15th October 2011
Article by Quintin van Jaarsveld / witness.co.za
TEEN prodigy Storm Prestwich wrote his name in the annals of South African bodyboarding history when he became the first-ever rider to win both the junior and pro titles at the 25th annual South African Bodyboarding Championships held at Big Bay last week.
The Scottburgh star, who in July was crowned South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) junior division tour champion for the second successive year, powered into last Saturday's junior division final and ousted Matthew Lombard, Stephen du Preez and Tyler Voster with an array of trademark airs and textbook spins to capture the junior title.
The 17-year-old then did the unthinkable as, after five gruelling heats, he paddled out in the pro final and defeated Joshua Kleve, Rheinhard du Toit and Southern KwaZulu-Natal teammate Derek Footit to accomplish the historic feat.
"I'm the happiest guy in the world," Prestwich told The Witness. "To make the pro final in itself was great, but to beat three of my peers and win two SA titles on the same day is just epic!"
"Before the pro final I just focused and forget about everything else and I was lucky enough to get some decent waves," added the modest youngster.
Prestwich said he had prepared for the physical demands of being a dual-division competitor and was pleased that the hard work had paid off."
"I went running and swam laps in the pool in the lead up to the event, but I think bodyboarding every day was the real key to success," he said.
Prestwich's heroics also helped Southern KwaZulu-Natal retain the coveted Fishman trophy. "The individual titles are great, but I'm equally happy that I could play a role in our team's victory," he said.
Prestwich's remarkable form has seen him being included in the five-man South African team who will be competing at the ISA World Bodyboarding Championship in Galdar, Canary Islands, Spain from November 30 until December 4.
"It's such an honour that I'll be surfing for South Africa. These wins have given me a lot of confidence and I'll be going all out to make South Africa proud," said Prestwich.
Jot de Lauwere, coach of the national bodyboarding team, believes Prestwich has the ability to win additional silverware at the global showpiece.
"Storm to me has really stood out over the last few years. He's dominated the junior division on the SABA circuit as well as doing exceptionally well in the pro division. I'm very happy to see him get the opportunity to be part of the team and take part in the junior division at the World Champs," said De Lauwere.
"I'm blown away by his ability in all conditions and his no-holding-back approach seems to pay off. I definitely believe he has what it takes to win the title," concluded De Lauwere.
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