Reigning SA Pro champion Alistair Taylor (Dbn) is amongst the top seeded bodyboarders taking part in the eleventh annual Margate Wimpy/Rossi Pro-Am Bodyboarding event at Margate Beach from April 27 to 29. The 4A rated South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) contest has grown from strength to strength and 130 bodyboarders have entered this year's contest.
"The Wimpy/Rossi Pro-Am has always had some heavy swell and good waves making it great for the competitors as well as the spectators. With the recent storms having restructured the banks along the KZN Coastlines, I think we may well be in for a slightly different kind of event this year. With the outside banks being very deep, the majority of the swell is pushing through onto the newly formed shallow inside banks. Late April is nearing the winter season and we usually get some early swell and light offshore winds during this period leading into winter, so we will all be holding thumbs that the weather Gods play in our favour and good old King Neptune sets the scene with some cranking swell," commented Wayne Beekman Southern KZN Bodyboarding Association Chairman.
In the lucrative Pro division Taylor will square up to 19 year old Westville bodyboarding star Mark Watts who has set his sights on defending his Wimpy/Rossi Pro-Am title. Former women's world bodyboarding champion Karla Costa Taylor (Dbn) will pose a major threat to her male counterparts when she takes them on in the Pro division.
The R2,400 prize purse in the Drop Knee division has been sponsored by Factory 7 which has resulted in the renaming of this category which is now known as F7 DK. Favourites tipped to win the F7 DK title include defending event champion Sean Tickner (Berea) and the current SA Champion Derek Footit (Margate).
The Ladies section will be hotly contested with defending champ Lize-Mari Ras (Durban) coming up against the reigning SA Champ and local rider Inge Pieters (Margate).
In the Boys division the majority of last year's stars have moved up into Juniors so the door has been left wide open for the rising stars of the sport to emerge. The Boys division will see a great battle between Andrew Raath (CT) and Adam Waites (Dbn).
The Juniors final is expected to feature names such as defending champ Jared Houston (CT) and SA Champ Michael Ostler as well as Mossel Bay's Adam Morley who won the Pro title at the recent Cape Classic SABA event.
Wayne Beekman (Margate) the 2006 Men's event winner will face a strong challenge from central KZN riders like Karl Liebenberg who recently won the 2007 Cape Classic Men's title.
Perennial favourite 45 year old Mike van Huyssteen (Gauteng) is expected to excel in the Master's division but this year he is also entering the Pro event. In the Masters category Southern KZN old school rider Justin Klusener is entering his first SABA event in over 10 years and is expected to give van Huyssteen a run for his money.
Margate Beach, on Kwa Zulu Natal's south coast, has a reputation for attracting consistent, good quality waves. Spectators can look forward to seeing some spectacular high risk manoeuvres in some nail biting match-ups. There will be other beach activities such as the Factory 7 trampoline competition and also product give-aways.
Margate Beach Wimpy, Rossi Board Company and www.Factory7.co.za will again be joining forces as the main sponsors for the event providing lucrative cash prizes for the pro's and drop knee divisions totalling R14, 400 and much-needed product prizes for other divisions.
The contest is expected to run over two days to allow for a one day window period further improving the likelihood of getting perfect surf. The Wimpy/ Rossi Pro-Am briefing takes place on April 26 at 6.30pm in the Margate Hotel on Marine Drive.
Issued on behalf of:
South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA)
Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal Bodyboarding Contact:
Wayne Beekman (Chairman)
082 822 1825
Olivia Jones Communications
082 537 8840
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