By Gregg Clarke
After a long run of longboard trials it all came down to the wire for a number of surfers who needed results in the final trial at Hullets this weekend. We once again scored amazing longboard waves, allowing great all round surfing. The sun was shining and there was hardly a breath of wind blowing- the perfect spectacle for such an important contest.
Firstly, it was great to see former SA champ Dylan Macleod back in the water- he was all smiles after a year and a half out of the water. The only thing blind about his surfing was watching his brother tow him out for his heat! Other than that, he was all style and flow that has seen him dominate EP longboarding for the past 10 years. Im sure if he could have got more waves, he could have knocked a few o’s!
Greg Smith has to be one of SA’s premier longboarders of all time, watching him smash his heat I kept on thinking how lucky the open division was that he wasn’t surfing in that division. The same goes for Ryan Anderson and Craig Cuff. These okes tear a longboard.
Mike Beck secured his spot in the EP team with a solid first place in his division. The legends division was once again won by John Macleod who has dominated this division this year. Both Drew Macdonald and Dave Macgregor had solid results with great surfing seeing them finish top of their division.
Cobbles Classic winner, Shannon Bolotin, rocked up on her single fin to win the ladies division with classic surfing. Hannah Bing had a couple of small insiders to give her second place. Magriet Wibblelink of Jbay, finished the trials off strong with a solid third. Michelle Hill (sooo pregnant right now!) had to sit and watch from the beach, knowing that the results could affect her spot in the team- with a sigh of relief, Michelle’s spot was still secure on the sound of the buzzer…
Dean Simpson won again….Matt Macleod came second again….Come on oke’s its getting old! Jono Hill got a much needed third to secure himself a spot in the team as well as Galad Smith who got a fourth (had to bail on the final to catch a lift back to Grahamstown). Galad was looking really tough to beat in his earlier rounds.
So ja, after a really competitive season of longboard surfing trials, it is all done and dusted with the EP longboard team 95% finalised. I must once again comment on how tough certain divisions were, with literally some of the countries top surfers missing out on a spot in the EP team. Im pretty sure EP are the favourites to win the SA champs this year, as we have the strongest team in years! For the guys and gals who just missed out, I am trying to find additional spots in the SC and KZN teams, so please keep and eye on Facebook. Also the EP Longboard Champs will be held later on in the year to launch your comebacks!
By Gregg Clarke
DNS = Did not surf