Sunday August 12th – Local girl Zoe Steyn became the youngest female surfer in the 53 year history of the South African Surfing Championships to win the Open Women’s Division title when she dominated the final in 4 – 5 foot Nahoon Reef surf at the 2017 Mercedes–Benz SA Surfing Championships hosted by Buffalo City Municipality.
She was also named Surfer of the Contest and was awarded the trophy by last year’s award winner, Heather Clark.
It has been a special few weeks for the humble East London girl, who was selected to represent South Africa at the ISA World Surfing Games which take place in Japan in September. She will also represent South Africa at the ISA World Junior Championships in California at the end of October.
Runner up Heather Clark of Ugu Surfriders is an eight time Open Women’s Champion. She won her first South African Championship title at Nahoon Reef in 1989.
Tayla de Coning, Steyn’s Buffalo City teammate and fellow South African junior team member, came third while 2017 SA Champion Olivia Brand of eThekweni, was fourth.
Talented Jordy Maree, a late replacement in the Cape Town Surfriders team, celebrated his birthday on Saturday and won the South African Men’s Open Championship today when he posted a 17 out of 20 heat score to edge Chad du Toit of eThekweni Surfriders, into second place.
Maree joins the long list of surfers who have used a backhand attack to secure victory at Nahoon Reef. Last year’s champion, Brandon Benjamin, also of Cape Town Surfriders, used his backhand to become the 2017 champion.
Tyrell Johnson came third in the final with his young Buffalo City teammate Thomas Lindhorst, taking fourth.
In the Over 35 Men’s Division, Cape Town Surfrider’s team captain Neil Zietsman won his first ever National title when he beat Alan Johns of Ilembe Surfriders into second place. Tyrell Johnson of Buffalo City incurred a technical penalty which dropped him into third place ahead of his brother, Orrin.
The Over 30 SA Women’s title was won for the second year in a row by Heather Clark and for her consistent performances in this division and the Open Women’s group, she was awarded the Dave Fish Trophy by last year’s winner Greg Emslie.
Tasha Mentasti of Eden Surfriders was second, Michelle Van Kempen of Nelson Mandela Bay came third and Nicki Seligmann of Cape Town was fourth.
Greg Emslie successfully defended his Over 40 title, narrowly beating Gary Van Wieringen of Ugu Surfriders by one point. Emslie’s Buffalo City team mate, Tristan Johnson, was third and Warwick Heny of Nelson Mandela Bay, came fourth.
Another surfer who defended his title by the skin of his teeth was Wayne Monk of Buffalo City. Monk edged Ryan Ribbink of Buffalo City into the silver medal slot just seconds before the siren sounded. Ribbink’s eThekweni teammate, Warren Dixon, came third and the copper medal went to Tristan Johnson of Buffalo City.
Adding to Buffalo City’s list of successes at the 2018 Mercedes–Benz SA Championships hosted by Buffalo City, was a victory for Gareth Sepp in the Over 50 Division final over defending champion David Malherbe and his brother, Andre, who was third.
Sean Jerram of Cape Town had to settle for fourth place behind the three Buffalo City surfers.
Nahoon Reef local Nick Pike took more gold for Buffalo City when he won the Over 55 title ahead of Stephen Hair of Eden. Pike’s teammate Toby Mare won a bronze medal and Volker Mielck of Cape Town, won copper.
In the Over 60 Final, Jeremy Zinn of Cape Town Surfriders pulled out all the stops to beat defending champion Gordon Harmer of Buffalo City. Kelly Kellerman of eThekweni was third and Andre Venter of Nelson Mandela Bay came fourth.
All the winners won the coveted Surfing South Africa floating trophies, gold medals and R1000 in cash.
Buffalo City won the Masters Cup for the 13th year in a row, beating Cape Town Surfriders into second spot. Then came eThekweni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Eden,Ilembe and Ugu Surfriders.
The East London team retained the Presidents Cup for the highest scores in the Open Divisions. eThekweni came second, followed by Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay, Ugu, Ilembe, Eden and Cape Winelands.
The Champions Cup, which is presented to the Team that scores the highest combined points total, went to the dominant Buffalo City Team. eThekweni came second, Cape Town were third followed by Nelson Mandela Bay, Ugu, Ilembe Eden and Cape Winelands.
All the heat results, team results and photos from the six days of competition are posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za.
The 53rd edition of the South African Surfing Championships began on Tuesday at Nahoon Reef and ended at Nahoon Reef on the final day. Two of the five days of competition were held at Nahoon Corner courtesy of some huge storm surf that hit East London midweek.
Despite these challenges the 2018 Mercedes–Benz SA Surfing Championships hosted by Buffalo City and supported by Sport and Recreation SA, was a huge success. Over 150 surfers from eight Districts competed in the Championships, which were held in great surf over six days. The final two days of competition were streamed live on www.vodacom.co.za/viewplus
Feliciano Janneker, Manager External Affairs and Stakeholder Relations, was at Nahoon Reef to watch the finals and commented on the event. “At Mercedes–Benz South Africa it is important to embrace those things that bring us together. The passion for sport connects us and has brought us together with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) and Surfing South Africa in this very fitting partnership. We believe that sport is an embodiment of togetherness and positively contributes to social change. We are very proud of this partnership and we thank BCMM for bringing it to the city. Thank you to all the participants and the community at large for coming out in multitudes to support the event for the second year in a row. Congratulatory greetings to all the winners, we hope we see you again next year”
The 53rd South African Championships was presented by Surfing South Africa, the National Governing body for the sport in South Africa and hosted by Buffalo City Surfriders. Surfing South Africa is a member of the South African Sports Commission and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). Complete heat sheets and photos will be posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and on the Surfing SA Facebook page.
2018 South African Women’s Champion Zoe Steyn – photo Ian Thurtell
2018 South African Men’s Champion Jordy Maree – photo Ian Thurtell
Compiled by Robin de Kock
General Manager Surfing South Africa