Lee, Specker, Bowren and Ostler are the new SA Champs

Source: www.sabaonline.co.za

posted by Gareth White on 30th September 2007

The 21st annual 5A rated South African Bodyboarding Championships concluded this past weekend, 29 September, at The Wedge in the peaceful town of Plettenberg Bay.

The event was organised by the Eastern Province Bodyboarding Association (EPBA) together with the South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) was the richest to date with over R25 000 worth of prizes on offer. Swell during the majority of the event was consistently good, averaging in the region of 4 to 6 foot with light winds and enough sunshine to keep onlookers warm on most days.

Teams from eight Provinces along South Africa's coastline competed in various divisions in hope of being crowned South African Champions. Competition was fierce and many big names were eliminated during the qualifying stages. Among them was current World number 2 and Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal (NKZN) team member, Mark McCarthy, whose early exit from the Pro Division surprised many. "Winning SA Champs was one of my goals for this year and I am disappointed to have been eliminated, but it has been great to come back and see that the level of riding in South Africa truly is World class," commented a humble McCarthy shortly after his elimination. His focus now turns to training for the next stop on the International Bodyboarding Association tour.

Making it through to the Pro Division finals were, Mark Watts from Central Kwa-Zulu Natal (CKZN), David Lee from Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal (SKZN), Jonathan Maritz from Western Province (WP) and Marc Jucker (EPBA). In a closely contested heat that saw great exchanges between the riders, Lee was declared the winner after impressing judges with his powerful manoeuvres and overall ability. Lee, who had never managed to make a Pro Division final before the event was overwhelmed by his victory and appeared lost for words once handed the trophy. "I would like to thank the organisers for putting this event together, but most of all I would like to thank my fellow team mates for their support," commented a jovial Lee. Marc Jucker, Jonathan Maritz and Mark Watts finished in second, third and fourth respectively.

The Juniors Division plays host to the up and coming professionals of South African bodyboarding and as one can imagine competition in the division is fierce. Michael Ostler (CKZN), claimed the title of Juniors Division Champion and was also declared as the overall winner of the division on the SABA circuit for 2007. "I am very happy to have won both titles, I have sacrificed so much to do well and this makes it all worth while. I would like to thank my sponsors Hot Buttered for their support," commented Ostler. It turned out to be a very successful division for CKZN when team members Ian Campbell and Dane Beales picked up awards for second and third place. James Jones (EPBA), finished in fourth place.

For the first time at SA Champs the Ladies Division competitors competed for cash prizes, kindly sponsored by Pennypinchers. Local rider Lyndall Pells (EP), hoped to claim victory in the division during the absence of former Ladies World Champion, Karla Costa-Taylor (CKZN), but had her ambitions put-on-hold when she met with Pamela Bowren (WP), who took home the title. Bowren seems to have surfing at The Wedge down to a fine art, having won the division at the 4A rated Wedge Classic, held in July. "I am very happy to have won, thank you very much to EP for putting on such a wonderful event," commented Bowren. Pells finished in second place with Geline Derbyshire (SC) and Wida Scholtz (SKZN), coming in third and fourth respectively.

Online board and apparel store, Factory 7 sponsored the cash prize in the Drop Knee Division and will probably view it as money well spent after the division boasted one of the most spectacular finals of the competition. Local Drop Knee expert, Chris Bosman (EP), Derek Footit (SKZN), Sacha Specker (WP) and Stuart Bradford (CKZN) pushed one another up until the dying seconds of the heat and left spectators begging for more. With his powerful Snaps and fluid riding, Sacha Specker was crowned as the new South African Drop Knee Champion. "I have finished in third place numerous times and to finally win at SA Champs with the skill of the riders being so high is a dream come true. I would like to thank EP for putting on this event and the competitors for being such good sportsmen and women," concluded Specker. Footit, Bosman and Bradford finished in second, third and fourth respectively.

Overall team victory went to Central Kwa-Zulu Natal.

This year also marked the unveiling of a new trophy, the Ivan Friedman Memorial Trophy for Sportsmanship. The trophy was kindly donated by newly appointed SABA Chairperson, Sally Mellish and newly appointed Vice-Chairperson, Pat Harris in memory of Ivan Friedman, a respected South African bodyboarder who recently lost his fight with cancer. "I never met Ivan personally, but from what I have heard about him, this is something he would have been proud of," commented Mellish about the trophy. This year the trophy was awarded to Stephan Coetzee (NKZN), for his display of humility throughout the contest.

With the SABA circuit behind them and SA Champs quickly becoming a fond memory, riders have time to reflect on their achievements, recover from a weeks worth of gruelling competition and begin training for next years SA Champs.

Results:

Pro Division:

1. David Lee - SKZN
2. Marc Jucker - EP
3. Jonathan Maritz - WP
4. Mark Watts - CKZN

Womens Division:

1. Pamela Bowren - WP
2. Lyndall Pells - EP
3. Geline Derbyshire - SC
4. Wida Scholtz - SKZN

Juniors Division:

1. Michael Ostler - CKZN
2. Ian Campbell - CKZN
3. Dane Beales - CKZN
4. James Jones - EP

Dropknee Division:

1. Sacha Specker - WP
2. Derek Footit - SKZN
3. Chris Bosman - EP
4. Stuart Bradford - CKZN

Mens Division:
1. Ryan Jucker - EP
2. Wayne Beekman - SKZN
3. Wayne Du Preez - CKZN
4. JP Nortier - WP

Masters Division:
1. Wesley McQuillan - EP
2. Brett Simpson - WP
3. Michael van Huyssteen - CKZN
4. Gustav Botha - BOL

Boys Division:
1. Adam Waites - CKZN
2. Murray van Vuuran - EP
3. Jason Selby - WP
4. Andrew Raath – BOL

Expression Session:
1. Daniel Worsley - WP

The South African Bodyboarding Championships 2007 was hosted by the Eastern Province Bodyboarding Association together with the South African Bodyboarding Association and 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.

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Comments

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10th December 2010 14:58
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10th December 2010 14:57
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rylinRylin Richardson
1st October 2007 07:42
Looked like a good SA's this year, stoked there was swell for everyone invovled!!!! Well done CKZN team.

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