South African Longboard Championships 2014 – Seal Point, Cape St Francis

South African competitive surfing returned to its roots this week when 200 of the country’s top longboarders rolled into legendary Seal Point for SA Champs.

Although the vibe in the water was ultra competitive and the standard of surfing red hot, it was a different story on the beach as friends and families chilled out over a few cold ones – while the groms frothed out in the beach break into the setting sun.

Started in Seal Point 25 years ago, the annual SA Longboard Champs was blessed with good waves throughout the week and some classic music jam sessions that lasted well into the night.

Outgoing SA Longboard Surfing Association President William Davis said the future of the sport looked bright as surfers from all divisions pushed the envelope – mixing new school flash and old school style in cooking waves.

“The standard of surfing was excellent across all divisions,” Davis explained.

“It is like coming home…this is the roots of SA longboard champs – this is where it all started 25 years ago.”

Featuring old ballies, their children and grandchildren, the youngest competitors were frothing micro groms Kye Macgregor, 10, and Manoa Robb, 12, who both made the under 14 finals – surfing old school.

Although they may be counting the days until they turn 70, legends like John MaCleod 69, John Anderson 67 and Bernie Shelley, 67, showed they still got what it takes – while Phillipa Hill battled on despite a hip replacement op and other niggles that come from a lifetime of surfing hard.

Hosts Eastern Province and reigning SA champs Western Province were still battling it out for top honours on the final day – with KZN and Southern Cape playing catch-up. Eastern Province ending up narrowly piping Western Province for the Team trophy for 2014.

Overall team standings were Eastern Province (103 248 points) in first place, Western Province (102 925 points) in second place, Southern Cape (67 835 points) in third place and KZN (67 013 points) in fourth place.

A major incentive for performing well in the premier divisions is the opportunity of earning a spot in the SA team for the ISA World Longboard Champs later this year.

Davis said two open men, one open woman and an under 18 would be selected for the team based on their performances at Seal Point.

“The standard of surfing through the event has been world class. It is a great venue, centrally located between Durban and Cape Town.”

The St Francis area was immortalized in the 60’s thanks to classic Endless Summer footage and having the event at Seals was hailed a homecoming by many.

Newly installed SALSA president Gregg Clarke, who worked hard for host province Eastern Province, to ensure the event was a success, said standouts in the open division included Klee Strachan (WP), Matthew Moir (WP), Thomas King (WP) and a host of red hot “dark horses” who were all keen to win it.

Following a highly contested men’s open final, Klee Strachan (WP) was crowned 2014 Champion. The ever-impressive Mathew Moir (WP) was runner up, Thomas King (WP) the 2013 SA Champ was in third place and Grant Beck (EP) in fourth place.

A new Champion was crowned in the open ladies division, with Hannah Bing (EP) taking first place, Margreet Wibbelink (EP) was runner up, in third place was Tarryn Chudleigh (WP) and in fourth place was Roxy Davis (SC).

Matthew Moir (WP) won the “outstanding surfer of the contest” award, Gregg Clarke (EP) winning the “surfers’ surfer of the contest” award and Sam Christianson (KZN) winning the “junior surfer of the contest” award.

Special thanks to all the sponsors for their generous support of this year’s South African Longboard Surfing Championships. A special thank you to our title sponsors Tiletoria, Cape St Francis Resort and Lafarge for their support of longboard surfing in South Africa.

Check out some footage below of the first day of competition courtesy of Peter Coffey.

Below is a full set of results for each SA Champs longboarding division:

Open Men’s Results:
1) K. Strachan (WP)
2) M. Moir (WP)
3) T. king (WP)
4) G. Beck (EP)

Open Ladies Results:
1) H. Bing (EP)
2) M. Wibblelink (EP)
3) T. Chudleigh (WP)
4) R. Davis (SC)

Under 18 Boys Results:
1) T. Lev (WP)
2) P. Coffey (EP)
3) C. Macgregor (EP)
4) K. Kugleman (WP)

Legends Results:
1) M. Hyde (EP)
2) T. Kanigowski (WP)
3) J. Macleod (EP)
4) J. Elliot (KZN)

Veterans Results:
1) A. Lenton (EP)
2) B. Greef (KZN)
3) D. vd Berg (KZN)
4) G. van Rooyen (WP)

Grand Kahunas Results:
1) G. Smith (EP)
2) V. Diebold (WP)
3) S. Hair (SC)
4) D. Hanson (KZN)

Kahunas Results:
1) D. Macgregor (EP)
2) C. Van Greunun (EP)
3) D. Jenkins (WP)
4) A. Schmidt (WP)

Grand Masters Results:
1) C. Cuff (EP)
2) A. Robb (WP)
3) A. Scott (EP)
4) G. Gilmore (KZN)

Masters Results:
1) R. Anderson (EP)
2) M. Grendon (WP)
3) D. Scott (EP)
4) J. Vd Linden (EP)

Senior Men’s Results:
1) R. Mundy (KZN)
2) S. Rutherford (KZN)
3) M. Macleod (EP)
4) L. Bulgen (WP)

Senior Ladies Results:
1) R. Davis (SC)
2) M. Wibblelnk (EP)
3) C. Pollard (WP)
4) N. Loftus (EP)

Divas Result:
1) B. Shelley (WP)
2) K. Holt (SC)
3) T. Russel (WP)
4) P. Hill (EP)

Under 18 Girls Results:
1) B. Linder (EP)
2) S. Sutton (WP)
3) T. Barr (WP)

Under 16 Boys Results:
1) S. Christianson (KZN)
2) A. Van Rijswick (EP)
3) T. Bovin (WP)
4) R. Viviers (SC)

Under 16 Girls results:
1) P. Jones (WP)
2) C. Hullet (EP)
3) K. Bettison (WP)
4) P. Ploughman (EP)

Under 14 boys results:
1) M. Robb (WP)
2) A. Vermaak (EP)
3) K. Macgregor (EP)