Earthwave 2010: close, but not 100 | Photo: Craig Strachan

It was close, but the Guinness World Record for the most surfers riding the same wave remains 110, set at the 2009 Earthwave Beach Festival at Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town after today's best effort at the same venue came in at 93.

Despite the ideal offshore winds and gentle rolling half-meter waves, the unseasonable rainy weather reduced the field from last year's record 443 to 'just' 228 participants.

Even though nearly 50 percent of those who took part managed to catch and ride the same wave for the required five seconds, they could not improve on the existing record.

"What a fantastic effort by Cape Town's surfing community," enthused Dene Botha from Kahuna Promotions, founders of the Earthwave concept that leverages the immense interest around Guinness World Record attempts to highlight climate change and raise awareness of sustainable lifestyle options.

"We may not have been able to improve on the record, but the rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of people at the beach for longboard and SUP events and Earthwave's program of environmental awareness was the best in the 4-year history of the festival," Botha added.

The two-day event included stop No. 3 of 5 on the SA Longboard Series and the first course racing events at Muizenberg in the rapidly growing Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) discipline.

These ran in conjunction with talks by organizations such as 350.org and the Climate Action Partnership, which calculated carbon footprints, displays on marine life by Save Our Seas, and demos of wind turbines and solar panels by 3rd Rock Energy.

Noordhoek local Justin Bing won the Open division of the longboarding ahead of Michael Grendon, Alfonso Peters, and Dylan McLeod from Port Elizabeth.

Bing moved into the lead on the series standings with the next event scheduled for the Eastern Cape in six weeks and the inaugural national series will be finalized in Durban early next year.

Tarryn Kyte won the Women's division, Muizenberg local Papi Makanyane took the Juniors, Deon Bing the Over 35's, and Gary Van Rooyen the O/50's.

The super-fit van Rooyen also placed fourth in the Coreban SUP racing, behind winner Greg Bertish, runner-up Peter Peterson from Germany, and Jono Rosalind, another competing in both events.

The host of activities during the festival included a Dig for Gold for the youngsters, spinning trials run by Spin 4 Charity, an outstanding display of big wave and Earthwave photographs by Nic Bothma, fund-raising by the Shark Spotters, who provided additional staff for the record attempt, and also the Sunflower Fund who do sterling work on behalf of those with leukemia.

Earthwave also featured a transformation component organized by Surfing South Africa and the Ticket to Ride Foundation, supported by Sport & Recreation SA and the Lotto, which brought 15 youngsters from Masiphumalele to the beach where they also received a hearty meal thanks to Compass Bakery.

Source: Earthwave

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