Watts Wins Richest Wimpy/Rossi Pro-Am to Date

Source: www.sabaonline.co.za

posted by Olivia Jones on 29th April 2006

Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am
5A Rated South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) event
Margate Main Beach, Kwa-Zulu Natal south coast – Durban, South Africa
April 28 to April 30, 2006

Mark Watts (Westville) defeated a strong field of top South African bodyboarders to clinch victory in the Pro division of the 5A rated Wimpy/ Rossi Pro-Am bodyboarding contest held at Margate on KZN’s south coast on Saturday, April 29. Watts won the junior division at this event in 2004. The Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am is the highest rated event on the 2006 South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) calendar carrying prizes and cash to the tune of R50, 000.

In addition to the generous prizes riders were competing for valuable SABA rating points which accumulate over the year to determine the ultimate SABA champion in each division.

Surf conditions remained in the one-metre range for most of the day with the high tide causing long lulls between the sets of waves. Riders were forced to play a waiting game with tactical paddling paying off handsomely for most of the divisions’ winners.

18 year old Watts is off to an impressive start in his first year competing against the professional riders having recently graduated from the junior division on the SABA tour. Watts fended off a strong charge from Darren Halse (Amanzimtoti) and national team member Sacha Specker (CT). Halse, who has been working abroad for a few years, proved that he has not lost his touch and impressed his peers by finishing in the runner up position. Rylin Richardson (Umhlanga) placed fourth but laid claim to the best wave of the event pocketing R500 from Surf M’Ocean for a massive invert air in his semi-final clash.

The Drop Knee final proved to be an exciting affair when Sean Tickner (Berea) entered the water late for his heat. Despite trailing for the first half of the final, Tickner made up for lost time in the testing conditions and landed some impressive manoeuvres to take the title away from perennial drop knee favourite Sacha Specker (CT). Reynard du Toit (Richards Bay) put on a much improved performance to place third with old school bodyboarding legend Sascha Taljaard (Durban) in fourth.

Lize-Mari Ras (Durban) was a clear winner in the Women’s final proving to the bodyboarding fraternity that she has taken her competitive riding to the next level. Ras defeated local favourites Jocelyn Norton and former national team member Inge Pieters (both Margate).

The Junior final did not disappoint and boiled down to a tussle between long time rivals Jared Houston (Somerset West) and Adam Morley (Mossel Bay). Houston, who recently placed fifth in the pro division of the Cave Rock SABA Specialty event, emerged on top. Charles Pass (Westville) performed well to take third. Justin Zietman (Margate), day one’s standout who was tipped to win, ran out of steam in the final and placed fourth.

Wayne Beekman (Margate) has been working flat out for the past two days. The Southern Kwa Zulu Natal Bodyboarding Chairman not only faced the daunting task of running the Wimpy/ Rossi Pro-Am, he also competed in the Men’s event. Beekman’s consistent big rolls on the set waves saw him take his third Men’s title at his home break. Mick Phillips (Richards Bay) was the runner up with well known North Beach locals Kevin Pearman (Durban) and Karl Liebenberg (Durban) placing third and fourth. The latter pair has vowed to make a comeback on the competitive scene and will be expected to feature in upcoming event finals.

Geline Derbyshire (Plettenberg Bay) improved on her second place finishes in the past by winning the U16 Girls final in fine style ahead of Monica Olivier (CT). Kina Meyer (Mossel Bay) placed third ahead of local Margate girl Liezl von Vollenhoven.

Other riders that took home top honours included boy’s division winner Ian Campbell (Durban), U12 boy’s competitor Bas Koopmans (CT), Brad Keets (Durban) in the Masters final and development star Grant van der Wagen (Southern KZN).

Emile von Vollenhoven (Margate) stole the show in the fun www.factory7.co.za "Best Trick Trampoline Contest" which entertained beachgoers over the two day period.

At the prize giving ceremony Jonathon Oliff (Durban) scooped the top judge award for having the most consistent and accurate scoring throughout the event.

Wimpy/ Rossi Pro-Am upsets included the Pro quarterfinal elimination of Cave Rock Gladiator Pit winner Alistair Taylor (Pietermaritzburg) and SA team top seed Wesley Fischer (Berea).

"We had amazing weather on both days which the holidaymakers really enjoyed. The great conditions and large crowds combined with decent waves meant the standard of riding was really high as competitors fought for the biggest prize pool in the history of the event," said contest organiser and Southern Kwa Zulu Natal Bodyboarding Association Chairman Wayne Beekman.

The next event on the 2006 SABA tour is the Wedge Classic in Plettenberg Bay from July 3 to 7.

This popular tournament is sponsored by the Wimpy Margate and Rossi Bodyboards and is supported by the Hibiscus Coast Tourism board. Other sponsors include Factory7, Lesans Extreme Makeover Clinic and Ocean Eyewear.

2006 Wimpy/ Rossi Pro-Am Final Results:

(Margate – Southern KZN, South Africa)

Pro Final

1. Mark Watts (Westville)
2. Darren Halse (Amanzimtoti)
3. Sacha Specker (Cape Town)
4. Rylin Richardson (Umhlanga)

Drop Knee Final

1. Sean Tickner (Berea)
2. Sacha Specker (Cape Town)
3. Reynard du Toit (Richards Bay)
4. Sascha Taljaard (Durban)

Women’s Final

1. Lize-Mari Ras (Durban)
2. Jocelyn Norton (Margate)
3. Inge Pieters (Margate)

U16 Girls Final

1. Geline Derbyshire (Mossel Bay)
2. Monica Olivier (Cape Town)
3. Kina Meyer (Mossel Bay)
4. Liezl von Vollenhoven (Margate)

Junior Final

1. Jared Houston (Somerset West)
2. Adam Morley (Mossel Bay)
3. Charles Pass (Westville)
4. Justin Zietman (Margate)

Boys Final

1. Ian Campbell (Durban)
2. Bradley Moys (Margate)
3. Terence Pieters (Margate)
4. Marc Webster (Durban)

U12 Boys Final

1. Bas Koopmans (Cape Town)
2. Robbie Waites (Durban)

Men’s Final

1. Wayne Beekman (Margate)
2. Mick Phillips (Richards Bay)
3. Kevin Pearman (Durban)
4. Karl Liebenberg (Durban)

Masters Final

1. Brad Keets (Durban)
2. Mike van Huyssteen (Gauteng)

Development Final

1. Grant van der Wagen (Southern KZN)
2. David Merideth (Southern KZN)
3. Nick Heaver (Southern KZN)
4. Zane Mountford (Durban)

Best Wave Award: Rylin Richardson

Trampoline Contest Winner: Emile von Vollenhoven (Margate)

Top judge Award: Jonathon Oliff (Durban)

Issued on behalf of:

South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA)

Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal Bodyboarding Contact:
Wayne Beekman (Chairman)
082 822 1825
Email: wayne@venturenet.co.za

Issued by:

Olivia Jones Communications
082 537 8840
Email: olivia@atomgate.com



STSascha Taljaard
1st May 2006 08:53

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