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Lightfoot and Smith clinch ASP Pro Junior titles at Billabong Junior Series in Mossel Bay

April 28th, 2014 No comments
Dylan Lightfoot carves a powerful cutback at Outer Pool at Mossel Bay on his way to victory in the first stop on the Billabong Junior Series on Sunday  Photo: Dylan Lightfoot Facebook

Dylan Lightfoot carves a powerful cutback at Outer Pool at Mossel Bay on his way to victory in the first stop on the Billabong Junior Series on Sunday Photo: Dylan Lightfoot Facebook

Dylan Lightfoot and Emma Smith clinched their respective men and women’s Pro Junior titles at the first stop on the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS which was completed in consistent one to1.5 metre waves in Mossel Bay on Sunday.

The victories see the pair take an early lead in the rankings to select the three men and one woman who will represent ASP Africa at the 2014 ASP World Junior Surfing Championships scheduled for the end of October.

Lightfoot, 19, from Jeffreys Bay, took the momentum from his top 16 finish in an ASP QS event in Argentina last weekend into this event by convincingly winning his opening heat. The third seed then placed second to Cape Town’s Jordy Maree in Round 2 before getting revenge by defeating Maree in their Man-on-man semi-final encounter.

In the final Lightfoot used a patient strategy, picking off the best lined up waves across the Outer Pool point, to defeat top seed Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) whose tactics of catching plenty of waves and going for big manoeuvres saw him relegated to the runner-up berth.

“The waves were a lot harder than what they looked. There was a lot of chop on them, and the big ones were no good,” said Lightfoot. “I was looking for the middle waves, the ones that had more potential across the inside. I’m just so stoked with my first win of the year and am looking forward to the upcoming contest season. This has been an amazing event, and the waves have been so much fun throughout.”

Lightfoot pocketed R8 000 and 750 rankings points for the victory along with the Nixon WTA (Winner Takes All) Award of a Nixon Supertide watch for the highest heat score of the event, 16.5 out of a possible 20 points in his semi-final win.

Zakarian, who won every heat he contested up to the final, collected R4 000 and 563 points for placing second and also picked up the VonZipper Brainblast-Off award for completing a big backhand air reverse in the VZ Airshow.

Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) justified her top seeding in the women’s 20-and-under division, winning her opening encounter, placing second to Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach) in the semis and then clinching the title in a low scoring final. Smith took home R4 000 and earned 750 points which puts her in pole position for a second consecutive appearance at the ASP World Junior Championships in October.

See more details, including video footage of each day’s action, at http://www.aspworldtour.com/events/2014/mjun/1029/billabong-junior-series-presented-by-bos

Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS
Results: Stop No 1

ASP Pro Junior Women’s Final
1. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay)
2. Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach)
3. Crystal Hulett (St Francis Bay)
4. Jade Mets (Durban)

ASP Pro Junior Men’s Final
1. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay)
2. Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand)
=3. Shane Sykes (Salt Rock)
=3. Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay)

The second event in the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS is scheduled for Cape Town on August 8 – 10.

The series, which also includes Surfing South Africa (SSA) Pro Surf Tour (PST) events for U14, U16 and U18 boys and girls plus U12 boys, is supported by BOS, Playstation, Samsung, Nixon, DaKine, KR Fins and VonZipper.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: colin@aspafrica.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

South Africa finishes eighth as Hawaii claim team title at ISA World Junior Surfing Championships

April 14th, 2014 No comments
Joshe Faulkner in action on the final day of the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships on Sunday. The teenager from Jeffreys Bay was the highest placed South African in Ecuador, finishing 6th in the U16 Boys division. Photo: ISA / Rommel Gonzales

Joshe Faulkner in action on the final day of the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships on Sunday. The teenager from Jeffreys Bay was the highest placed South African in Ecuador, finishing 6th in the U16 Boys division. Photo: ISA / Rommel Gonzales

The South African junior surfing team finished in eighth place out of the 32 nations who competed in the VISSLA ISA World Surfing Championships in Ecuador yesterday with the Hawaiian team claiming the ISA World Junior Team Champion Trophy and the team gold medal.

Going into the final day in seventh place in the provisional team standings, and with just one surfer still in contention, the SA team needed Joshe Faulkner to qualify for the U16 Boys Grand Final in order to maintain or better their position among the top seven nations who receive invitations to compete in the prestigious ISA Aloha Cup at the following year’s edition of the world’s biggest junior surfing event.

