Tammy Lee Smith 

Surfing South Africa will position three Shark Shield devices attached to buoys at the backline of Nahoon Reef in East London throughout the 2009 Mr Price SA Open of Surfing which takes place this Saturday & Sunday.

Over 50 of South Africa’s top professional surfers will be in action in the sixth edition of this Surfing South Africa PST event.

Local Lifeguards will replace the Shark Shield batteries every four hours which means that the electronic force field produced by these devices will be in place during every heat.

While beach breaks are not the most appropriate surf spots for the Shark Shields, protected reef breaks such as Nahoon and point breaks such as St Mikes on the KZN South Coast and Mossel Bay are ideal.

The Shark Shield devices are being used as an extra precaution and not because there is any threat of shark activity during the SA Open.


Glenn Hall 

It was a short nonetheless intense day of action with the Quarterfinals of the ASP WQS 5-Star Movistar Pantin Classic taking place in good quality three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves. The number of title contenders went from eight to four today, the best men of the day securing their berth into the Semifinals of the 22nd edition which will run tomorrow afternoon before the champion is crowned in front expected massive crowds.

After setting pace with a clear advantage throughout Day 3 of competition Thursday, defending champion Willian Cardoso (BRA) was once again unstoppable posting the day’s best result to send solid surfer Dion Atkinson (New South Wales, AUS) packing. Finding a couple of clean right-handers to express his vertical forehand style, Cardoso metted a couple of high eight pointers to post the event’s best score, 17.10 points (out of a possible 20).

“I paddled out there with a game plan as yesterday, thinking the lefts would be more consistent and offer more wall,” Cardoso said. “Once out there, things changed fast and I was pretty stoked to get those two rides almost consecutively and get to relax early in the heat. It seems like things keep going well for me and to be in the Semifinals a second time in two years is really great.”

Cardoso, ranked No. 18 before his Movistar Pantin Classic run, is already guaranteed to better his overall ratings’ points total with his Semifinal run but will be a favorite towards a possible second consecutive title at Pantin when he paddles out in Semifinal No. 2 against consistent surfer Glenn Hall (IRL).


Earth Wave 

A flood of enquiries about participation in the attempt to break the Guinness World Record (GWR) for the ‘most surfers riding the same wave’ have been received from Cape Town surfers for the event that will be held at Muizenberg on 4 October as part of the Earthwave global surfing and sustainable lifestyle festival.

“We’ve received dozens of enquiries about the Guinness World Record attempt at Earthwave next month,” says Paul Botha of Kahuna Promotions, the founders of Earthwave. “After raising the record from 44 to 73 at Muizenberg in 2006, the Cape Town surfing community is amping to break the current record of 100 surfers on the same wave set at Earthwave Brazil last year.”

The world record attempt is the highlight of the Earthwave global environmental initiative which has been expanded to a two-day beach festival on the weekend of 3 & 4 October. The 2009 event includes a longboard surfing event; demonstrations in the fast growing Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) discipline that will culminate in the Coreban Expression Session featuring some of the country’s top exponents; free surfing lessons provided by the surf schools in the area with classes specifically for women conducted by the Roxy Surf School and a host of other fun beach activities for people of all ages.

Tens of thousands of Rands worth of prizes and give-aways have already been donated including a Natural Curve longboard shaped by Durban based SA champion Hugh Thompson along with surfing equipment and accessories from such famous brands as Billabong , Xcel, Palmers, Derevko and New Balance which will be used for Dig for Gold, raffles and other fund-raising competitions.

As usual the business community of the Deep South is heavily involved in promoting their products and services at Earthwave with early adopter David Jones from the Empire Café in Muizenberg challenging all other restaurants in the area to equal or better his donation of R250 cash and a meal voucher for R250.

Environmental initiatives at Earthwave range from providing clearly demarcated bins for recycling of paper, plastic, glass and other refuse to reducing paper usage by handling the entries and prized certificates for participating in the GWR digitally. Negotiations are in progress with Metrorail to allow all train passengers travelling to Muizenberg with surfboards to ride free of charge on the weekend while carpooling will be encouraged to further reduce the carbon footprint of the event.