Waveriders to hit Reef with top-class fare

Multiple SA surfing champion Heather Clark of the South Coast carves a superb clean line at Nahoon Corner ahead of the 54th Mercedes-Benz South African surfing championships, from Wednesday until Sunday at Nahoon Reef.
BACKHAND HACK: Multiple SA surfing champion Heather Clark of the South Coast carves a superb clean line at Nahoon Corner ahead of the 54th Mercedes-Benz South African surfing championships, from Wednesday until Sunday at Nahoon Reef.
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

Nahoon Reef is set to be a hive of activity from Wednesday morning as the 2019 Mercedes–Benz South African Surfing championships, hosted by the Buffalo City Metro, takes centre stage over five days.

The best surfers from around the country in the senior and various masters divisions are set to descend on the city and battle it out for top honours in the 54th edition of the competition.

It is the third year East London has hosted the event, with the previous two editions also held at Nahoon Reef.

“We are very stoked to have it here. It has been a great initiative by Mercedes and Buffalo City to get the SA Champs here over the past few years and I think it is great for the town and great for surfing,” said Buffalo City Surfriders chairperson Vaughn Meecham.

“There is going to be some top-class surfing on show. These are the best surfers in their respective divisions in the country, big hard-hitting surfers who are super-competitive, and we expect the best from them.”

Over the years Buffalo City Surfriders have enjoyed plenty of success at the SA champs, particularly in the Masters divisions, and they will be expected to repeat that form.

Last year also saw the emergence of young local surfing star Zoe Steyn, who became the youngest ever winner of the SA women’s senior division at just 14 years of age, and she, along with a number of other champs, will be eager to defend their titles.

“It is undoubtedly a huge plus for our surfers to have a home break, but in saying that we have pretty much won the masters for the last 13 years or so in a row wherever it has been, so we just have an incredibly strong senior and masters surfing contingent that always do very well,” said Meecham.

“So there is no doubt that having it at home and having it at reef is quite intimidating for other surfers and great for our guys.

“But I also have no doubt that all of last year’s champs are super amped to try and hold on to their titles. From our side, we have a young Zoe Steyn looking to retain her women’s senior title, while we also have guys like Wayne Monk looking to hold on to his senior masters title, so it will be exciting.”

An opening function will be taking place at the East London Golf Club on Tuesday, following which the action will kick into high gear from Wednesday morning, with the finals set to be battled out on Sunday.

In total 120 surfers from three provinces and six districts will be going all out for individual and team national honours over the five days of surfing action.

rossr@dispatch.co.za


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