by Olivia Jones on 15th January 2006
The results of the most prestigious bodyboarding poll of 2005 are out! The inaugural sixty40 Readerís Poll stars have been named in ten interesting categories in what has been dubbed "the ultimate peer poll".
"Most of the categories were fairly closely fought between the top few and it has been entertaining watching the results over the year. But to each of the winners I would like to extend my congratulations! It is one thing to be at the top of your game but to be acknowledged as such by the rest of the community is in my mind the ultimate achievement - the difference between becoming a legend or the forgotten soldier," commented Kelly Footit who masterminded www.sixty40.co.za which has grown to become one of the globeís leading bodyboarding news and information websites.
The idea to stage the poll was born from a suggestion made by photographer Pierre Marqua who is one of the regular contributors to the website.
"I would like to publicly thank Pierre - the poll has become a great asset to the site attracting over 5,400 views and 1,213 votes from 116 members for the 2005 national poll," said Footit who went on to add that Marqua had placed a close second behind Douglas Cockwell in the top photographer category.
There was a close tussle for the sought after accolade of Top Male bodyboarder with the top honours going to Sacha Specker over Vaughn Harris. Third place went to former US champion Alistair Taylor with former world champion Andre Botha in fourth.
Harris then went on to take the Top Drop Knee result from Specker in more convincing style. Talented DK master Sasha Taljaard scooped third ahead of Simon Hagen.
"I really donít know what to say other than thanks to all that voted for me. Set yourself goals and never take your eyes off of them. You will always have obstacles along your path but if your will, commitment and passion are strong enough, your goals will be achieved," commented Harris.
Top Female bodyboarder Debbie Patterson was thrilled to hear of her success. Patterson has been a force to be reckoned with on the local contest scene for a number of years and the contest machine is known for busting powerful rolls. Second place went to perennial favourite Kamala Botha with SABA Champ Robyn Sorensen in third.
"I'm really stoked about this! I made the decision early last year to give up contest riding, so winning this has totally taken me by surprise! Itís awesome knowing that there are people out there who respect me and my riding. So I just want to say a big thanks to those who did vote for me. Surf hard and live your life to the absolute fullest!" said Patterson.
It came as no surprise when Alistair Taylor the current SABA Chairman was nominated as the Top Big Wave rider. Taylorís softly spoken character belies a fierce reputation for charging in gigantic surf around the world. He ousted out other well known hell-men like Botha, Johan de Goede, Hankus Loubser and Gordon Cockwell.
"Iím pretty stoked to win anything at all these days, but at the same time I want to continue to push myself towards more radical and more progressive riding in bigger and heavier waves for a few more years to come. Thanks a lot to everyone that gave me a vote," said Taylor who is known for his crazy antics in mammoth waves at feared spots like Mavericks and Shark Island.
Taylor went on to describe one of his most memorable sessions, "The biggest surf I've been out in was probably at Mavericks on a really solid swell, it was getting to the point where you couldn't paddle in anymore, and the tow-in guys then took over, it was pretty hard to say how big it was at that size, it just looks gigantic, but since no-one was paddling in at the time I gave up on it, it must have been at least 25ft+."
The honour of Top Old School rider was bestowed upon a well deserving Jason Boddy.
"Thanks, winning this is good. I am in Hawaii right now and l swear 13 seasons later Iím just as stoked to be here bodyboarding as the groms arriving for their first time. I donít feel too old school I just look it," said Boddy who has been in the water from the age of eight and who will be celebrating his 29th birthday in March.
Sampi Kamffer got credit where it was due when he was named the Most Underrated rider in the country.
"This is great. It seems the top five contained a whole bunch of Southern Cape underdogs. I am stoked about winning! We need guys to come and shoot at Wedge and Herolds Bay; there are a whole bunch of guys that rip here. Maybe then we will move into the top rider slots," said Kamffer.
Jared Houston scooped the Top Grom award away from popular runner up Adam Morley and South Coast wunderkind Emile van Vollenhoven.
"I am lank stoked, thanks to everyone who voted and shot to Kelly for getting this stuff up, Iíd like to say thanks to my sponsors - your support has been unreal," said Houston.
Doug Cockwell was proud to be labelled the Top Photographer. Cockwell has been actively involved in the sport for many years and his love for bodyboarding is clearly reflected in his work. Pierre Marqua, Greg Chapman and Riehan Bakkesís talented work was also acknowledged.
