SA Surfing Champs at Nahoon Reef
The 54th edition of the annual Mercedes-Benz South Africa Surfing Championships hosted by the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) gets under way at Nahoon Reef on Wednesday (August 21).
This is the third year in a row that BCM will partner with Surfing South Africa to showcase local surfing talent. Nine new South African Champions will be crowned from the Open Men’s and Women’s divisions as well seven other age groups ranging from Over 30 to Over 60 on Sunday (August 25).
East London has hosted more National Championships than any other city in South Africa and is also one of only two South African cities to host a World Surfing Championship (1978) since the first World Championship were held in the USA in the mid-sixties.
Greg Emslie is leading the charge for gold medals. He is East London's former World Championship Tour surfer, ISA World Masters Champion, five times South African Men’s Champion and defending Over 40 Division Champion.
Emslie will also be competing in the premier Men’s Division in a bid to add a sixth title to the five that already make him one of the greatest South African surfers in history. In the Women’s Open, local rising superstar, 15-year-old Zoe Steyn will be out to defend her title that she won as the youngest female surfer in history at Nahoon Reef last year.
Twenty current and former National Team members are competing this year, while seven of the nine 2018 South African Champions will be defending their titles. Adding to the prestigious field will be the presence of six former World Champions.
Three team trophies will also be awarded on Sunday; the 46-year-old Presidents Cup which involves the Open Men and Women surfers; the Masters Cup, which is competed for by the surfers in the Over 30 to Over 60 Divisions and the Champions Trophy will go to the team with the most points overall.
In 2018, all three trophies were won by the event hosts, Buffalo City Surfriders and it was the Masters teams’ 13th consecutive cup win. Last year, the Dave Fish Trophy, which is awarded to the most consistent surfer throughout the event, went to Heather Clark and Zoe Steyn was named Surfer of the Contest.