Taylor Wins Gladiator Battle at Cave Rock

Source: www.sabaonline.co.za

posted by Olivia Jones on 26th April 2006

Cave Rock Gladiator Pit presented by Movement Bodyboarding Magazine and 662mob
Speciality South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) Tour Event
Cave Rock on the Bluff, Kwa Zulu Natal - South Africa
April 19 to 26, 2006

Former US Bodyboarding champion Alistair Taylor (Pietermaritzburg) won the inaugural Cave Rock Gladiator Pit battle on Wednesday, April 26 in flawless 2-metre powerful waves at the Bluff in Durban. Bleeding limbs from reef cuts and whiplash from heavy wipe outs were all in a day’s work for 30 of South Africa’s top big wave bodyboarders taking on the treacherous surf break. The specialty South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) event was presented by Movement Bodyboarding Magazine and 662mob.

"I’m really happy to have won the event. I knew it was tight between me and Sacha Specker, after the first round we only had 1.5-points separating us. The Cave Rock Gladiator Pit took place in really great waves which showcased real bodyboarding and we saw competitors pulling out every trick in the book," said Taylor brandishing his newly acquired samurai sword and winner's cheque for R3,200.

In a world class performance Taylor defeated national team member Sacha Specker (Cape Town) and Margate's big wave hell-man Derek Footit who took third.

The event utilised the unique "Shark Island" non-elimination event format based on the big wave bodyboarding event held south of Sydney. Each competitor surfed two rounds, with the top two waves from each heat being scored to give a four wave total tally, which determined the winners.

Seven times South African Bodyboarding Champion Taylor had the highest four wave points tally finishing with 76.5; Specker was hot on his heels with 75.5-points. Highlights included a wave where Taylor took off late and exited from a large tube ride which he sealed with an invert aerial manoeuvre.

Specker also enjoyed clocking up some tube time and was commended for a massive air roll spin which caught the judges' attention.

Footit laid claim to the day's deepest barrel ride where he disappeared behind the curtain of the wave for ages before reappearing getting blown out of the tube in a mass of spray.

Fourth placed Jonathon Oliff (Berea) pulled off the biggest roll of the contest. Junior rider Jared Houston (Cape Town) underlined the fact that he is a force to be reckoned with when he finished fifth overall thanks to his big reverse air move on a left breaking wave.

The event carried a noteworthy R15,000 prize purse and the top three riders left the beach with exquisitely crafted samurai swords as trophies. Staying true to Cave Rock bodyboarding traditions former bodyboarding champion and Bluff resident Trish Daniel made chocolate cakes for the highest place male and female riders. The Taylor family were thrilled to walk away with both cakes when Alistair and his wife Karla Costa-Taylor took top honours. The former women's world bodyboarding champion put on a strong performance bruising a few egos in the male dominated line-up to finish 25th overall.

Event organisers were grateful for the accurate swell forecasts provided by Wavescape guru Steve Pike. As predicted Neptune came to the party on the final day of the 8-day waiting period by providing epic waves.

Following the Cave Rock Gladiator Pit the next event on the SABA calendar is the 5A rated Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am in Margate from April 28 to 30.


1. Alistair Taylor (Pietermaritzburg)
2. Sacha Specker (Cape Town)
3. Derek Footit (Margate)
4. Jonathan Oliff (Berea)
5. Jared Houston (CT)

For more updates please check:


Issued on behalf of:

Alistair Taylor
ATD South Africa
Mobile: + 27 (0) 82 863 6665

Issued by:

Olivia Jones Communications
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 537 8840
Email: [email protected]



byron777Byron Versfeld
27th April 2006 17:47
sick one alistair!hopefully next year will be even bigger and better
KellyKelly Footit
26th April 2006 18:41
Derek - you punk! 3rd? What's that all about?

Seriously --- congrats to AT, Sacha and even Derek.

To Al --- a great event buddy! Let's hope it only gets bigger and better!!! Enjoy the cake!!! Can't believe Trish is still baking the chocolate cake! Classic!!!

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