Supreme surfing action
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
The final day of the Mercedes-Benz South African Surfing Championships hosted by Buffalo City Municipality on Sunday at Nahoon Reef saw Joshe Faulkner from Jeffreys Bay winning over Buffalo City Surfriders’ Tyrell Johnson who was followed by teammate Bryce Du Preez.
It was the third successive year that the Men’s Open title changed hands.
Under pristine weather, assisted by a light off shore wind, Johnson was awarded the Surfer of the Contest Trophy and the Over 35 Champion.
In the women’s category, young Zoe Steyn (15) defended her title she won last year as the youngest surfer in history.
Steyn’s victory was again accompanied with the Dave Fish Trophy for being the event’s most consistent surfer. Championship judge and World Surf League commentator, Gigs Cilliers alluded to Steyn’s future, “She’s going to be a household name, we accept that.”
Former multiple SA Women’s Champion, Heather Clark of Ugu Surfriders came second, with Sophie Bell of Illembe placed third. Another young local lass, Adriel Wolmarans made her debut on the winners stand in fourth place while Tayla De Coning was unlucky to be eliminated in the semi-finals.
There were no major surprises in the Masters divisions (over 35’s to over 60’s) as Buffalo City Surfriders once again dominated the respective age group podiums. In the Over 35’s they accounted for first, second and fourth in Tyrell Johnson, Devyn Mattheys and Orrin Johnson respectively.
East London’s former World Championship Tour campaigner and multiple SA Champion, Greg Emslie secured his fourth Over 40’s title with Tristan Johnson and Grame Field in third and fourth place respectively. Wayne Monk relinquished his Over 45 title to an elated Ugu Surfriders’ Gary Van Wieringen while Kevin O’Brien came fourth.
The Over 50’s saw a slight reshuffle of last year’s placings with David Malherbe ousting Gareth Sepp into second and David’s brother, Andre again taking third place. Nick Pike beat Mike Brent in defending the Over 55’s while Gordon Harmer reclaimed the Over 60’s title he last won in 2017. These surfers ensured the Masters Cup remains theirs for the 14th consecutive year.
The Presidents Cup and The Champions Cup for the highest points in the Open Division and highest points in combined divisions respectively also went the way of the host team.
Emslie said, “We don’t take these competitions lightly and that’s why we’re winning so convincingly. Let’s hope we keep going from strength to strength.”
Photographs supplied by Peter Taylor