posted by Olivia Jones on 28th September 2003
The country's most successful bodyboarding twins, Gordon and Douglas Cockwell, have shown their full support of bodyboarding by contributing US$2,000 to the upcoming South African Bodyboarding Championships that are being held at Durban's North Beach from Monday 29 September to Friday 3 October, 2003. The 4A rated South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) sanctioned event is co-sponsored by the Cockwells, Rossi Board Co and Lizzard Wetsuits who have donated cash and generous product prizes. R10 000 in prize money will be on offer to the fiercely contested Men's Pro division.
The Cockwells are thrilled to be involved especially because this years champs will be hosted by Central KZN and held at their home break of SA bodyboarding's headquarters, North Beach, which only happens once every eight years. Gordon was quoted as saying, "Bodyboarding will never disappear, it is time people accept this and recognize it as its own unique sport that so many people enjoy everyday in our oceans".
The twins wanted to put something back into the sport they love because it has given them so many wonderful experiences over the years and by doing this they also challenge other potential sponsors, the surf industry or individuals out there to make a contribution in what ever form towards supporting SA bodyboarding. They want to see bodyboarding in SA grow to the next level where the sport will have its own IBA Regional Pro Tour for the aspiring individual men and women which would gain them ranking status on the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) World Qualifying Tour (WQT) for the World Super Tour (WST).
South Africa undoubtedly has the necessary talent to achieve as proven by six times SA Champion Andre Botha who went on to win two World Champion titles and is in contention for a third time on the WST for 2003. The sport is on the rise with a new bodyboarding magazine run by bodyboarders scheduled to come out this summer.
Divisions include Boys (U12 and U15), Girls (U16), Juniors (U18), Pro Men, Women, Men, Masters and Drop Knee. The five day event with has attracted over 169 entries is guaranteed to be an exciting affair with individual as well as team titles at stake. Riders to watch include the reigning SA and SABA Pro champion Darren Halse (Southern KZN), Sacha Specker (Western Province), Johan de Goede (Boland), Ian Kruger (Western Province), Vaughn Harris (Southern Cape), Mark McCarthy (Northern KZN) and Wesley Fisher (Central KZN).
The South African Bodyboarding Championships were first held in Jeffreys Bay in 1987 and this year's event is the final contest for the Pro Men and Women riders to be selected for the trials to represent South Africa at the 2004 World Surfing Games.
The opening function will be held at 19h00 on Sunday 28 September at the Wave House in Gateways Theatre of Shopping at Umhlanga. The prize giving will also be conducted at the Wave House on the final evening (Friday 3 October) of the tournament at 19h00 when the new champions will be crowned. Five lucky riders from each province will be nominated to get free rides on the infamous D-Rex courtesy of the Wave House.
South African Champs is co-sponsored by the Cockwells, Rossi Board Co and Lizzard Wetsuits with other companies that have chipped in with products for the event including Bad Boy, Hurricane Surf, Dibs Bodyboarding Clothing, Oh Two Clothing and Probe TV.
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