by Ian Thurtell on 10th April 2011
SABA 5A rated event
Hosted by Boland Bodyboarding and Reef South Africa
Well, the predicted drop in swell was in full effect when the contestants arrived on the final day of the Kumba West Coast Classic. An inconsistent 2ft wave was breaking further up the point and most of the contestant's surfed their heats huddled together on a small patch of reef that was producing a hollow take off which ran down the shallow reef in front of a dry shelf.
Being a 5A rated event with a huge amount of cash and product prizes on offer all the finalists could smell the money in the air.
The Grand Masters were sent in on the higher tide so that the other divisions can utilise the lower tide later in the morning. Len Bradford and Marcel Habets looked like they were having a free surf, trading off waves and having fun. Marcel Habets walked away the winner with Len in 2nd.
Sean Oberholzer led his Masters Final from the start and never looked back. Melvin Victor places 2nd with Morne laubscher and Lee Moran placed 3rd and 4th respectively.
In the Ladies Final the tide had dropped just enough for the contestants to surf the main reef infront of the judges. Lindi Stemmet, and Kim Richardson had some good scores but it was the consistent Janeke De Kok who won the Ladies title.
Tristan Roberts had been a standout through the entire event and was in some amazing form. His form just kept flowing when he entered the water for the Boys Final. It was a fairly comfortable win for Tristan but newcomer to the SABA events, Tim Bowman kept Tristan on his heels and won a deserving 2nd next to Tristan. Robert Cooke and Robert Marx were 3rd and 4th respectively.
The Mens Final had a tough time with waves in their heat. Mathew Webster used every inch of the waves he got to squeeze as many moves together. Andrew Raath struggled in the dying swell and had to settle for 4th. Michael Mayer had a few scores but the real tussle was between Chris Van Der Westhuizen and Mathew Webster. In the end it was Mathew who took the win with Chris in 2nd.
The DK Final started with a bizarre and unfortunate incident. With the waves becoming quite inconsistent, Vaughn Harris timed his first wave to perfection; paddling into his opening wave a few seconds after the siren sounded the start of the heat. It was a well shaped wave and Vaughn went up to give the lip a bit of a whack, but little did he know a rider from the previous heat was still in the competition area and was taking off on the section Vaughn was about to hit. The 2 riders collided and Vaughn did not complete the move. For the rest of the heat he was not at his best and had to settle for 4th position. The battle was between Simon Heale and Sean Tickner. Sean used his smooth carving style to end up with the win he worked hard to get. Simon opted for the lefts off the split peak and claimed 2nd next to Sean. Joshua Kleve couldn't keep up with the top 2 and settled for 3rd.
The reef up the point at Farmers became the popular choice for the Junior Final and as always some of the most competitive riding went down. The heat started slow with only a few waves been ridden amongst the finalists. Storm Prestwich pushed the lead early on in the final until Mathew Lombard started answering back with wave after wave packing in as many high scoring moves as possible, finishing on dry rocks on a few occasions. It turned out to be an extremely close final especially between the top 2 riders. In the end it was Mathew Lombard who took the win with Storm 2nd, Jason Fowler in 3rd and Sebastian Koopmans in 4th.
The Pro Final followed straight after the junior final and Mathew Lombard had to stay in the water and gear up and surf the big prize money final. It looked like he had given his all in the junior final and he looked tired through the pro final and even had an interference called on him. He couldn't bounce back and got 4th. David Lilienfeld used his tall frame and long arms to land huge rolls but couldn't keep up with Keith Milward and Darren Halse. David settled for 3rd. Keith was machining every wave and was looking for the win. Darren decided to paddle back to the main reef on the farmers stretch of reef. His patience payed off and he picked up a good bowling wave which allowed him to ARS off the first section and roll the end section. With that wave he sealed the Pro title along with the R6000 cash prize along with various amazing product prizes.
A Kumba Development Clinic was held at the main beach at Lamberts bay. There was an amazing 25 entries from the local kids in the area. It was great to see the kids surf the heavy shorebreak that was breaking right on the sand. The local kids have fallen in love with bodyboarding. To see them showing off to the riders that had first taught them how to bodyboard was special to see. The riders were landing spin after spin and had the judges hooting and clapping in praise.
The final results for the clinic were:
1st Charlon Don
2nd Tamel Alexander
3rd Horiko Visagie
4th Zac Toontjies
Kumba Iron Ore told the entire prize giving group that Kumba will be making next years West Coast Classic even bigger than this years event and will be making a huge amount of funds available for more development clinics in the Saldahna area so that more kids can enjoy the ocean exactly like we do!
A huge thanks must go out to the following people: The Boland Bodyboarding Association , Kumba Iron Ore, Reef Wetsuits, Coca Cola for all the refreshments and the eye catching truck and all the competitors!
See you next year!
Product Sponsors: Reef South Africa, Science bodyboards, Ocean & Earth, Viper Fins, Gyroll leashes, Matunas eco-wax and Stomp wax, Coca Cola, Powerade, BONAQUA, Glider Sunglasses and Namaqua Wines.
Other Sponsors: Eureka Holiday Accommodation, OK Sentra, Cederburg Municipality.
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