After seven busy days of competition in the 2015 Citroen SA Championships at Alkantstrand in Richards Bay eleven new South African Champions were crowned, the winners of the Presidents Cup and the Masters Cup were decided and the once off Celebration Shield was presented to the team that scored the most points across the divisions.
In a fitting end to a wonderful 50th Anniversary celebration, Women surfers dominated the Final day’s proceedings as all but two of the final heats surfed featured the female surfers in the event.
Boosting the fact that the final day of this once in a lifetime tournament was a first class performance by eThekweni surfer Nicole Pallet who posted a 9.94 ride in her U20 Final to secure the title and the accolade as Surfer of the Contest. Gina Smith of Nelson Mandela Bay was the runner up in this division with Chanelle Botha of Ugu winning the bronze medal and Jade Story of hosts uThungulu taking fourth place.
Tasha Mentasti of the Presidents Team gave a determined performance in the Over 30 Division to win her second South African title, beating local favourite and three time SA Champion Tamarys de Maroussem into second place by ,14 points. Heather Clark of Ugu was third and Bianca Bosman of Buffalo City came fourth.
South Africa’s most successful female surfer of all time, Heather Clark as she powered her way to an eighth National title in the Open Women’s Division beating national team member Faye Zoetmulder of Nelson Mandela Bay into second place while 2014 Under 20 champion Emma Smith of Nelson Mandela Bay took third. Tasha Mentasti came fourth,
Talented Davey Van Zyl of eThekweni became the 50th South African Open Men’s Champion with a fine performance in an exciting premier final. Simon Fish of Buffalo City took silver ahead of Craig Johnson of Cape Town and Chris Frolich of eThekweni.
South African junior team member Joshe Faulkner dominated the U20 Boys Final to secure the U20 Championship title and Nelson Mandela Bay’s only gold medal. Devin Whitehead of eThekwewni came second, Cape Town’s Brandon Benjamin was third and Ntando Msibi of eThekweni was fourth.
In one of the major upsets of the 2015 SA Championships Manfred Adrio, a late replacement in the eThekweni team, beat defending champion and current ISA World Masters Champion Greg Emslie of Buffalo City by ,70 points to win the Over 35 Men’s Title. Justin Maisch of Ugu took third and Llewellyn Whittaker of the Presidents Team was fourth.
Wayne Monk of Buffalo City, one of the outstanding surfers at this year’s championships, successfully defended his Over 40 Division title. Carl Roux of Ugu was second with Vince King of uThungulu third and Justin Emslie of Buffalo City fourth. Monk, Roux and King were all members of thec1992 South African team that competed in the ISA World Surfing Games in France.
After competing in 34 South African Championships without ever winning a gold medal rob Moore Boyle’s perseverance paid off on Sunday when he won the Over 45 title beating Andre Malherbe of Buffalo City into second place by less than a point. 2014 SA Champion in this division, Gareth Sepp of Buffalo City was third and Mike Burness of Ugu came fourth.
David Malherbe of Buffalo City, one of South Africa’s toughest and most determined competitors over two decades, won the Over 50 Division title by ,27 points in the last seconds of this final beating former ISA World Champion Marc Wright of eThekweni into second place in the last minute of the heat. Nick Pike of Buffalo City was third and Peter Lawson of the Presidents Team took fourth.
Four time SA Open champion, multiple national champion in other age divisions and four time ISA World Champion Chris Knutsen of eThekweni reclaimed his Over 55 crown in fine style at the weekend beating Judge Oliver of Ugu into second place, 1981 South African team captain Barry Campbell returned to competitive surfing after a long absence with a third place in this final while Hans Kamhoot of Cape Town was fourth.
Dave Fish of Buffalo City won the inaugural Over 60 Division title when he edged out Chris Morris of eThekweni in the final moments of this final. Mush Hide of Nelson Mandela Bay took bronze and local favourite Ray Harris of uThungulu was fourth.
The Over 30 Women to Over 60 Men’s Divisions compete for the Masters Cup which was won for the ninth year in a row by Buffalo City with 29982 points. eThekweni (27318) were second, Ugu (26732) were third uThungulu (25304) took fourth place, Nelson Mandela Bay (20630) were fifth, Cape Town were sixth (19895) and the Presidents team (11652) were seventh,
The Presidents Cup winners were decided from the combined points in the U20 and Open Divisions. This year eThekweini won the Presidents Cup with 24668 points. Nelson Mandela Bay were second (21300), Buffalo City third (20660),Ugu fourth (20090)m Cape Town fifth (197600m uThungulu sixth (16596) and the Presidents Team seventh (10136).
When the points for all eleven divisions were tallied the once off Celebration Shield was won by the powerful eThekweni Team followed by Buffalo City,Ugu,Nelson Mandela Bay, uThungulu, Cape Town and the Presidents Team.
The 50th South African Surfing Championships were sponsored by Citroen SA and supported by Sport and Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Reef Wetsuits, Zigzag, the Zululand Observer, the uMhlatuze Community Tourism Organisation, the City of uMhlatuze and Monster Energy.
Heats,contest schedule and photos for the 2016 Citroën SA National Championships are on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za