In an increasing swell that produced two metre plus waves and a powerful wash making paddling difficult on the last day, Faulkner gave his all in the qualifying final but could not find the high scoring rides in the 20 minute encounter and placed fourth.

Earning another chance to reach the last four in the division via the repercharge stream final, the teenager from the Pellsrus in Jeffreys Bay was again hindered by wave selection and despite riding well on the waves he did catch, his three opponents all accumulated higher scores on better waves and he had to be content with 6th position overall, the highest placed South African in Ecuador

Hawaiidominated the gold medal count at the event, adding both girls’ titles to the team title when Tatiana Weston Webb and Mahina Maeda repeated their gold medal performances in Nicaragua last year in the U18 and U16 divisions respectively and also earning gold in the Aloha Cup final on Friday.

Leo-Paul Etienne (France) pocketed the gold in the U16 Boys that saw his team leapfrog defending team champions Australia into second place. Luan Wood and Brazilian teammate Elivelton Santos finished first and second in the U18 Boys, hauling their country into fifth place behind USA in the standings despite fielding a team that was two members short of the 12 allowed.

In addition to Faulkner’s heroics in the U16 Boys, Teal Hogg was the next highest placed South African in equal 16th position in the U18 Girls while Cana Foster ended equal 22nd in the U16 Girls. Team captain Max Armstrong and Shane Sykes in the U18 Boys and Ethan Fletcher and Jordy Maree in U16 Boys all finished equal 25th in their respective divisions.

The SA team included a total of seven new caps, all of whom will have learned plenty about international competition while in Ecuador, and was managed by Isaac February (Kommetjie) and Tasha Mentasti (Tableview) and coached by Greg Emslie and David Malherbe (both East London).

“Thank you everybody for coming to Ecuador, and thank you to everyone in Salinas for receiving us with open arms,” commented ISA President Fernando Aguerre at the closing ceremony. “To all the competitors, congratulations, if you were here, you are a champion. At the end of the day there will be four individual Gold Medalists, but all of you are champions as members of your National Teams, the highest honor, which is surfing for your country and the love of your sport.

See more on the SA Junior Team’s progress in Ecuador at www.facebook.com/pages/Surfing-South-Africa-Junior-Team/250021071844395

Results and images from the 2014 VISSLA ISA World Surfing Games are available at www.isawjsc.com

2014 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships (Salinas, Ecuador)
Final Results:

Overall Team Results:
1. Hawaii- 21,168 points, Gold Medal and Winner of the ISA World Junior Team Champion Trophy
2. France- 20,872, Silver Medal
3 Australia- 20,628, Bronze Medal
4. USA- 18,418, Copper Medal
5. Brazil- 17,426
6. Peru- 15,062
7. Japan- 14,820
8. South Africa- 14,618
9. Portugal- 13,852
10. New Zealand- 13,474
11. Costa Rica- 12,252
12. Argentina- 11,866
13. Ecuador- 10,766
14. Venezuela- 10,740
15. Great Britain- 9,393
16. Uruguay- 7,959
17. Germany- 7,834
18. Chile- 7,554
19. Barbados- 7,548
20. Mexico- 7,034
21. Tahiti- 5,630
22. Puerto Rico- 4,260
23. Wales- 3,600
24. Guatemala- 3,552
25. Italy- 2,440
26. Canada- 1,800
27. Ireland- 1,500
28. Austria- 1,200
29. Switzerland- 1,056
30. Trinidad & Tobago- 960
31. Russia- 960
32. Sweden- 480

Boys Under-18:
Luan Wood (BRA), Gold Medal
Elivelton Santos (BRA), Silver Medal
Lucca Mesina (PER), Bronze Medal
Imai DeVault (HAW), Copper Medal

=25th – Max Armstrong (RSA)
=25th – Shane Sykes (RSA)
=31st – Steffen Burrows (RSA)
=43rd – Ntando Msibi (RSA)

Girls Under-18:
Tatiana Weston Webb (HAW), Gold Medal
Kim Veteau (FRA), Silver Medal
Tia Blanco (USA), Bronze Medal
Leilani McGonagle (CRI), Copper Medal

