The final day at the 2014 Cool Shoe SA Masters was Epic. Surfers were greeted with 4-5 ft clean conditions and definitely the best waves of the competition.
At the start of the day EP still had 7 surfers left in the draw and were looking good for a historical best showing at SA's. By lunch time and in the Semi's EP still had Dave Lippy, Wayne Klerk, Kelvin Zehmke, Andre Venter, Michelle Holmes and Clint Fraser.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the day was the Grand Kahuna semi-final where Andre "almost 10 point" Venter dropped into one of the sets of the day, deep on the peak bottom turned to carve off the top and straight into the barrel on a solid 6 footer that had the entire beach screaming. He rode for more than 15 metres before getting clipped just before wave imitated backdoor with a spit that more than likely would've knocked most surfers off their board. The entire beach was going mental and on advice from the head judge the commentator said that if he had made it, it would have been the only 10 point ride of the contest.....
The camaraderie of this years EP team was awesome and showed in the results where we ended up with a solid 3rd place, agonizingly close to 2nd place Zululand and winners Border.
Individual results were excellent with the ever red hot Kelvin Zehmke claiming his second 4th place in a row in the Senior Mens, Clinton Fraser proving he can compete with the very best to claim EP's top result with a 2nd in the prestigious Masters division (only bested by ex World Tour campaigner Greg Emslie), Andre Venter claiming a well deserved 4th in the Grand Kahuna's and lady stand-in Michelle Holmes braving the big surf to claim 5th place for the ladies and the EP bravery award for her heroic efforts in gaining us invaluable team points.
Thanks must go to EP surfing and Andre Venter for the support and management for the team this year and all competitors who were part of this great team. The EP Masters are on the rise and next year hope to improve yet again.
By Martin Hartslief
(see below for official media release and results)
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
The 2014 Cool Shoe South African Masters Surfing Championships was completed at Nahoon Reef in East London on Saturday with the Border team dominating proceedings in their home surf, clinching their eighth successive provincial team title along with four of the seven individual titles on offer.
Competing in excellent one to two metre waves with stiff offshore winds, Border had representatives in the final of every division and accumulated 39 764 points to retain the Masters Cup. Zululand surprised their counterparts by finishing runners-up in the team standings ahead of Eastern Province, Western Province, KwaZulu-Natal Central, Southern Cape and Southern KwaZulu-Natal.
Devyn Mattheys (Bor) excelled in the final of the Senior Men (Over 30 years), selecting the best waves on offer and posting a heat total of 15.50 out of 20 and leaving teammate Tyrell Johnson needing a near-perfect 9.0 point ride for victory. Alan Johns (Zulu) picked up third place with Kelvin Zehmke (EP) in fourth.
Reigning World Masters Champion and defending SA Masters champ Greg Emslie (Bor) was in a class of his own in the Masters (O35) final, finishing nearly five points ahead of runner-up Clinton Fraser (EP). Stuart Fowles (Bor) and Andrew Banks (Zulu) claimed third and fourth respectively.
Gary van Wieringen (SKZN) fought a see-saw battle with Wayne Monk (Bor) in the Grandmasters (O40) before securing the crown with Kevin O’Brien (Bor) and Vince King (Zulu) collecting the minor positions.
The Kahunas (O45) division saw Gareth Sepp capture another title for hosts Border as he comprehensively outscored Rob Moore-Boyle (KZNC), David Malherbe (Bor) and Mark Wooten (KZNC), who finished in that order.
Fred le Roux claimed the Grandkahunas (O50) title for Zululand with a dominant display. Nick Pike (Bor) grabbed second place and Arthur Cowan (KZNC) narrowly outpointing Andre Venter for third.
Border’s Brian Heathcote produced the upset of the day when he finished just 0.50 of a point ahead of four-time World Masters Champion Chris Knutsen (KZNC) with Gordon Harmer (Bor) in third and Hand Kamhoot, the only male finalist from last year’s runners-up Western Province, finishing fourth.
The peerless Heather Clark, a two-time Women’s World Masters Champion and multiple South African titlist, showed her ongoing dominance by recording a heat total of 16.50 points, the highest in any of the finals, to earn the Women’s title. Tasha Mentasti (SC) took the runner-up spot with Nicky Hare (Bor) and Carolyn Dent (WP) in equal third and Michelle Holmes (EP) fifth
The 2015 Cool Shoe SA Masters Surfing Championships will be run in Richards Bay and will be the first national event hosted by Zululand Surfing Association.