Favourites gather for the Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am

posted by Olivia Jones on 31st March 2004

Number one Pro seed Sacha Specker (CT) and National Team riders Darren Halse (Amanzimtoti) and Vaughn Harris (SC) are amongst the favourites tipped to win the Pro division of the highest rated bodyboarding tournament on the 2004 South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) calendar. The 4A rated Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am bodyboarding competition will be held on Kwa-Zulu Natal’s south coast at Margate main beach from 3 to 4 April, 2004. Following a massive cold front in Cape Town big swell is predicted to move in providing the perfect setting for the showdown that boasts the highest prize money of R10 000 for the Pro’s on the SA circuit. Other divisions include boys, juniors, men, women, masters, drop knee, under 12 boys, under 16 girls and a development section to provide an affordable opportunity for young rising stars to showcase their talent.

Defending Wimpy/ Rossi Pro-Am Champion Philip Rodrigues (Dbn) will provide stiff competition for top competitors like Specker, Halse, Harris and fourth seeded Mark McCarthy from Zululand. International bodyboarder, Juan Castilla, from Chile has entered the Pro division hoping to give our locals a run for their money but he may have underestimated the talent of Durban bodyboarders like reigning South African Champion Craig Maree, former National Team member Sihle Xaba who is exceptionally fit from training for a major lifesaving tournament and top rated Durbanite Vijay Maharaj. Uvongo Pro Lifeguard Derek Footit (SN) who won the Richards Bay Pro division recently is amongst the top 9 Pro’s that have all confirmed their entries; Footit will be going all out to pocket first prize of R3 200 and 1 500 valuable SABA points.

The Women’s division includes a star studded line up; National Team rider Inge Pieters (Margate) will need to overcome jet lag from her recent trip to Ecuador in order to keep threats like defending event champion Olivia Donald (Dbn) and Catey Mellish (CT) at bay. The under 16 girls heats are expected to be dominated by south coast local and defending champion Kara Wickens.

SABA Junior top seed Daniel Worsley (CT), who won the event last year, will need to fend off a strong charge from southern KZN’s Grant Lee (second SABA seed) who will have the advantage of being in home waters.

South coast bodyboarders Emile van Vollenhoven (boys) and Terrence Pieters (boys under 12) head up their respective divisions because both are defending event champions leading their respective ratings but with top youngsters like Wiseman Simenson (Southern KZN) coming through the ranks the more established riders could be in for a big surprise.

Simon Hagen (CT), who has a string of awards under his belt, is expected to control the highly competitive Drop Knee division where bodyboarders ride in a kneeling stance as opposed to lying prone on their boards. Specker and North Beach local Sascha Taljaard are keen to play catch up on the ratings ladder and both are hungry for the title.

The men’s division will see a clash of old friends Wayne Beekman and Martin Otto (both Margate residents). Beekman, SA men’s champion, will have to keep on his toes to stay ahead of the determined bodyboarding coach Otto who will be eager to prove himself in front of his home crowd. This year former National Team member Steve Benson (Dbn) has opted to change from competing in the pro division to the men’s division for the first time and is fresh from his win in the recent Cape Town SABA event; Benson will be eager to cause some upsets amongst the old guard.

Seasoned competitor Mike van Huyssteen (former Durbanite now residing in Gauteng) will be making the trip to Margate in the hopes of reclaiming his Master’s title.

The competition is expected to draw over 120 entries from around the country and has prizes valued at over R25 000. The Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am is the third event on the hotly contested 2004 SABA circuit. The tournament which is in its eighth year is hosted by the Southern KZN Bodyboarding Association.

Issued on behalf of:
South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA)

Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal Bodyboarding Contact:
Wayne Beekman (Chairman)
082 822 1825
Email: [email protected]

Issued by:
Olivia Jones Media Communications
082 537 8840
Email: [email protected]

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