- 28 May 2009 | Surfing
St Mikes, the power point break on the Southern KZN coast will host the 2009 South Coast Tourism South African Surfing Championships, which gets under way this Thursday (May 28) and ends on Sunday (May 31).
Over 100 surfers representing six provincial teams will be action in four different divisions for Men and Women and they will be competing in South Africa's longest running event.
All the participating surfers have been selected for their provincial teams after competing in rigorous trials and will not only be focused on achieving individual glory in one of the four divisions but will also be surfing for team honours and the winning of the 40 year old Presidents Cup.
This will be the seventh time that the Southern KZN Surfing Association will be hosting the premier championship on the Surfing South Africa calendar and the sixth time that St Mikes will play host to the event.
Southern KZN Surfing Association hosted its first ever SA Championships at Trafalgar in the mid 70's.
Although the talented Southern KZN surfers have never won the Presidents Cup they came a close second to neighbours KZN in 2003 when the event last took place on the shores of St Mikes.
Southern Natal has produced a couple of Men's and Women's champions in Mark Brodowicz, who won the National title in 1978 in East London, the year his brother Ant won the World Championship title at the same venue and Brian Jacobs, who took honours in 1983.
Southern KZN home grown products, Heather Clark, Kay Holt and Sarah Maritz have won a bunch of Women's titles between them but of the three only Clark, the defending champion will be competing. As usual she is in the Southern KZN team and her local knowledge, experience and determination must make her the favourite to successfully defend her crown.
In 2003 when the SA Championships was last held at St Mikes, Quintin Jones of Western Province won the Open Men's title but he is not competing this year.
2008 Men's champion Shaun Payne will be back surfing for provincial champions Eastern Province this year and the Cape St Francis local is out to make it two in a row.
- 27 May 2009 | Surfing
Australian Titles will this year be decided for the first time in the rapidly growing and now well established discipline of Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Surfing.
Surfing Australia announced the inclusion of the Open SUP division into the Country Energy to be run at Port Macquarie during August.
Globally, Stand Up Paddle Surfing has grown in popularity incredibly over the past three years with an abundance of surfers, longboard and shortboard surfers, including a stand up paddleboard in their essential quivers and many dedicating themselves 100% to this discipline.
“The quality of Stand Up Paddle surfers emerging throughout Australia and the world is exciting and there’s many past and present champions of the sport of surfing now very competent and devoted Stand Up Paddle surfers” said Surfing Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Stark.
“Take the two finalists at the recent Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Joel Parkinson and Adam Robertson, both often seen in the line up riding waves on Stand Up Paddleboards, and then look at past champions like Luke Egan, Tom Carroll and Simon Anderson, all keen riders” added Stark.
“Stand Up Paddle Surfing has established itself in our sport and we are delighted to incorporate it into our Australian Surfmasters this year – the inaugural champion will take a special place in surfing’s history!”
Judging criteria for the Stand Up Paddle surfers have been formulated by the International Surfing Association with an emphasis on use of paddle in performance surfing and radical manoeuvres. The criteria will shortly be available through via http://www.surfingaustralia.com/
- 26 May 2009 | Surfing
From the insightful mind of professional surfer Bryan Jennings comes "Walking On Water", a film that about finding faith on the journey of a lifetime. "Walking On Water" will be shown on Wednesday, May 26th, in London, for its UK premier.
After a successful US East Coast tour of "Walking On Water", the home premiere of the film on Jan. 24 at the Rock Church in San Diego was a huge success, with more than 2,000 people in attendance.
"The response has been incredible from surfers and non-surfers, from young and old ... and everyone loves it. Everyone has said that they really enjoy watching Luke and Tyler [who are the focus of "Walking On Water"], and getting to know them in the movie," he says. "I think everyone just loves watching the surfers. The main response that we get is that it’s a beautiful film and it’s fun to look at the beautiful waves and the beautiful creation throughout the world."
The story behind the story is as powerful as the film itself. Jennings, who himself went on a life-changing trip at 14, pays the lessons he learned forward, taking young surfers Luke and Tyler around the world. "Walking On Water" documents the pair, who experience life while witnessing the ups and downs throughout the world in places like Hawaii, Peru, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and France.
"I thought it would be so great now that I've grown up and gone through my own challenges in life to bring a couple of kids around the world, and to then make a movie about seeing life through their perspective as they’re going and seeing this world for their first time," Jennings says.
In the process, Jennings says, viewers also gain tremendously from seeing the film, which was released in September 2007.
"I hope the adults in the audience would maybe come away with remembering what it was like to be child," he says. "For the children in the audience, I would hope they would come away with some more mature perspectives on life."
In addition to the larger-than-life presence of Luke and Tyler, World-renowned surfers like three-time World Champion Tom Curren, twin brothers CJ and Damien Hobgood, "soul surfer" Bethany Hamilton and many others star in the film.