=16th – Teal Hogg (RSA)
=22nd – Chanelle Botha (RSA)

Boys Under-16:
Leo-Paul Etienne (FRA), Gold Medal
Joe Van Dijk (AUS), Silver Medal
Nolan Rapoza (USA), Bronze Medal
Griffin Colapinto (USA), Copper Medal

6th – Joshe Faulkner (RSA)
=25th – Ethan Fletcher (RSA)
=25th – Jordy Maree (RSA)
=43rd – Adin Masencamp (RSA)

Girls Under-16:
Mahina Maeda (HAW), Gold Medal
Leilani McGonagle (CRI), Silver Medal
Laura Poncini (AUS), Bronze Medal
Maddie Peterson (USA), Copper Medal

=22nd – Cana Foster (RSA)
=25th – Ruth Armstrong (RSA)

ISA Aloha Cup
Hawaii, Gold Medal
Japan, Silver medal
Australia, Bronze Medal
USA. Copper Medal

=7th – South Africa

Surfing South Africa (SSA) is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and of the International Surfing Association (ISA).

ENDS

Distributed on behalf of:

Surfing South Africa
Contact: Robin de Kock – General Manager
Mobile: 082 454 1149
Email: surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com

Compiled and Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

First South African Surfing Pioneers Inducted into Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame in Muizenberg

April 6th, 2014 No comments
Cape Town’s Dave Meneses and John Grendon were amongst the first group of 12 South Africa surfing pioneers who were inducted into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame at the Big Jol launch function in Muizenberg on Saturday evening  Photo: Surfers’ Circle / Pierre Marqua

Cape Town’s Dave Meneses and John Grendon were amongst the first group of 12 South Africa surfing pioneers who were inducted into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame at the Big Jol launch function in Muizenberg on Saturday evening Photo: Surfers’ Circle / Pierre Marqua

The first 12 pioneers of surfing to be inducted into the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame were announced on Saturday at the launch function for the national landmark that will celebrate the past, present and future legends of South African surfing at Muizenberg in Cape Town.

Honoured for their inspirational and influential contribution to the surf community in the period up to and including 1964, the inaugural group of honourees consists of three pioneers each from Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town where the majority of the country’s surfers resided 50 years ago.

The crowd of nearly 400 surfing and local celebrities were treated to the wacky antics of MC Deon Bing, a thought provoking talk on community spirit and songs by Verity Price, the grand niece of Heather Price who in 1919 at Muizenberg became the first South African recorded riding waves standing on a surfboard, and presentations on the background and aims of the project and the need to raise funds to design and implement the landmark.

Tony Smith, chairman of the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), explained that the non-profit company that is driving the Surfers’ Circle project and obtained permission to use the traffic circle at Surfers’ Corner for the landmark was inspired by Heather Price’s historic achievement, the role surfing has played in the economic development of the town, the way it has fostered cultural diversity and social cohesion and gained international recognition for Muizenberg as a destination of choice in South Africa.

He noted that the MID’s mandate included maintaining the landmark once it was built, but that all the estimated R2 million required for the design and construction of the centrepiece, walkways embedded with plaques honouring the country’s surfing legends and the landscaping would have to come from fund raising efforts such as the Big Jol and donations.

An audio visual production on the landmark, live music from the Robin Auld Trio and a heartfelt rendition of Andre de Villiers’ tribute to the late John ‘Oom’ Whitmore, the Doyen of South African surfing, were followed Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker celebrating his recent crowning as the 2014 Big Wave World Champion and inspiring everyone to follow their dreams.

The highly anticipated announcement of the names of the first surfers whose names will be honoured in perpetuity on the plaques in the Walk of Fame, and particularly the appearance and comments by Cape Town inductees Dave Meneses and John Grendon, were the highlight of the evening..

Meneses, 76, commented wryly on the rigours of surfing in the frigid waters of the Cape Peninsula in the 1950’s and early ‘60’s before wetsuits and leashes were invented and the effort required to hang onto surfboards that weighed 20 Kgs or more in giant waves at the Outer Kom and other powerful West Coast breaks to avoid having to swim 300 metres to the beach to collect them after a wipe-out.

