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.

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Chris Bertish at Dungeons 

South African Chris Bertish, renowned for conquering many of the world’s most challenging big waves, has been invited to compete in three prestigious international big-wave surfing events including the inaugural edition of the of the Stand Up World Tour which will crown the first Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) World Champion later this year.

Invitations to the Mavericks Surf Contest in California, the Nelscott Reef Paddle-in Classic in Oregon and the Stand Up World Tour event at Makaha in Hawaii are recognition for the 35-year-old Capetonian’s pioneering exploits in huge surf around the globe over the past decade.

“I’m truly honoured to be invited to these events where only athletes who have proven themselves in the world’s heaviest waves make the cut,” Bertish said. “I love surfing big waves, it's my passion, and to be representing South Africa amongst the elite 24 invitee’s from around the globe at Mavericks, the 12 at Nelscott Reef and to be seeded into the top 16 in the world for the first ever SUP World Champs is a huge honour and privilege.”

Bertish’s string of ground-breaking feats include becoming the first surfer to paddle into and ride waves at the primarily tow-in venues of Jaws (Maui, Hawaii), Ghost Trees (California) and the Cribber (Cornwall, England) while at home he introduced Stand Up Paddleboarding at the daunting Dungeons break near Hout Bay and Whale Rock in Table Bay along with being the first to tow-in at Seal Island in False Bay, statistically the most densely populated Great White shark venue in the world.

His accomplishments are not limited to daredevil stunts in mountainous seas as in 2001 he was the first, and to date only, South African surfer to win the Monster Paddle division of the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards, the Oscars of big wave surfing. And he has reached the final of the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event at Dungeons, finishing third in 2006, amongst other notable local and international results and award nominations.

A former Sales & Promotions Manager for Billabong SA, Brand manager for Gul Wetsuits in the UK and for multi-national apparel and wetsuit giant O’Neill in SA, Bertish boasts an impressive marketing CV. In 2007 he introduced the O’Neill Raw Courage Awards which focus on paddling into and riding the biggest waves within the borders of South Africa and recognise and credit the achievements of the country’s rapidly growing brigade of big wave chargers.

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Gonzalo Zubizarreta 

An action-packed day of competition took the ASP WQS 5-Star Movistar Pantin Classic into serious business today as no less than thirty-two heats were held in consistent three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves, thirty-two men only making the cut through Rounds 3 and 4. A majority of event top seeds escaped from a shocker loss and the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) ratings’ top competitors could start grabbing valuable points and secure themselves a ticket for Day 3 of competition where things will heat-up fast.

As light on-shore winds and grey skies settled over Pantin’s renowned beach, heat tactics and wave choice were crucial again throughout the day giving a clear advantage to those sitting on the consistent right-handers offering more scoring potential. Advancing through two heats today thanks to a series of solid and committed turns to reach the excellent result range in Round 2 was Australian competitor Shaun Gossmann Gold Coast, AUS), 26, who was at ease despite the changing surf conditions today.

“I really enjoy Pantin, I’ve had good results here over the years and I enjoy the little corner to the right of the beach which reminds me of the Wall at Duranbah,” Gossmann said. “I felt in rhythm today despite the few slow moments but I got a bit of momentum and just carried through with it.”

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