Anticipation builds ahead of SA Champs


posted by Gareth White on 23rd September 2007

The 21st annual 5A rated South African Bodyboarding Championships are due to kick off this week at the Wedge in Plettenberg Bay and forecasts seem conducive to the event being a great success.

The weather took a turn for the worst in the days leading up to the event, with the first storm making landfall late on Saturday afternoon. Despite clouded skies and occasional rainfall, organisers welcomed this development with open arms because with it came the possibility of big swells. The four day event, which is due to commence on the 24th of September, has been given a six day window. This provides organisers with a two day grace period in order to ensure that the best possible waves are ridden.

Participants in the event come from eight of South Africa’s coastal provinces, each rider having been selected to represent their province after competing in a series of provincial trials.

This years championships are the richest to date with R25 000 of sponsored prizes on offer for the Pro, Ladies and Drop Knee Divisions. Other divisions that will not be competing for cash include Masters, Men’s, Juniors and Boys.

Last years Pro Division Champion and Central Kwa-Zulu Natal team member, Alistair Taylor, hopes to claim a remarkable 9th title and has been in good form leading up to the contest. Taylor has been competing at S.A Champs since its inception and apparently won his first title in the boys division in 1987. He now hopes for a repeat of this good fortune and eagerly awaits the challenges of the contest.

Bodyboarders from all walks of life will pay tribute to fallen friend, Ivan Friedman with a dawn paddle out at the start of the contest. Friedman, a well known South African bodyboarder, was diagnosed with a rare from of cancer earlier this year and sadly lost his hard fought battle with the disease after treatments failed to stop the cancer from spreading. Participants will paddle out as one, gather in a circle and spread flowers in remembrance of their friend and celebrate his life.

South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) Contest Director, Pat Harris and SABA Treasurer, Sally Mellish have kindly donated the Ivan Friedman trophy to the S.A Champs cabinet. The trophy will be awarded to the person who is considered to have demonstrated the most sportsmen like conduct throughout the contest - fitting way in which to remember a brother who will be sorely missed by all.

Debis Fleet Management have sponsored two development clinics for disadvantaged children from nearby townships. The children will be taught bodyboarding basics by professional riders and then encouraged to attempt bodyboarding for the first time. The clinics will be held on the 28th and 29th at 12:00pm.

Those in the area should make their way down to the Wedge to enjoy some of the best bodyboarding South Africa has and share in the healthy spirit of the contest. There should be food and beverages available to the public, as well as music, product give-aways and all-round-fun.

The South African Bodyboarding Championships 2007 is hosted by the Eastern Province Bodyboarding Association together with the South African Bodyboarding Association and is brought to you by Science Bodyboards, Reef Wetsuits, Factory 7 Bodyboard Shop, debis Fleet Management, Pennypinchers, Plett Tourism / Bitou Municipality, Robberg Estates, Bobbin Craft, Arnette, Environ and Havaianas.

The 21st annual 5A rated
Compiled by
Gareth White
072 740 4225

Distributed by:
Olivia Jones Communications



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