Sacha Specker

Central Kwa-Zulu Natal raise the "Fishman Trophy" yet again as Western Province bodyboarder, Sacha Specker, makes history by claiming both the Pro and Drop Knee titles in spectacular fashion at the Reef SA Bodyboarding Championships.

Some are saying that the final day should be forever known as the "Sacha Specker Show" (try say that fast 10 times). One of the cleanest, calmest mornings greeted the competitors on the final morning of the Reef SA Championships 2009, but it didn't remain serene for long because Champions needed to be crowned it and was down to the business of all-out aquatic warfare.

Sacha Specker (WP), started the Drop Knee final, one of the craziest finals I have ever seen, like a man possessed blasting a huge floater off a big closeout section forcing the other competitors to play catch up from the start. Warren Canepa (EP) sat slightly further down the beach and waited for the clean right handers, unfortunately he couldn't find the waves to match Sacha and placed fourth overall. Wayne Du Preez (CKZN) had consistent rides throughout the final getting longer rides that edged up his scores. Vaughn Harris (BOL) had a smooth fast racing barrel section with a big forehand floater off the end section that put pressure back on Sacha.

Sacha responded with what must be said was the DK move of the contest! He took off on a bigger set wave, raced down into the inside bowl and blasted... uumm, I'm not sure what to call it... a huge sliding 180 gouge floater thing! The crowd on the beach couldn't believe what they had witnessed and applauded Sacha's efforts. Sacha was met on the beach by his Western Province team and congratulated him on his amazing win. Vaughn Harris placed second, Wayne Du Preez third and Warren Canepa fourth.

The Pro final consisted of Sacha Specker (WP), Mark McCarthy (NKZN), Adam Waites (CKZN) and Jonathan Oliff (CKZN). Sacha Specker wasted no time and took off on a clean left hander almost on the siren and boosted a huge ARS that the crowd went wild on. Adam Waites used his consistent technique of choosing good waves to roll and flip on. McCarthy struck back by busting a rib cracking ARS on a big closeout. Jonathan Oliff quietly snuck into contention with a neat barrel and a solid flip. Sacha wasn't going to be left out and believed that this year's title was his for the taking. His plan must have been to go bigger and better than everyone else in the contest and launched a massive backflip into the flats! Once again the crowds on the beach couldn't believe what just happened. Sacha could do no wrong in the final and walked away the Reef SA Champs Pro Champion for 2009. Jonathan Oliff, Mark McCarthy and Adam Waites filled the remaining podium placings.

The Junior final was one of the closest heats of the entire contest with some of the biggest moves being laid down. Adam Waites (CKZN), made sure he sat slightly wider and waited for the good sections to get good solid rolls off. Storm Prestwich (SKZN), had good wave selection with a big ARS and roll. 2008 SA Junior Champ, David Lilienfeld (WP), waited till the end of the heat to get one of the highest scoring waves of the heat, blasting a huge invert off a heavy closeout section, but it was the ever consistent Boland rider, Marc Webster, who smacked a crazy tweaked invert and a huge flip to win the Reef SA Junior title for 2009. Lilienfeld placed second with Waites and Prestwich in third and fourth respectively.

The all out KZN Men's final was a fast affair. Jeffrey Davies (CKZN) started the heat surfing with clean lines and busting big clean rolls backed up with a smooth cutback reverse off the end section. Jaryd van Daalen (SKZN) linked two rolls on one wave to stay in contention. Rayner Venter linked good roll-spin and roll combos together but it was fellow Southern KwaZulu Natal team rider Wayne Beekman (SKZN) who fought back with a big roll and a well ridden barrel to take gold. Rayner Venter, Jeffrey Davies and Jaryd van Daalen placed second, third and fourth respectively.

Robbie Waites (CKZN) got two nice waves in his Boys final. He rolled the first and backed it up with another clean roll. Sebastian Koopmans (WP) got a small barrel and ARS'd out. He unfortunately got held up a bit in landing the ARS. Jason Fowler (WP) used the same strategy he had used in previous heats, riding some of the heaviest waves and hitting the lip in crazy critical sections and landing some huge rolls earning him high scores. Steven Du Preez (CKZN) rode the final like a professional and mixed his waves up with different moves, landing huge rolls and inverts. Steven walked away the Boys Champion with Jason Fowler in second, Koopmans third and Waites fourth.

The Ladies final consisted of Janneke De Kock (WP), Lize Mari Ras (CKZN), Jocelyn Norton (SKZN), Suzie Vester (NKZN). Lize Marie Ras started off with a couple clean spins close to the pocket. Janneke De Kock had nice combo maneuvers, but struggled to find a good back up wave. It was Suzie Vester who used her experience to get the waves she needed to get the high scores. Vester walked away the winner with Ras claiming second, De Kock in third and Norton getting fourth.

Some crazy riding went down in the Masters final. The waves turned on and sections, and barrels, were the order for the heat. Robert Scott (WP), decided to use the inside smaller waves to link rolls and spins together. Mike Van Huyssteen (CKZN) got nicely executed rolls to keep the score tight between the finalists. Martin Otto (SKZN), also used the pocket of the wave to roll cleanly out of getting good scores but it was Gustav Botha who used his knowledge he has gained over the years on the west coast to wait for some of the best waves we had seen the whole contest. His first wave was a big roll out of the pocket, landing in the barrel then rolling out of the barrel again scoring him a 9.0 point ride. He wasn't done yet. He patiently waited for his "backup" wave. With two minutes left in the heat he stroked into a set wave raced through a deep dark foamy barrel and air rolled out! 10's all round by the judges! Botha took the win with ease with Martin Otto claiming second place. Mike Van Huyssteen and Robert Scott finished third and fourth respectively.

This year the Ivan Friedman Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship went to, Keith Millward, from Boland for showing great spirit and sportsmanship throughout the event. Terence Pieters (SKZN) was runner up for going out of his way helping someone who wasn't even part the event.

The Top Judge Award was won by Marc Rossouw (CKZN), second was Simon Heale (WP) and Bernard Hoogendijk (BOL), took third.

The move of the contest was awarded to Vaughn Harris (BOL), for the huge backflip he landed in the difficult bodyboarding conditions at Elands Bay.

The Kumba Iron Ore development clinic went off without a hitch and was a huge success in the development of new riders in the Lamberts Bay area. One rider that took a natural knack to bodyboarding and showed great enthusiasm was Izaan Adams. He won the Development Prize at this year's SA Champs.

The Central Kwa-Zulu Natal team took top honours by winning the overall team event trophy, named the Fishermans Trophy, which is awarded to the team with the highest overall score. Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal placed second with Western Province finishing third overall. Official results are as follows.

1. Central Kwa-Zulu Natal 19130
2. Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal 18586
3. Western Province 16909
4. Boland 14561
5. Eastern Province 12478
6. Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal 9910

Everyone will agree that this year's Reef South African Champs was one of the best and most organised SA's ever. Boland Bodyboarding Association was a great hosting province and the team put a lot of hard work into planning and making the event possible.


SOURCE: SABA