Competition started with Open Women Round 3 (Quarter Finals) in 2-3 foot surf with good left handers coming through on the middle bank. Semi-finalists were decided in three heats with Tamarys de Maroussem (uThungulu), Emma Smith (NMB), Tasha Mentasti (Pres), Heather Clark (Ugu), Faye Zoetmulder (NMB) and Kat Steffen (Eth) making it through. Noticeably absent from the semi-finalist list is defending four time champion Nikita Robb (BC) who was eliminated from this event by Zoetmulder and Steffen.
In the Open Men Quarter Finals Luke Malherbe (BC) continued his good run making the semi-finals in a heat won by Chris Frolich (Eth). Craig Johnson from Cape Town has been looking good all week and also managed to advance with an impressive heat win. Joining them in the Semi-Finals on Saturday are Davey van Syl (Eth), Greg Emslie (BC) and Simon Fish (BC)
The U/20 Boys provided most of the days fireworks with big air reverses and explosive surfing in the best of the days surf. In a long day of competition with the decision to add the U/20 semis to the proceedings the finalists were decided in both the Boys and Girls U/20 Divisions. In the Boys it was Brandon Benjamin (CT) and Devin Whitehead (Eth) who advanced over Richard Kidd (Eth) in Semi 1 and Ntando Msibi (Pres) and Joshe Faulkner (NMB) over Bevan Willis (Eth). The latter was the highlight of the day with Ntando winning the heat with an awesome display of surfing on his birthday.
In Semi-final 1 of the Girls U/20 Nicole Pallet (Eth) scored the highest wave score of the day, an 8.3, advancing to the final with Gina Smith (NMB) in second place. Nicole won today’s “Freedom Surf” commemorative trophy that is given out each evening at the Multi-Sports Club for her effort. Joining them in the final will be winners of semi-final 2 Jade Story (uTh) and Chanelle Botha (Ugu).
Today saw the beginning of the Masters event with the running of the 0/30 Women and the O/35 Men. These heats were strongly contested in probably the worst surf of the day. Heat winners in the O/30 women were Tash Mentasti (Pres) and Heather Clark (Ugu). In the 0/35 Mens the heat winners were Greg Emslie (BC), Jaco Kapp (Eth), Tristan Johnson (BC), Brad Sorour (NMB), Sean von Oettingen (uTh) and Lu Whittacker (Pres).
The focus on the next 2 days of competition will be the Masters with the O/40 Men hitting the water first on Thursday (Day 4).
The Citroën SA Surfing Champs is supported by Sport and Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Reef Wetsuits. Zigzag, the Zululand Observer, the uMhlatuze Community Tourism Organisation, the City of uMhlatuze and Monster Energy.
Heats, contest schedule and photos for the event are updated each day websites and social media. Follow us on social media at #sasurfingchamps #citroensa #c4cactus #citroenrb for results and images as they happen at facebook.com/zulusurfriders and twitter.com/zulusurfriders. The event partner websites for more info and articles are www.zulusurfriders.co.za, www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za or www.zululandobserver.co.za