Beach Bums restaurant, on KZN’s north coast, once again played host to the very popular Off The Lip Movember Surf Jam. The event, a collaborative effort between Quiksilver and Movember South Africa, saw surfers of all ages getting together to relive the glorious days of 70’s surf style to create awareness and raise funds for the Men’s Foundation as the licensees of the Movember campaign in South Africa. These funds will be used for a variety of men’s health programs and to promote healthy lifestyles and early cancer detection for men.
Short boardshorts, ‘steamy’ moustaches, retro surfboards and old school rock ’n roll tunes were the order of the day. Over 60 surfers took part in the surf event which had competitors riding original surfboards from the 70’s and 80’s era with traditional beach starts and six-man heats in play. The judging criteria was all about style and the surfers unique approach to every wave ridden. All proceeds on the day, through surfers’ participation and various raffles, were donated to the Men’s Foundation in South Africa for programs agreed to by the global Movember Foundation.
Fun, clean 2-3 feet surf conditions with light variable winds made for a great setting, a very festive crowd were treated to some classic and original surf manoeuvres by the competitors. Quiksilver’s Dane Patterson was overwhelmed with the support, “This event gains more momentum every year, it was so well supported by the surfers and the spectators alike. The surfing was insane to watch, especially the Legends, they were on fire! We’re happy to be able to support Movember through this event, men’s health issues are a reality and we enjoy being able to make a difference.”
Umhlanga’s Chris Leppan, a three time finalist at the event, managed to impress the judges the most with his stylish and flowing surfing to take out the open men’s division, beating a very polished performance by Lee Bisset (Morningside). “I am so stoked to finally win this event, it’s my favourite event, it’s not too serious and there is always a good vibe down here,” said Leppan at the prize giving after hoisting the event floating trophy. Other finalists who stood out on the day included Stanley Badger from Cape St Francis, Josh Redman (Durban North), Mikey Venter (Warner Beach) and Andrew Banks (Westbrook).
The Legends division, for surfers over fifty years of age, saw a hotly-contested final with 2015 winner JJ Jones going head to head with the ultimate style-master Grant Gilmore (Glenashley). Gilmore looked silky smooth in the clean conditions posting some high scores into the excellent range to win the title and a one year’s supply of beer courtesy of Flying Fish. Other finalists included Barry Campbell, Murray Niven (Glenashley), Paul Izzard (Glenashley) and Spider Murphy (Durban North).
There was a great representation in the ladies division. Christy Gilmore made it a clean sweep for the Gilmore family by narrowly edging out former World Championship surfer Heather Clark (Port Shepstone). Clark is a Mo Sista and a Movember ambassador and was inspired to surf the event due to her parents both being cancer survivors. Clark now spreads the word about how critical it is to go for regular check-ups. Other ladies who surfed well on the retro boards to make the final were Teal Hogg (Ballito), Lynne Mackey (Durban), Danielle Le Roux (Cape Town) and Brittany Gadd (Durban).
Specialty prizes were handed out for the following awards:
Best MO In Character/Best Dressed – Rob Whyte (La Mercy)
Toes On the Nose/Best Hang Five – JJ (North Beach)
Float The Boat/Best Floater – Shane Sykes (Salt Rock)
Spin To Win – Mikey Venter (Warner Beach)
Larry Layback – Lee Bisset (Morningside)
Red Bull Stand Out Surfer – Lee Bisset (Morningside)
Wave Waster/Worst Wipeout – Karl Liebenberg (Durban North)
Sponsors who helped make the event possible included Flying Fish, Beach Bums International, Red Bull, Nixon, Gunslinger, Island Style, Sea Dog and Zigzag Surfing Magazine.
For more information about Movember please visit www.movember.com.
*Featured Image By: Nick Ferreira / Surfer: Chris Leppan