Grendon, an extreme waterman and multiple SA Veterans champion, who is credited as the first surfer to ride a wave at Jeffreys Bay in 1964, laconically replied ‘Lonely’ to a query on what it was like surfing at Scarborough back in the early ‘60’s. He went on to explain that he, his brother Robert, who graced the cover of the SA Surfing magazine in 1966, and sister Jane, an early women’s surfing champion, shared a single surfboard and were the only surfers in the town that is now home to more than 100 wave-riders with many more visiting when conditions are good.

The Cape Town pioneers include Whitmore whose energy, inquiring mind and pioneering spirit saw him experiment with innovative board building techniques in the ‘50’s before introducing the polyurethane foam and polyester resins that the vast majority of surfboards are constructed of now. He also imported the first international Surfer magazines and surf movies (including the iconic Endless Summer where he starred in the SA segment), invented surf racks, hosted the first daily surf report (which ran for more than 30 years on Good Hope Radio), was the first Chairman of both the Western Province and South African Surfing associations, managed the first official Springbok surfing team at the World Surfing Championships in California and won the SA Masters surfing title twice.

The Durban contingent comprises George Thompson, a three-time SA men’s champion and four-time Springbok acknowledged as the country’s best surfer of the ‘60’s, along with George Bell, a standout in the early ‘50’s who introduced fins to the hollow wooden surfboards of the era enabling surfers to ride across waves instead of straight towards the beach and the late Leon ‘Dux’ Coetzee whose equipment innovations after returning from representing South Africa at the lifesaving championships held alongside the 1956 Olympic Games in Australia led to Finn Anderson surfboards becoming the equipment of choice for the country’s surfing community between 1957 and the introduction of urethane foam in 1961.

The trio of inductees from East London comprise the late Bobby Joubert, a legendary man-mountain who mastered many of the breaks in the area, led Border surf teams in the early national surf contests and manufactured Joubert Surfboards before introducing Rick Surfboards under license from the USA. He is joined by supreme surfing stylists Roger Taylor and Mike Hornsey who discovered new surf breaks in the area and motivated their peers with their dedication to the surfing lifestyle and inspirational surfing.

Port Elizabeth is represented by John Heath, who was also nominated as a Cape Town inductee for his surfing skills in the late 50’s before becoming influential in the Eastern Cape in the early ‘60’s by taking many youngsters along on his regular trips to nearby Jeffreys Bay and forming the Eastern Province surfing association that hosted the first interprovincial surfing contests. The evergreen Leo Davis, who still travels to exotic equatorial surf locales, inspired generations of 60’s PE surfers by forming the Commodore surf club and fellow inductee, the late Sandy McGillivray, became the era’s ‘Mr Surfing’, operating the first surf shop and building Seal Point surfboards.

The party continued with nine recipients awarded prizes totalling nearly R25 000 before legendary surf muso Steve Walsh joined the Robin Auld Trio for another rocking session and the evening closed out with dance music from the Bacardi mobile disco.

The success of the Big Jol launch party was made possible by the support of True Blue Travel, African Perfection Guest House, RVCA, Quiksilver, WaveJet, Roxy’s Surf Emporium, Boekenhoutskloof Winery, Hurley, The Drift Villa and Winery, Blue Bottle Liquors, Khuluma Meals, Soundworx, Grit Security and the staff and students from the False Bay College Catering Department, along with many dedicated volunteers and unsung heroes.

Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame
2014 Inductees – The Pioneers

Cape Town
John Whitmore
Dave Meneses
John Grendon

Port Elizabeth
John Heath
Leo Davis
Sandy McGillivray

East London
Bobby Joubert
Roger Taylor
Mike Hornsey

Durban
George Thompson
Leon ‘Dux’ Coetzee
George Bell

For further details on the Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame, including how to make donations or volunteer your services, please contact Chevone Petersen at manager@mid.org.za or 021 788 1196.

Stay up to date with the latest news on the project at www.facebook.com/Surfers.Circle.Muizenberg

About the Surfers Circle Walk of Fame

The Surfers’ Circle Walk of Fame is a project of the Muizenberg Improvement District (MID), a Not for Profit Company that has been inspired by the pivotal role surfing has played in encouraging economic growth, fostering cultural diversity and social cohesion and gaining international recognition for Muizenberg as a destination of choice in South Africa.

