Mark McCarthy

South Africa’s top bodyboarder and World Tour contender, Mark McCarthy, will defend his 2008 SA Championship title at Lamberts Bay on the Cape’s West Coast in September. 

The young rider from Richard’s Bay said: “Last year’s Championship at my local break in Richard’s Bay was an amazing experience and I got to surf against SA’s best riders. I am up for the challenge to defend the title this year on the wave-rich West Coast!”

Mark has spent the last three months on the road following the International Men’s Bodyboarding Tour. The last eight weeks have been especially hectic with back-to-back contests in Peru, Chile, Portugal and Spain.

Mark explains that the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) has introduced a new theory this year with the grand slam events at Pipeline, Arica, Sintra and Confital counting 2 000 points. The eight non-grand slam events will be worth 1 000 points. The IBA title will take the best three out of four grand slam events and the best of two non-grand slam events.

Mark’s focus is to do well in three grand slam events. He is currently lying 8th on the World Tour. His first event was at Pipeline in late February where he finished fifth with a total of 1 250 points.

He then returned to South Africa and spent most of his time at Koel Bay and missed two events in Brazil. He headed to Chile but lost to Dave Hubbard and finished ninth, earning 1 000 points.  His main focus now is to get two good results in non-grand slam events and make sure that he finishes in the top three in Sintra, Portugal.

His aim is to stay in contention and have a shot at the title in the final grand slam at Confital in the Canary Islands at the end of the year.

Part of his preparation for this final World Tour event will mean a return to South Africa to compete in the annual South African Bodyboarding Championships in September. Mark is thrilled to be returning to South Africa after months of international competition.

He is part of a team scheduled to host developmental bodyboarding clinics in Lamberts Bay prior to the SA Champs, something that he believes will raise the profile of the sport and introduce a range of new-comers to the fun and clean lifestyle that bodyboarding has to offer.

Kumba Iron Ore are sponsoring all the bodyboarding equipment necessary for 40 kids from the local community and Mark will teaching them the basics of bodyboarding to set them on their way.

“A massive thanks must go to Kumba Iron Ore for their awesome sponsorship – it is great for the future of bodyboarding in South Africa.  These kids, like I have, can learn so much about life from the ocean. They are being given the opportunity of a lifetime.”

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