by Gareth White on 2nd July 2008
As many as 200 of our countries best bodyboarders are preparing to do battle at one of South Africa’s most desirable bodyboarding venues, The Wedge in Plettenberg Bay, ahead of The Wedge Classic 2008.
The Wedge Classic 2008, 8 to 11 July, now in its 14th year, is the longest running South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) event.
Local rider and current South African (SA) Mens division Champion Ryan Jucker, 27, and his girlfriend of 8 years and top Ladies division competitor Lyndall Pells, 23, hope to retain local pride when they compete. Jucker will be hoping to make it 3 in a row at the event, having won last years Wedge Classic and SA Champs, which was also held at The Wedge.
“Wedge's banks where almost shattered after the floods last year. Only over the last couple of month has she shown glimpses of returning to her old form,” commented Jucker.
Jucker said that he would adopt the same “free surf” strategy that served him well last year.
“The best thing about contests is that you are forced to step up a few levels. If you don’t, you fall short because it’s anyones game.
Riders whom I am keen to compete against are Wesley Potts, Jamie Higgins and Wayne Beekman because they always bring their A-game to the contest,” he said.
Competition will be just as fierce for Pells who will be competing against current SA Ladies division Champ and SA Team rider, Pamela Bowren.
Added to that pressure, Pells said she feels the pinch of having grown up in Plettenberg Bay.
“I have learnt to laugh it off and just relax otherwise I always lose it in the finals. I am definitely looking forward to the event. I love competing with other girls at The Wedge because it is such a great wave and it is easy to ride,” she said.
Jucker spoke highly of his partners’ abilities saying that she is a dedicated, strong-minded person whose focus is set on victory.
“Lyndall sometimes puts a little too much pressure on herself, which can bog her down. But if she keeps a relaxed mind, her free surfing comes through strongly and she can make a few blokes blush on the beach. It is inspiring to watch her in the water and pushes me to go harder!” concluded Jucker.
The event marks the conclusion of the South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA), tour for 2008 and with the coveted SABA tour titles on offer spectators can be assured of a spectacular finale.
Other local prospects spectators might want to keep their eye on are Samuel Kamffer, Chris Bosman, Justin Lindsay, Murray van Vuuren and Geline Derbyshire.
The Wedge Classic 2008 is proudly brought to you by FNB, Robberg Fine Foods, Reef Wetsuits, Science Bodyboards and Pam Golding Properties in association with Offthehook seafood café, The Surf Shop, Surf Café and Flashbacks
Besides the action taking place in the contest there will be plenty of activities taking place on the beach throughout the day to promote the healthy family environment and cool lifestyle associated with bodyboarding.
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