The historic national landmark celebrating the heritage and culture of surfing will be constructed on the traffic circle at Surfers’ Corner in Muizenberg and includes a life-size centrepiece and a Walk of Fame comprising landscaped gardens surrounding walkways embedded with plaques honouring the country’s past, present and future surfing legends.

After a four year journey to obtain permission to build the landmark, every cent of the estimated R2 million required to design and construct it will come from donations and fund-raising efforts.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

Muizenberg Improvement District
Contact: Chevone Petersen – MID Manager
Ph: 021 788 1196
Email: manager@mid.org.za

MID Logo - web

 

 

 

 

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

It’s Official – Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker is the 2014 ASP World Big Wave Surfing Champion!

April 2nd, 2014 No comments
Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker drops into a towering wall of water on his way to victory at Mavericks in California in January, one of two event wins that saw him clinch the 2014 Mystic Lubricant Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) title  Photo: Brian Overfelt

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker drops into a towering wall of water on his way to victory at Mavericks in California in January, one of two event wins that saw him clinch the 2014 Mystic Lubricant Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) title Photo: Brian Overfelt

South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker has been crowned the Mystic Lubricants Big Wave World Tour (BWWT) World Champion after racking up more than double the points of any of his competitors during the 2013/2014 Xpreshon BWWT season.

“I gave it my all this year, basically put my personal life on hold and went for it,’ said Baker after being confirmed as the champion. “I only surfed big wave boards for almost 9 months, I looked for the most testing, biggest conditions on every swell even if I knew a perfect point around the corner was going off and I worked on my mental and physical well being so I was in the best possible condition to compete.”

The 40 year-old from Durban won the opening two events on the tour at Punta Galea in Spain in December and Mavericks in California in January before placing third at Nelscott Reef in Oregon last month to take a virtually unassailable lead on the rankings.

With just one event remaining at Todos Santos in Mexico and his closest opponent, Ken Collins (USA), mathematically able to overtake him if Collins won that event and Baker did not compete, Baker had to wait until the season closed on 31 March without the event running before being officially recognised as the world champion.

“It means quite a bit to have put the time into something and be rewarded for it. And to bring the world title back to South Africa is the best part,” said the proud South African. “With Bianca (Buitendag) doing so well at the moment and Jordy (Smith) ready to pounce I believe South African surfing is in a strong place and we can build the next generation from this base.

Baker, who is also the only big wave surfer to be nominated for two awards in the 2013/2014 Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards that will be announced next month, went into the season after losing his sponsor and knowing that he would have to raise his game in order to be able to continue competing internationally.

“In the past I was never really into the competitive side of surfing and preferred the more soulful aspect of the sport. But with losing my sponsor in July 2013, I realized I would have to compete and win in order to keep getting paid to surf and this was a big motivating factor,” explained Baker.

“Since winning Mavericks and upping my profile I have been fortunate enough to sign with VISSLA and Isurus wetsuits along with upping my existing sponsors with BOS Ice Tea and Future fins, so right now I’m in a great situation and I can continue to surf for another three years.”

See the full interview with Twiggy, plus video highlights of his world title winning season, at http://www.aspworldtour.com/posts/36149/grant-twiggy-baker-claims-2013-2014-asp-bwwt-title

The 2014/2015 ASP Big Wave World Tour commences on 15 April 2014 and showcases the world’s premiere big wave surfers. There are three events in the Southern Hemisphere (April through 31 August 2014) at Punta de Lobos, Chile and Pico Alto, Peru with Dungeons in Cape Town, South Africa, being added for the first time.

The Northern Hemisphere leg (1 October 2014 to 28 February 2015) includes Todos Santos, Mexico and Punta Galea, Basque Country, Spain, with Pe’ahi (aka Jaws) on the Hawaiian island of Maui also a new addition.

2013/2014 ASP BWWT
Final Rankings

1 – Grant Baker (Durban, ZAF) 2,459.00 pts
2 – Ken Collins (USA) 1,140.13 pts
3 – Nic Lamb (USA) 1,117.50 pts
4 – Shawn Dollar (USA) 938.50 pts
5 – Kohl Christensen (HAW) 864.88 pts

=31 – Frank Solomon (Cape Town, ZAF) 179.38 pts
=50 – Chris Bertish (Cape Town, ZAF) 95.0 pts

ENDS

Issued on behalf of:

ASP Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: colin@aspafrica.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za