Heather Clark

There were celebrations at St Mikes Sunday ( May 31) as Southern KZN team members Gavin Roberts and Heather Clark won the Men’s and Women’s titles respectively in perfect 3 – 6 foot surf and fine weather on the final day of the South Coast Tourism South African Surfing Championships.

Roberts beat 2007 SA Champion Devyn Mattheys of Border into second place with Dan Redman of KZN grabbing third ahead of 2009 Surfer of the Contest Ryan Payne of EP.
Clark successfully defended the title she won at Victoria Bay last year after fighting her way through the repercharge round early in this year’s event. Nikita Robb of Border was second, Tammy Lee Smith of KZN came third and Faye Zoetmulder of EP was fourth.

Shawn Dennis found form in the Under 20 Boys Final to beat fellow KZN surfer Kyle Lane into second place while 2009 Junior Surfer of the Year and Lotto Scholarship recipient Bertie Stuurman of EP came third. Underling KZN’s dominance in this division was Chris Leppan who was fourth.

Plucky Tarryn Chudleigh of Western Province showed her character when she ignored the pain of stitches to her face to add the Under 20 Girls title to the many South African Championship wins she has achieved over the last seven years.
Chudleigh’s board hit her in the face during her semi final and she had to be taken to hospital but she was back in time for her final and did Western Province proud.
Sarah Baum of KZN was second, Alice McGregor of Border came third and rookie Lauren Colberg of Boland was fourth.

KZN’s dominance in all four divisions secured them the Presidents Cup which they last won in 2005 while a determined performance by the Southern KZN team led by Gavin Roberts and Heather Clark gave them second place behind their neighbours from Durban.

Border were third only 396 points behind the hosts, last years champions Eastern Province, came fourth, Western Province were fifth and Boland came sixth.

The 2009 South African Surfing Championships were presented by Surfing South Africa, hosted by Southern KZN Surfing Association and sponsored by South Coast Tourism.

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Owen Wright wins the Chill Pro Junior at Trigg Point

Owen Wright (Lennox Head, NSW) today claimed his fourth consecutive ASP Australasia Pro Junior Title today, with a convincing victory at the Chill Pro Junior at Trigg Point, Western Australia.

The $6000 winner’s cheque means that Owen Wright has now won more prize money than any other surfer in the history of the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series.

At just 19 years of age, Wright now sits clearly on top of the ASP Australasia Pro Junior ratings, as well as holding down third place on the ASP World Qualifying Series ratings.

The best surf of the event was saved for the finals where clean two feet waves allowed for some true high performance surfing, with all finalists stepping up to the challenge.

Wright’s scores in the 30 minute final against Noah Lane (Rainbow Beach, QLD) reflect his total dominance of the three day event. He locked in a 9.50 ride in the opening minutes which set him up for the rest of the final. He went on to score a back up 8.90 to finish with a combined total of 18.40 from a possible twenty, the highest total for the entire event.

Wright’s razor sharp forehand attack was perfectly suited to the long lefthanders on offer, with his smooth style and trademark aerial manoeuvrers causing an eruption of applause from the crowds at Trigg Point. Wright was pushed by a determined Noah Lane who persisted with a counter-attack and scored a combined total of 16.50 from a possible twenty.

“I was stoked with the waves we had in the final, we couldn’t have asked for much more. I was a bit worried that the surf was going to be small, especially after three weeks of pumping waves in Bali, but it turned out to be a great final.” Said Wright who will return home to Lennox tonight for the first time in three months after a busy competition schedule.

In the women’s event, local girl Felicity Palmateer (Hillarys, WA) caused an upset to claim her first Pro Junior win. Palmateer defeated event favourite Laura Enever (Narrabeen, NSW) in the semi-finals and carried the momentum with her into the finals, where she defeated Angela Keighran (Mullaway, NSW). Palmateer nearly doubled the score of her rival in the finals, racking up a combined score of 14.25 out of a possible 20, Keighran didn’t look as comfortable at Palmateer’s home break, scoring a combined total of only 7.75.

After the great success of the 2009 Chill Pro Junior at Trigg Point major sponsor Brownes Chill have solidified their commitment to junior surfing in WA, supporting a range of events over the course of the next two years.

Surfing WA Event Manager Justin Majeks said, “It’s great to have Chill on board for a long-term partnership, the brand is a great fit with surfing and their support is much appreciated. It’s important for WA to have an ASP sanctioned Pro Junior event and we’re all looking forward to an even bigger and better Chill Pro Junior in 2010.”

Dave Richards

Testing conditions, solid overhead surf and crosshore winds made life difficult for competitors and officials alike on Day Two of the 2009 South Coast Tourism South African Surfing Championships at St Mikes but according to those in the know, the wind will switch overnight and the prediction is that the final two days of the tournament will deliver epic surf.

For some, Day Two was just too tough resulting in elimination from the event while others revelled in the condition and took the opportunity to show their skills in the 2 metre surf that wrapped around the St Mikes point.

Best surfer on the day was Dan Redman of KZN who posted a 9 point and a 9.25 ride ( maximum is 10 points per wave) in Round Two of the Men's division which gave him the highest heat score of the contest.

Redman and 2008 SA Championships finalist Ryan Payne of EP had both surprisingly slipped into the Repercharge Round on Day One but Redman came back with a bang and is through to Round Four as is Payne, who looked strong in the big surf.
Also through to Round Four are Redman's KZN teammates, Paul Canning, Michael Vawda and Wes O'Driscoll while Payne is joined by his brother and defending SA Champion Shaun and another EP surfer, Etienne Potgieter.

Dave Richards of WP also advanced to Round Four as did Stuart Fowles of Border, Shaun Botha of Boland and John Van Reenen of Southern KZN.

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