King Of The Bay 2019

In the weeks’ build-up to the auspicious annual race through the Durban Harbour, paddlers had a keen eye on the weather and wind predictions. Initially, the reports were not looking too great and the thought of a long slog was certainly starting to become a reality. As race day arrived the weather was perfect and a window had appeared allowing paddlers to make a break and hopefully be unscathed by an ominous on shore wind set to arrive mid-morning.

The SUP field was 18 strong across the divisions including two prone borders for the very first time! Race favourites Dylan Frick and Charlotte Atherton were setting their sights on the top honours for the day. A stacked line up in the juniorette’s field had last years SA Junior Karisa Grace setting out to defend her title, with Durban’s Jess Rankin and Cape Towns’ Chiara Vorster both eager to get to the top of the podium.

The Legends Field had a new ‘young gun’ arrival Shayne Chipps’ relatively fresh from a few races on the European Circuit – definitely stirring some rivalry amongst the competitive Legend field.

At approximately 09:15 racers were under starting orders, lined up, set and ready to go. Paddlers were to head across the Durban Harbour and make their way out the channel entrance, banking left and heading to the final turn buoy before hitting the beach at Marine Surf Life Saving Club. Frick made his trademark dash at the start line, followed closely by Klos, Park-Ross and Swemmer whilst, not so far behind Atherton and Vorster were well on their way in the women’s field.

Paddlers negotiated their way through the port channels’ whilst on the look-out for dead spots and shallow sand banks waiting to swallow up boards. On approaching the main channel crossing, edging closer to the entrance the onshore wind started to loom with a gentle chop on the water and a steady headwind. In the women’s field Atherton had pulled away from Vorster with De Billot and Williamson in tow whilst Frick had widened the gap from second place, with Swemmer slightly edging off from Klos with Park-Ross in pursuit.

The timerkeepers’ clock was approaching the hour mark and the gentle breeze had now strengthened to a steady headwind and paddlers were making the final slog out the Harbour entrance. Wind swell was up and the chop was up with it! Frick hit the beach in first place with a comfortable lead. Swemmer was knocked of his board by a surfski paddler and Klos managed to get caught up in the aftermath. Second place went to Swemmer and Klos securing his third place after a good swim. Atherton had mustered a 3 minute lead on Vorster and maintained to the finsh line to secure the win with Vorster in second and De Billot taking 3rd. The juniorettes’ field was trumped by Grace, with Rankin in second and Vorster in 3rd. Well done to these girls for the amazing accomplishment. The Legends field was grabbed by Chipps with Ivins in second and Oets taking third. The prone divisions were won by the brother sister team – ‘Team Buncombe’. Special mention must be made to Murray James and Shelly Naylor, both new to the Long Distance SUP scene making an incredible display of perseverance and tenacity to get to the finish line after a real tough morning facing harsh winds and ship movements in the port.

A big thanks to Bay Union / King of the Bay organizers for allowing the Stand Up Paddle and Prone Borders to participate in this iconic race and SUP Durbs! Committee for assisting on the SUP admin side of things.

Make sure you check out more photos on Facebook, here. Next race coming up is Zinkwazi on 10 August. Make sure you do not miss out on this one! 

SA SUP Champs 2019 News & Results

Do you know what my favourite part of the SA Sup Waveriding Champs was?


You might think it was the free coffees we got from Xpression on the Beach. Maybe you think it was the opportunity to surf right down in the corner without weekend crowds? Or maybe you think I had the chance to be so very cold I could stretch my new Techno Butter wettie to the limit of its capacity? 

While all of the above were epic, none were my absolute favourite part.

Nope, my favourite part was the vibe. And, just like it takes an array of elements, (wind, groundswell, reefs and sandbanks) to create a perfect wave, so an array of elements created the good vibes at the SA SUP champs.

 Over fifty Stand up paddlers from all over South Africa (Including a crew who made the trip from East London, btw. And I am from PE, so I know what it is to make the journey out of the Eastern Cape. Second only to Marco Polo’s travels.) Stand Up Paddlers of all abilities and backgrounds converged at Muizenberg and celebrated 100 Years of Surfing in style.

 The top shredders in the Open Division set the bar high on the first day. It was onshore but there was a bit of swell, and the waves held up enough for the competitors to showcase their skills. Tarryn King, Penny Stemmett, Khara Doyle, Tammy Foster, Chelsea van Rooyen and Evette Terblanche powered their way straight through to the semi’s. In the men’s division, Capetonians Tom King, Matt Maxwell and Dylan Frick got the job done in the waves, as they usually do, but East London came knocking in the form of Jethro Johnson. His powerful surfing and variety of manoeuvres put pressure on the Cape Town contingent.

