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Viaene claims senior title at Waveski

Bruce Viaene after taking his 1st in Seniors, being lifted by fellow Border teammates Francois Roesstorff and Tim Redelinghuys. Photo by: SA Waveski Surfing Association.

Border’s Bruce Viaene claimed 1st place in the Senior Division and 2nd in the Open Division of the Macski South African National Championships with the contest held over 3 days at Jongensfontein. Mike Wessels from the Western Province took 1st place.

Jongensfontein is a small holiday destination nestled in a cove just 15km from Stillbay and having competitors from all over South Africa take it over and created a ‘Competitors Village Type Vibe’ that had the whole place a buzz.

The Border team was made up of Anthony Dubber, Johan Oelofse, Timothy Redelinghuys and young Francois Roesstorff. Digby Crouch, the Novice Division team member, had to withdraw from the team because of a family bereavement.

He was placed highly to win his division. His team donned stickers on their boards as a tribute to Crouch’s father.

The opening day saw extremely sizeable surf with howling winds, yet the Border team managed to excel in the Closed Division. A long day was marred with boards and injured riders landing along the rocks. Timothy Redelinghuys, Bruce Viaene and Francios Roesstorff made it through their heats to go on to the finals.

Tony Dubber, who came 2nd at World Titles last year, bowed out in the semi finals of the Veterans Division despite taking off on one of the biggest waves of the day.

In the Grand Master Division, Johan Oelofse was unfortunate to be knocked out in the semi-finals. The contest also saw talented international competition from Eric Perrier of France and Doug Copeland of the USA.

Extreme conditions continued on the second day with riders regularly landing on the rocks and some opting out of the contest instead of endangering themselves. The day was put on hold after the second heat.

The final day dawned to less wind and more sunshine allowing more contestable waves and easier paddling. First up was the SA Open Contest where Junior paddler, Francios Roesstorff excelled in his heats finishing in the top ten. In the final, East London’s Bruce Viaene was without a doubt the guy to beat after coming off an amazing year winning the WP Open, Border Open and the KZN Open. In a tightly contested battle, Viaene succumbed to Mike Wessels from Western Province.

The Masters Division saw “Turbo Tim” Redelinghuys, who made a comeback into the sport after 18 years and after just four months of surfing, won his semi-final heat to go through to the final. Battling his final heat, he ended 4th being beaten by Neal Stephenson, a former multiple world champion from Plettenberg Bay.

In the Closed Contest Final, Viaene dominated with style and some extreme moves overpowering his top rivals Duran Martin (KZN), Mike Wessels and Ryan Griffiths (KZN), winning the Senior Final.

The two Juniors Francios Roesstorff (BORDER) and Markus Esterhuyse (WP) excelled in their respective heats and showed the older guys what they made of and ended up in the top ten.

Grade 12 learner, Francois Roesstorff was awarded the Clive Finch trophy for the Most Promising Junior.

The team representing Border (L-R) Bruce Viaene, Johan Oelofse, Tim Redelinghuys, Francois Roesstorff, Tony Dubber. Photo By: Tim Redelinghuys

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