de Kock, Host Chairman Anton Knoetze and Audi Midbay’s Kenneth Hodgson on behalf of Citroën South Africa.
Michael Monk of the Buffalo City team had the honour of opening the 50th SA Surfing Champs with the first scoring wave of the event straight after the siren in a heat that featured host Chairman Anton Knoetze of uThungulu Surfriding. The surf, although small, had plenty of scoring potential with the wind remaining slightly offshore for the duration of the day’s heats. The Open Men made the best of the sections on offer with the first 8 point recorded ride going to Casey Grant of Ugu District in Heat 3 as the tide drained out. Standout heat winners in this division were Dylan Stewart (Ethekwini), Liam de Villiers (uThungulu), Casey Grant (Ugu), Matt Pallet (uThungulu), Lu Whittaker (President’s Team) and Mikey Venter (Ethekwini).
Next up was the Open Women with four heats stacked with springboks, current and former South African Champions and a World Champion in Heather Clark. Winners of the four heats going straight to quarters were Emma Smith (Nelson Mandela Bay), Heather Clark (Ugu District), Nikita Robb (Buffalo City) and Tamarys de Maroussem (uThungulu) who was thrilled to win her first heat of the event surfing in her home town.
The U/20’s took to the water next with six Boys heats and some pretty fierce competition. Heat winners were Joshe Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay), Slater Ruling (Ugu), Tristan Lev (Nelson Mandela Bay), Richard Kidd (Ethekwini), Luke Malherbe (Buffalo City) and Bryce Burness (Ugu). In the U/20 Girls Jade Story (uThungulu) and Nicole Pallet (Ethekwini) took first places in the final two heats of the day.
Conditions for Tuesday and Wednesday look to be much of the same with small surf but favourable winds. We look forward to more great surfing from the competitors when competition resumes with the Men Round 2 repercharge rounds on Tuesday.
See full results on Surfing South Africa’s website here or Follow us on social media at #sasurfingchamps #citroensa #c4cactus #citroenrb for results and images as they happen. For more info and articles see www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za, www.zulusurfriders.co.za or www.zululandobserver.co.za
link to opening function story - http://zululandobserver.co.za/77724/surfs-up-in-richards-bay/