Fischer and Taylor Win Durban Beach Pro-Am Bodyboarding Event


posted by Olivia Jones on 1st July 2007

Wesley Fischer (Berea) and Karla Costa Taylor (Berea) stole the show on the final day (Sunday, July 1) of the Durban Beach Pro Am Bodyboarding event. The 2007 Durban Beach Festival was blessed once again with great Durban weather and a rising swell from a passing cold front.

The slight chill in the air was no deterrent to the sizzling action in the water, as the semi finalists and finalists took to the surf in a frantic bid to secure a lead in the South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) ratings. Carrying a 5A rating the event is the highest rated and most lucrative SABA contest on the 2007 calendar.

Click here to watch streaming video of the finals.

The Pro final proved to be a nail biting affair with the top four contestants putting on a dazzling display of high performance bodyboarding. It was however Wesley Fischer (Berea) that dominated, with a near 10 point ride at the start of the heat, and then another spectacular ride just at the end of the heat to seal victory. A brilliant ride from fellow Durbanite Mark Watts was not enough to push him to first, and he had to settle for a close second place. North Beach local and multiple SA champion Philip Rodrigues took third place. One of the star performers of the event, junior rider Emile von Vollenhoven from Margate, impressed his peers by coming in fourth overall.

The Factory7 Drop Knee final was a closely contested affair with Durban's Wesley Fischer snatching first place from current SA drop knee champ Derek Footit (Uvongo) who was followed closely by Hibiscus coast's David Lee in third with former SA champ Vaughn Harris (Cape Town) in fourth.

The Women's final was completely dominated by two times women's world champion, Karla Taylor from Brazil, with her rapid fire combination maneuvers. Left to tussle it out for second to fourth were Inge Pieters from Margate, Liezl von Vollenhoven (Margate) and Sam Smith, who finished in that order.

The Junior final proved to be the most intense heat of the entire event, with all four riders holding back nothing in the chase for victory. The lead changed hands several times throughout the twenty minutes as a seesaw battle for first place ensued. When the dust settled, local boy Michael Ostler from North Beach took the win, closely followed by Dane Beales from Umdloti, Jaryd Enslin from the KZN south coast and current SABA Junior champ Jared Houston (Blouberg, CT) in fourth.

Best wave of the event award went to Dane Beales (Umdloti) for his huge air roll spin maneuver in the junior final.

A free development clinic was put on by Debis, and twenty thrilled children from Lamontville were given the opportunity to experience the joy of bodyboarding for the first time, with the help of the pro riders such as Sihle Xaba (Lamontville) coaching them.

The Durban Beach Pro Am was presented by Durban Beach Festival, SABC, Debis Fleet Management, HB Bodyboards, Bad Boy, Executive Surveillance, the Comfort Group,, sixty40 bodyboarding magazine, ATD bodyboards and Wimpy.

2007 Durban Beach Pro Am Bodyboarding Final Results
Bay Beach
June 29 to July 1

Pro Final:

1. Wesley Fischer (Berea)
2. Mark Watts (Durban)
3. Philip Rodrigues (Durban)
4. Emile von Vollenhoven (Margate)

Factory7 Drop Knee Final:

1. Wesley Fischer (Berea)
2. Derek Footit (Uvongo)
3. David Lee (Margate)
4. Vaughn Harris (Cape Town)

Juniors Final:

1. Michael Ostler (Durban)
2. Dane Beales (Umdloti)
3. Jaryd Enslin (Uvongo)
4. Jared Houston (Blouberg, Cape Town)

Womens Final:

1. Karla Taylor (Brazil/ now Berea)
2. Inge Pieters (Margate)
3. Liezl von Vollenhoven (Margate)
4. Sam Smith (Durban)

Boys Final:

1. Storm Prestwich (Durban)
2. Andrew Raath (Cape Town)
3. John Will (Durban)
4. Adam Waites (Durban North)

Masters Final:

1. Brad Keets (Durban)
2. Peter Lambert (Cape Town)
3. Mike van Huyssteen (Gauteng)
4. Justin Klusener (Durban)

Mens Final:

1. Karl Liebenerg (Durban)
2. Rob Gray (Durban)
3. Kevin Pearman Durban)
4. Darren Beitz (Durban North)

Durban is HOT with So Much To Do! Durban is Africa's premier lifestyle and events destination, and its annual Beach Festival has evolved into one of the world's great festivals.


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