Durban's Michael Ostler wins the Tand Invitational 2015
posted on 15th July 2015
The 2015 Tand Invitational took place on Friday the 10th of July, with the sun shining, the wind light offshore, and the waves a pumping 4 - 6 ft!
Being in its fifth year, it was as if Tand was determined to get her dues, resulting in a fair amount of injuries throughout the day.
During the early morning free surf session one rider was carried onto the rocks, and subsequently rushed to hospital with a dislocated shoulder, as well as cuts to his face and feet.
That didn't dissuade any competitors though, and at 11:30 the first heat of the day paddled out, with Donovan Bassett taking out the competition, and progressing through, along with Terence Pieters.
Excited eyes were on the water during heat 2 as 2 x world bodyboarding champion, Andre Botha, made his first appearance in the Tand Invitational, progressing through to the semi-finals along with Michael Ostler.
A definite highlight of the day was witnessing first ever female competitor, Pamela Bowren taking on the guys in heat 3, and winning it with two impressive barrel rides!
Heat 4 saw Mark McCarthy set the bar high right off the bat with a 9.17 barrel. But, Wian Oosthuizen, and 2 x Tand Invitational winner, Tristan Roberts, quickly responded with higher scoring rides. Tristan and Wian progressed through the competition, with the loss of McCarthy becoming the first upset of the 2015 Tand Invitational.
Andre Botha opened the first semi-final with a 9.0 barrel to back flip combination, and backed it up with a deep and clean barrel, earning himself a near perfect 9.5. Botha progressed through to the finals with Wian Oosthuizen in tow.
Semi-final 2 was a similar affair, with Tristan Roberts putting his fellow riders in a combination situation. Michael Ostler managed to get two high scoring 7 point rides, and therefore joined Tristan in the finals.
During the finals the channel was filled with spectators floating on their boards, while cheering crowds lined the rocks...
Andre Botha opened the heat with a perfect 10-point ride, involving an incredibly deep barrel to cut-back combination. However, every rider in the heat was just as hungry for the win, with each wave exchange resulting in a new heat leader.
Tristan Roberts managed to land the first ever gainer flip in South African competition, however in the closing minutes Michael Ostler took off on a wave that saw him get barrelled from the take-off, coming out with a clean backflip.
In the end, it was Ostler's destiny to take Tand, and so he walked away with the grand prize of R20 000, and the title of 2015 Tand Champion!
The final results were as follows:
1st - Michael Ostler (18.37) 2nd - Andre Botha (16.60) 3rd - Tristan Roberts (16.37) 4th - Wian Oosthuizen (15.83)
Ruan de Bruin earned himself the Shaggy's Choice Award for an epic bail near the dry rocks. He walked away with a R2 500 cheque courtesy of Wayne "Shaggy" Gardener, as well as a double pack of red wine from Annandale Wine Estate.
Wian Oosthuizen performed beyond his 17 years, and earned himself a wildcard entry into the Free Surf Bodyboarding World Tour.
A huge thank you must go out to all the sponsors of the 2015 Tand Invitational, without whom the event would not have been possible. So, here's to Red Bull, Yours Truly Cafe, Zion Wetsuits, Digicape, #studio, Surf Ears, Flatmountain Roasters, Kingdom Longboards, The Surf HQ, Cape Town Bodyboarding Club, Annandale Wines, Tietiesbaai Camp Site, PJ Venter from Score Bru Live Scoring, and the Free Surf Bodyboarding World Tour!