"Wow! I'm stoked. Thanks to Kelly Footit for Sixty40 it has given South Africaís bodyboarding community a home to interact on the web," said Cockwell.
Peter Lambertís long hours spent filming the upcoming Lines of Fire DVD was enough to see him get the majority of votes for being the Top Videographer. Colin van Dongen, Neil Smith, Jared Schafer and Wayne Smith also proved to be amongst the favourites nominated in this category.
"I am so stoked! This kind of thing makes it all worthwhile and I hope that I can pass that stoke onto whoever gets a copy of the Lines of Fire DVD when it comes out in July. I really want to thank some amazing people who have helped along the way especially Kelly Footit, Ian Thurtell, Rory Lancellas, Janet Schofield, James Moolenschot, Wayne and Neil Smith, Jared Schafer, and Kevin Rowe," said Lambert.
"We added a special category - Service to the Sport - which I would like to make special mention of, extending my congratulations but more my thanks to those who topped the poll. Pat Harris the now ex-chairlady of SABA ousted the rest fairly convincingly and although we sometimes view the SABA committee as a thankless job it appears there are many who do appreciate the efforts - and rightly so. Congratulations Pat! Second up was Mr Logic himself, Craig Kolesky, with our favourite media consultant Olivia "OJ" Jones in third - a testament to both that the hard work that they put into promoting the sport is appreciated by the community," said Footit.
In addition to the national poll Sixty40 runs an international and provincial poll.
"The Sixty40 poll voting system is really easy and simple plus you can see the results of your votes straight away, itís the best system I've ever seen," said Gordon Cockwell who is known as one of SAís most respected riders.
To view the full results for the 2005 National Reader's Poll please go to www.sixty40.co.za/?readerspoll.php?area=National&year=2005.
To get voting for the 2006 Reader's Poll go to http://www.sixty40.co.za/?readerspoll.php.
Compiled and Distributed by:
Olivia Jones Communications
+27 (0) 82 537 8840
2005 Sixty40 National Reader's Poll Results
Top Male Riders
1st Sacha Specker 244 pts
2nd Vaughn Harris 241 pts
3rd Alistair Taylor 102 pts
4th Andre Botha 99 pts
5th Daniel Worsley 84 pts
Top Female Riders
1st Debbie Patterson 169 pts
2nd Kamala Botha 137 pts
3rd Robyn Sorensen 97 pts
4th Lize-Mari Ras 89 pts
5th Lyndall Pells 75 pts
Top DK Riders
1st Vaughn Harris 180 pts
2nd Sacha Specker 132 pts
3rd Sasha Taljaard 119 pts
4th Simon Hagen 84 pts
5th Craig Maree 81 pts
Top Big Wave Riders
1st Alistair Taylor 159 pts
2nd Andre Botha 138 pts
3rd Johan de Goede 89 pts
4th Hankus Loubser 54 pts
5th Gordon Cockwell 50 pts
Old School Legends
1st Jason Boddy 90 pts
2nd Alistair Taylor 68 pts
3rd Gordon Cockwell 53 pts
4th Mike van Huyssteen 46 pts
5th Douglas Cockwell 39 pts
Most Underrated Rider
1st Sampi (Samuel) Kamffer 87 pts
2nd Robert Gray 82 pts
3rd Cobus Oosthuizen 64 pts
4th Gavin Botha 60 pts
5th Craig Jenkins 40 pts
1st Jared Houston 129 pts
2nd Adam Morley 126 pts
3rd Emile van Vollenhoven 80 pts
4th Mark Watts 75 pts
5th Mark Reitz 64 pts
1st Douglas Cockwell 106 pts
2nd Pierre Marqua 98 pts
3rd Greg Chapman 90 pts
4th Riehan Bakkes 54 pts
5th Craig Kolesky 34 pts
1st Peter Lambert 109 pts
2nd Colin van Dongen 65 pts
3rd Neil Smith 36 pts
4th Jared Schafer 28 pts
5th Wayne Smith 24 pts
Service to the Sport
1st Pat Harris 128 pts
2nd Craig Kolesky 95 pts
3rd Olivia Jones 54 pts
4th Sasha Taljaard 52 pts
5th Tony Abrahams 49 pts
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