8 August, 2015 8 August, 2015

Elimination Rounds Begin at Citroen SA Surfing Champs

It was a day of highs and lows on day five of the Citroen SA Surfing Champs in Richards Bay. While the leftover swell which graced Day 4 made for a decent start earlier on in the morning, providing an abundance of waves for the best Masters surfers in the country, a stiff onshore soon made things very tricky. Zag caught up with some of the gents on the beach to get their thoughts on the event thus far.

wayne monk - dave s
Wayne Monk bringing down the hammer while conditions were still decent.

ALLAN JOHNS – Today I surfed the quarter finals of the Over 35’s, conditions were nice in the morning with a couple good peaks then the onshore just smashed it, it’s like gale force out there so I was lucky to get through my heat because it was tough. The stand outs are the usual suspects, in our division it’s been Greg Emslie and Llewellan Whittaker as well. Lu is like my nemesis, I come up against him and he just thrashes it every year.

allan johns
Allan Johns did well to advance through his over 35’s quarter final.

WARREN WAREING – The contest has been going really good, at first the waves were kinda tiny but yesterday we had some good ones it was about 3-4 foot and offshore. I surfed in the 55-60 year-old division yesterday and was stoked to make it through and win my heat. Today started out fairly similar to yesterday but it’s just got trickier and trickier as the onshore’s picked up, but hey we’ve all got to surf in the same conditions. Standouts today for me were Justin Maisch who nearly pipped Greg Emslie earlier on, then also Peter “The Hood” Lawson as well as Mike Burness who was surfing the age group below him and just whipping it and winning every heat with his trade mark one O’ clock re-entry’s.

greg emslie - dave s
Greg Emslie pipping Justin Maisch to the win in their Over 35’s quarter final.

JUSTIN MAISCH – I was surfing in the Over 35 divisions, I surfed my quarter final heat today and made it through, skimmed a second so tomorrow I’m in the semi finals. Greg’s the top guy in our division so it was interesting coming up against him earlier, he nearly lost it during the first half but managed to come back strong and it was touch and go the whole heat, but it was good fun. Today was contestable, with one or two waves to ride at least but it’s the luck of the draw hey, you need to be in the right place at the right time. As far as the teams go Border’s been looking really good, and individually the ballies are all ripping.

Justin Maisch
Justin Maisch gave Greg Emslie a good run for his money in their quarter final match up.

ROBIN DE KOCK – It’s a big event and a long event, so you get a range of conditions which is what we expected. We would have liked to have perfect offshore six foot everyday but you always run the risk of having a mix of conditions, smaller and bigger surf during a long contest like this. Yesterday it was really good and the guys enjoyed it so we had a long day with 27 heats being surfed. Other than that I think the whole setup of the event is wonderful and it’s particularly nice to have it in Richards Bay for the first time, we’re anticipating a really big crowd this weekend so that’s going to be good.

Lu Whittaker 2 - dave s
Allan Johns’ nemmesis, Llewellyn Whittaker cracks the lip.

PETER LAWSON – I was surfing for the Presidents side in the Over 50 division. Today I surfed Round 3 which I won, moving me into the semi finals. So far the comp’s been really good, the conditions have been testing with a lot of close outs so wave selection has been really important. Executing one or two big manoeuvres is what’s determining whether or not you get a first or second which is sufficient to get you through to the next round. As we progress guys are going to have to be more clinical on wave selection because the standard of surfing just improves all the time as you get closer toward the finals. But overall the events been really well supported by the different provinces, the sponsors have also really put in a massive effort and I think the combination of more of the age groups together has really worked for the first time in attracting bigger sponsors, which I think we need at the SA champs now.

Read the official press release from Day 4 of the 2015 Citroen SA Surfing Champs below. You can also follow the action on surfingsouthafrica.co.zaTwitter and Facebook to keep updated.


The good, the bad and the ugly
by John Cawood

Day 5 of Citroën SA Surfing Champs started out well with an offshore, North-West wind and some decent left over swell from the previous day. It was good, with an abundance of waves on offer to the best Masters surfers in the country. It was elimination time, no more second chances and the frustration of those getting knocked out of the event proved too much for some, the bad!

The ugly? The North-East got up to full strength today, a common occurrence for August in Richards Bay. It got stronger and stronger from lunch time that it eventually blew all the photographers away and forced the contest to be put on hold until tomorrow just 2 heats shy of the programme.

Standout of the day was unanimously Wayne Monk in the O/40 Division from Border who won both his heats today in style and was also awarded the daily Freedom Surf highest wave score award.

Tomorrow, Day 6, will see O/55 Round 3 action before the start of the semi-finals and finals in all divisions. The organisers are hoping for a feast of surfing action and entertainment for the supporters and spectators with activities for kids as well as a beauty pageant adding to the festivities.

The Citroën SA Surfing Champs is supported by Sport and Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Reef Wetsuits. Zigzag, the  Zululand Observer, the uMhlatuze Community Tourism Organisation, the City of uMhlatuze and Monster Energy. The week long event, being held at Alkantstrand Beach, Richards Bay, will conclude on Sunday 9 August.

Heats, contest schedule and photos for the event are updated each day websites and social media. Follow us on social media at #sasurfingchamps #citroensa #c4cactus #citroenrb for results and images as they happen at facebook.com/zulusurfriders andtwitter.com/zulusurfriders. The event partner websites for more info and articles are www.zulusurfriders.co.za,www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za or www.zululandobserver.co.za


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