 Let’s not forget about the GOAT of Sup surfing either. The Gary of All Time may be over sixty years old but he knows how to drop a nine-point ride. Gary Van Rooyen was on fire in the Men’s Open and Legend division and clocked in with a 9.43 in his opening heat in the Legend’s division. Despite a tight race against the flair and experience of Dave Maxwell, Gary finished up first in the Legend’s division.

 On Day Two, the first-ever Foil final of the SA SUP champs was held in perfect two to three-foot offshore Muizenberg. Tammy Foster flew the flag for the women, and Thomas King took it home for the men.

 Elleni Smyth, Sue Maxwell, Dominique Venter and I were blessed with a glass off in our Divas final. The wind dropped, and a few beautiful sets rolled in, giving us the best of Surfer’s Corner: the opportunity for long, smooth rides with relatively short paddle outs.

 The Social Men’s division brimmed with energy and stoke with guys from around the country throwing themselves at each heat. Up and coming Muizenberg local, Sinda Takatana gave it his best shot, but the winner was West Coast frother, Mike Foster. He joined his wife, Tammy (first in foil and second in Open Women) in the medals.

 The Hawaiian word for family is Ohana, and it is no coincidence that a SUP shape has been named for it. The Ohana spirit was strong at the SUP champs. The heats were overflowing with family connections: Mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, fathers and sons, sisters, friends, partners and more. It was wonderful to see the support and love on the beach and in the water, and to feel the stoke among the families. Whether they were surfing alongside each other, wielding a camera, sharing encouragement or bringing the coffee, family and friends were never far.

 A strong surge of SUP surfing is coming up from the Junior divisions in the form of Chiara Vorster, Miggie Terblanche, Adam Lawrence, Keena Thomson and Cameron Tripney. There were a lot of proud parents on the beach. Cameron Tripney, as always supported by his father, Steve, won the Junior Boys division.

 Erstwhile SA team rider, Khara Doyle, stylishly surfed her way to a stacked semifinal against Tammy Foster and Tarryn King, in the Open Women, while her husband Jarred surfed in the Social Men. But it was Khara’s family, her mom, Natalie Thomson and her sister, Keena Thomson who won the Social Women and the Junior Girls, respectively.

 Stand up paddling in South Africa continues ahead of the field in gender equity. There was, as usual, no restriction on entrants in the women’s division compared with the men, or disparity in prize allocation. The high number of entrants in the Divas and the Social Women is a sure sign that SUP in South Africa continues to empower and uplift women. Many women have, due to historical gender roles and disparity, not had the opportunity to learn to surf or SUP while they were young, so the nerves and fear can be intense. But with the structure of events like SA SUP Champs, and with friends, family members or World Champ Tarryn King there to help prepare them and paddle out with them, many women have been able to step out of their comfort zone and grow as SUP surfers.

 The Ohana board might now be rare, but the spirit of Ohana is not, and all the more so at SA Champs. It’s not just a contest. It’s a community.

 – Missy Volker

For more photos, check out Facebook, here.

The Full Results:
Xpression on the Beach | Surfers Corner Apparel SA Wave Riding SUP Champs

Legends 45+
1. Gary van Rooyen
2. Dave Maxwell
3. Francois Frick
4. Mike X

1. Missy Volker
2. Elleni Smyth
3. Sue Maxwell
4. Dominique Venter

Social Men
1. Mike Foster
2. Sinda Takatana
3. Cameron van Niekerk
4. Joshua Coetzee

Social Women
1. Natalie Thomson
2. Chiara Vorster
3. Sune Hutchinson
4. Lizanie Teron
5. Gabi Nordgaard


Open Men
1. Dylan Frick
2. Thomas King
3. Matt Maxwell
4. Jethro Johnson

Open Women
1. Tarryn King
2. Tammy Foster
3. Penny Stemmet
4. Chelsea van Rooyen

Junior Boys
1. Cameron Tripney
2. Miggie Terblanche
3. Adam Lawrence

Junior Girls
1. Keena Thomson
2. Chiara Vorster

Foil – Men
1. Thomas King
2. Mike Oxley
3. Henco Scholts
4. Pete Petersen
5. Dave Maxwell

Foil – Women
1. Tammy Foster