SA Champs Day 4: Team event completed and we’re into the Quarter Finals
by Kelly Footit on
2nd October 2003
The penultimate day greeted contestants with a small but clean swell to finish off an anxious few heats to decide the winner of the team event. Central and Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal started off the day as the two provinces in the running and heats involving both provinces were always going to attract the most interest and Heat 4 was just that – and a bit more. Darren Halse (SN) and Stuart Bradford (CN) were involved in an interference call, which was called against Stuart during the heat but later reversed and called against Darren following an objection being lodged by Central Natal. This led to counter objections being lodged by both Southern Natal and Western Province and three hours of debate and finally the decision stands. Hopefully, however, a few lessons will have been learned so that we do not have a repeat of the same issue in future. Interference calls are rife in small beach break conditions with this contest being no exception and along with them comes the controversy of varying interpretations/misunderstandings of the rules or the incident (eg which rider had momentum first?).
While that was all happening, the contest continued and the Womens and Pro divisions finished off their 2nd round heats. Kamala Botha and Jarret Verness picked up wins for Central Natal, Derek Footit (SN) beat Craig Maree (CN) in what is probably the closest decision of the event which did not result in a tie. Steve Benson grabbed another win for Central Natal, followed by Doug Lindsay a few heats later. So although the results are not yet out, there is a fair indication as to who will be lifting the Fishman Trophy this year.
Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal looks to be finishing in 4th position, a very credible result for them, which they should be pleased with. Along with this team result, they have a number of riders who have made it through to the Quarters and Semis. Their 3 Michael’s – Ward, Cooper & Wolhurter – all made it through to the Quarter Finals although after good results in the first rounds Michael Wolhurter just missed out on a place in the semi’s and Michael Cooper did not manage to replicate his form and finishes in 13th position for the event. Michael Ward won his Quarter Final to progress and Rheinhard du Toit continues with his good form in the Dropknee division and will be fighting it out again tomorrow. Mark McCarthy who is always up there is through too, however, Barry Marais and Darren Minne who finished a very credible 9th and 13th place respectively will have to enjoy the last day as spectators along with the rest of us.
Boys Quarter Finals
In the Boys division Quarter Finals, the ratings leaders, Emile van Vollenhoven (SN), Adam Morely (SC) and Bjorn Coetzee (SC) all made it through to the semi-finals, which will keep that title race alive. Some of these guys have been quite impressive in the small surf, no doubt finding it a little easier than the older guys. An impressive array of some truly horrific haircuts have been taking to the water in the Boys division, as year on year, October is once again time for the ‘groms’ to lose their hair as part of the initiation into the team.
Dropknee Quarter Finals
|1||Emile van Vollenhoven||SN|
|1 ||Adam Morley||SC|
|2 ||Jared Housten||WP|
|3 || Barry Marais||NN|
|4 ||Michael Osler||CN|
Simon Hagen (WP) has been cruising through his dropknee heats along with Rheinhard du Toit (NN) who has been quite impressive. Missing from the dropknee division is Craig Maree who is lying 2nd in the ratings, however, he did not manage to make his team’s DK division. Darren Halse (SN) and Sasha Specker (WP) who are 3rd and 4th in the ratings are also through to the semi-finals, however, Simon is clear ahead of the field and should be lifting the title this year and will be aiming to take the double by also claiming the SA Champ title.
Juniors Quarter Finals
|2||Rheinhard du Toit||NN|
|3||Wayne du Preez||CN|
The top spot in the Junior division is the closest fought position in this year’s ratings. Daniel Worsely (WP) is just edging out David Lee (SN), both of whom are through to tomorrow’s semi-final. 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th seeds have all been knocked out 7th seed is David’s brother Grant who will be joining him, Daniel and Justin Lindsay (EP) who is the 8th seed, in their semi-final heat. A semi-final which may as well be a final. The two semi-finals may look a little lob-sided with the second semi including seeds 12 and 16 and then you have to look way down the ratings to find the other two riders. However, Michael Ward (NN) put in an impressive performance in his Quarter final to beat Daniel Worsely and if you think any heat is easy at this stage of the competition – you’ll probably be on your bike straight after your heat.
Pro Quarter Finals
|3 || Michael Wolhurter||NN|
|4||Francois de Kock||SC|
The Pro division saw the last of ratings leader Darren Halse (SN) today, his fate lies in the hands of Sasha Specker (WP), Vaughn Harris (SC) and Mark McCarthy (NN) who are contenders to the crown. Craig Maree (CN) is through after another tight heat and will be looking to capitalise on his home ground advantage, especially after having not made the dropknee division. Steven Keuning (SN) in his first year in Pro’’s has very quietly progressed to both the semi-final of the Pro and Dropknee divisions with some impressive riding.
Tomorrow sees the final day of the event, with the prize giving to be held at the Wave House.
Stay posted for news, results and photos from the finals.
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