The 2023 Rolling Retro ushered in a return to the early days prior to Covid. Magnificent weather, fun to slightly heavy surf, a packed field of surfers and a crowded beach of spectators.
The new Team format was a great success, with stacked heats featuring surfers from around the Cape Peninsula. Some of the teams were sponsored by local companies, while others were just friends from surf areas around the Cape. With the Team format, there were no craft divisions or male and female, everyone surfed together and the teams were scored out of 50. Teams paddled out with surfboards, bodysurf handguns, kneeboards and bodyboards.
The waves were not for the faint hearted but amongst the rogue sets, there were some gems to be found. This combined with almost no wind the entire day, meant that surfers could lock into some diamonds from dawn to dusk. Some of the early stand outs in the morning heats were, Team Scarbarbarians (Manoah Robb especially and World Kneeboard Champ, Tom Gray), Team Pit Viper (Who were also an event sponsor) and local Lifeguard team, Murray owes a Naked Surf.
As the day progressed, the attendance increased and so did the cheers. You could hear the ‘ooh’ and ‘aahs’ loud and clear as surfers got pounded on the Llands sand bank.
After Ronud 1 it was, Team Bomax up against the hosts, Team Vudu in the first semifinal. The Bomax team was fully loaded with Dale Staples, Ryan Payne, former best surfers, Ike Forsythe and Josh Brodie, along with team captain, Dion Walters. Team Vudu came out blazing, with event organizer, Robby MacDonald getting 2 tubes, but the Bomax guys muscled their way into the finals.
In the second semifinal it was the young guns of, Team Jeets PM, loaded with top QS surfers, Luke Thompson, Luke Slijpen, Connor Slijpen, Eli Beukes and Noah Khan, the top qualifiers, dropping hammers in a hard-fought battle with the Scarbarbarians. The deep south surfers went down swinging, but the Jeets were too hot too handle.
By now the waves were heaving, the music was pumping and a real festival atmosphere had gripped the beach. The finals got under way and the waves kept on coming. Eli Beukes pulled into one of the craziest tubes of the day, eagerly egged on by the loud crowd, only to get clipped by the foam ball and go down hard (He would win best wipeout). The older gents of Team Bomax took a while to get going and they never really were able to catch up to the new guard, as the Jeets PM took the first ever Rolling Retro, team title.
A jovial prize giving ensued and this was followed by 3 hours of good music, with DJ Big D (Dion Walters) before the sun set on another fantastic Rolling Retro. The event once again proving to be one of South African surfings best days of the year!
Treat yourself to the Rolling Retro 2023 edit.