South African National Surfing Championships

by Pierre 3. June 2010 10:51

IMAGE: Greg Emslie

What an awesome week of surfing it has been with the South African National Surfing Championships taking place in St Mikes on the South Coast of KZN.

It feels great to be the SA Champ again I won’t lie, but the most awesome thing for me this week was to be a part of the winning Border team. I can honestly say the guys went there a little over confident with a very strong team, then injuries and a few early losses started to cost us. Team spirits, sticking together and helping each other out to the end is what won Border the Presidents Cup.

You are only as strong as your weakest link in a team event, and when your weakest links have lost, and are still at the beach running around helping the other team members is when you get a winning combination.
Events like the South African Surfing Championships are vital to growing the grassroots of South African surfing. It is really inspiring for me to see so many old faces still in the water and ripping! Guys like Chris Knutsen, Dave and Andre Malherbe, and Leonard Giles - who has had a hip replacement - are focused and doing it for their teams and surfing better than ever, this really is true spirit and the young kids look up to these guys and want to be like them!

This is why I say the SA champs are so important, starting from your local trials, when the youth see guys like myself, Shane Thorne, Beyrick de Vries, Chad du Toit, Devyn Matheys, Ant Botoletto, Wayne Monk and others, they also want to join in and be a part of the action!
Then you get Graham Hynes. What an all time legend! Graham was the coach for EP, however, a bunch of surfers from other provinces, including myself, would go to him for advice. He has got so much experience and knowledge to give, a true asset to South African surfing and a legend in everybody’s eyes!
Well done to Surfing South Africa and Southern KZN for all the hard work they put in to make this such a success. Well done to all the teams for putting on a great display of surfing and making it one of the most closely fought SA Champs ever. Between Border, KZN and Southern KZN, it went down to the wire and it was fought out in good spirit!
Your New South African champions are: Open men: Greg Emslie, Open women: Heather Clark, Senior men: Ben Roberts, Masters: Shane Thorn, Grand masters: Andre Malherbe, Kahunas: Dave Malherbe, Grand Kahunas: Chris Knutsen, Veterans: Leonard Giles. Presidents Cup: Border.
There is a break in the action on the World Surfing Tour and the next event will be the 6 Star Sri Lankan Airlines Pro from the June 18-24 in Sri Lanka.
Entry’s for the Mr Price Pro Ballito close on June 8, so make sure you get your entries in, you don’t want to miss this one, its going to go ballistic!
Greg Emslie


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