Home > Contests > Eight provincial teams set to contest 2010 SA Championships at St Mikes on the KZN South Coast.

Eight provincial teams set to contest 2010 SA Championships at St Mikes on the KZN South Coast.

May 26th, 2010

Caption: Former ASP World Tour campaigner Greg Emslie (East London) is one of the favourites to win the SA Open Men’s title


South Africa’s premier interprovincial tournament, the annual South African Surfing Championships, will get under way in the powerful point break waves of St Mikes on the Southern KZN coast on Thursday and teams from eight provinces will be in action.

 The 45th South African Surfing Championships runs from tomorrow (May 27) until Sunday (May 30) when the individual finals will be held and the champions crowned.

Close on 150 handpicked surfers will wear their provincial colours over the four days of competition and these surfers will compete in eight age divisions.

Heading the charge on the 41 year old Presidents cup are defending champions Central KZN who have won the Presidents Cup more times than any other province. Their arch rivals Western Province are traditionally the biggest threat while 2008 champions Eastern Province, former two-time Presidents Cup winners Border, hosts Southern KZN, Boland, Southern Cape and Zululand are the other provincial teams in the event.

All the participating surfers have been selected for their provincial teams after competing in regional trials and will not only be focused on achieving individual glory in one of the eight divisions but will also be surfing for team honours.

This year all the surfers in the Open Men and Women’s divisions will be awarded 3A Pro Surf Tour points and the finalists in these two divisions will be included in selection trials for the upcoming SA Team that will attend the World Games in Peru. In a first for South African surfing, the winner of the Open Men’s Division will be automatically included in the 2010 SA Team for Peru.

There is also plenty at stake in the Over 35, Over 40, Over 45 and Over 50 Divisions. The South African selectors will be using the results of the SA Championships as an indicator as to who should be invited to trials which will be used to pick an SA Masters Team for the upcoming World Championships in Panama.

This will be the eighth time that the Southern KZN Surfing Association will be hosting the premier championship on the Surfing South Africa calendar and the seventh time that St Mikes will play host to the event.

Southern Natal has produced a couple of Men’s and Women’s champions in Mark Brodowicz, who won the National title in 1978 in East London, the year his brother Ant won the World Championship title at the same venue. Brian Jacobs, another born and bred Southern KZN surfer, took honours in 1983 and last year Gavin Roberts took honours wearing the colours of Southern KZN.

The only surfer to win the Men’s division two years in a row is Chris Knutsen of Central KZN, who went on to achieve a hat trick of titles in 1979, 1980 and 1981. In 1987 Knutsen won a fourth title and remains the only surfer in history to be the South African Open Men’s champion four times. He is competing again this year, in the Over 50, Grand Kahuna’s division.

In 1996 local hero Gary van Wieringen, who again turns out for Southern KZN, was runner up in the SA Championships while 2002 SA Champion Antonio Bortoletto will represent Central KZN in the Over 30 age group this year.

Surfers  who are certain to make an impression in the Open Men’s group this year are 18 year old Beyrick de Vries of Central KZN, team mate Chad du Toit, Southern Cape’s Llewellyn Whittaker, EP’s Ryan Payne and Bertie Stuurman, Matt Bromley of WP and Border’s Devyn Mattheys.

 However, the two names which really stand out are former ASP World Tour and former SA Champion Greg Emslie, who surfs for his beloved Border, and former World Junior Champion and ASP WQS surfer Warwick Wright, a former Central KZN surfer who will represent WP for the first time.

Southern KZN home grown products, Heather Clark, Kay Holt and Sarah Maritz have won a bunch of Women’s titles between them but of the three only Clark, the defending champion, will be competing this year.  Clark is still working her way back to full fitness after surviving a horrific car accident in October last year but her local knowledge, experience and determination must make her the favourite to successfully defend her crown.

Heather Clark’s main rivals are 2009 SA Under 18 Champion Alice Mc Gregor of Border, 2010 SA Junior team member Tanika Hoffman of Western Province and Stacey Guy of Southern Cape.

Teams will gather at the contest marquee at St Mikes at 7pm tonight for the Opening Function and the heats will run from Thursday May 27 to Sunday May 30. The heats and daily contest schedule is posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and updated heats and each day’s results will be posted on the same website after 8pm from May 27 onwards.

Surfing South Africa is recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association as the governing body for the sport in South Africa.

SSA is made up of eight provinces: Boland, Border, Eastern Province, Central  KwaZulu-Natal, Southern Cape, Southern KZN, Western Province and Zululand.

The South African Bodyboarding Association, the South African Longboarding Association and the South African Students Surfing Union are also affiliated to Surfing South Africa.

SSA sanctions the annual Pro Surf Tour, coordinates and runs National Surfing Championships, selects National teams and is responsible for the administration of the sport.

Surfing South Africa projects are supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

Compiled by:

Robin de Kock
General Manager, Surfing South Africa
All media enquiries to 0824541149 or surfingsouthafrica@gmail.com

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