Gavin Roberts

Competitors in the first round of the Men's and Under 20 Boys Divisions of the 2009 South Coast Tourism South African Surfing Championships were treated to typical six foot St Mikes surf on Day One of this premier Surfing South Africa event and made the best of the conditions.

In the Men\'s division Southern KZN surfers used their local knowledge to produce four heat winners in Gary Van Wieringen, Dereck Footit, Ryan Balfour and Gavin Roberts who all advanced to Round Four. Another SKZN surfer, Wynand Louw, came second and advances to Round Three.

Border secured three wins with former two time SA Champion Wayne Monk, Philip Malherbe and 2007 SA Champion Devyn Mattheys advancing to Round Four while teammate Tyrell Johnson's second place sees him in Round Three.

Josh Salie and Brandon Roberts were Round One winners for Western Province and David Richards posted a second place while Llewellyn Whittaker was the only Boland Round One winner. Teammates Peder Christensen, Johan Kriek and Mikhail Thompson secured second place finishes and will advance to Round Three alongside Paul Canning, Wes O'Driscoll, Michael Vawda and Manfred Adrio of KZN and defending champion Shaun Payne of Eastern Province.

Dylan Stone of Eastern Province won his heat and advances to Round Four as does Dylan Stewart of KZN.

First round upsets included that of WQS surfer Dan Redman of KZN who is in the repercharge round along with 2008 finalist and SA Team captain Ryan Payne of EP.


The 2009 Rip Curl Search is rumoured to be held at Supertubos in Portugal

Several international news sources have been telling that the 2009 Rip Curl Search will be held in the Supertubos Beach, in Portugal. The rumour is spreading quick, after words by Tom Whitaker in STAB Magazine.

He was talking about Kelly Slater\'s eventual retirement from the WCT in 2009. \"He’s definitely gonna go to [the Rip Curl Search] Portugal because the place where we are staying has a sick golf course\", Whitaker state.

Tom Whitaker might be talking about the four-star resort Atlantico Golfe Hotel, located in Peniche, near the world class wave of Supertubos. The 2009 Rip Curl Search Somewhere In will be the 9th stop of this year's WCT.


The 2009 South African Championships will kick off in St Mikes

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.