Epic start for Scottburgh Surf Series

Cloudless skies, a packed beach and glassy one metre waves on Saturday provided an epic opening for the fourth and final event in the Billabong ‘Girls Get Out There’ Summer Surf Series event at Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast, where the highly competitive Pro Junior (U20) division produced more outstanding surfing.

Kirsty Delport posted another strong victory in Round 1 to keep her hopes alive for a top six finish in the ratings, and a place in the surf-off at Jeffreys Bay in September, where the winner receives a coveted invitation to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia next January and their airfare sponsored by FNB.

Others to move into Sunday’s quarterfinals, where they come up against the top eight seeds, were fellow heat winners Amber Kilfoil, Faye Zoetmulder who chose to ride the lefts, and Imeson along with runners-up Lois Hansmeyer, Laurie McGregor, Laura Oppel and Monique Gresse.

While the country’s top female surf stars revelled in the best surf of the 2007/8 series, holiday-makers enjoyed the commentary, pumping music and non-stop promotions, lining up in droves for the free ‘Learn to Surf’ and Soft Lips Yoga sessions.

After rising star Bianca Buitendag and Michelle Imeson had won the first two heats in Round 1 of the 4A rated R20 000 Open women’s event, former multiple SA champion Tamarys de Maroussem set the waves alight in her first appearance in the series.

The 33 year-old showed that she had lost none of the skills that took her to numerous titles in the 1990’s and early 2000’s by opening her account with a near perfect 9.0 point ride before going on to clinch a convincing victory over national junior team member Chantelle Rautenbach by 16.0 to 14.50.

The top four seeds in the U15 event all advanced comfortably into Round 3 with Cara MacDonald the standout. Ratings leader and top seed Holly Armstrong was surprisingly relegated to second place by a committed performance from tiny Chanelle Botha in the quarter-finals, although both progressed to Sunday’s semi-finals.

They will be joined by Heather Klug, Sabrina Scott, Cara MacDonald, Caryn MacNicol, Tanika Hoffman and an impressive Nikita Kekana who fought her way back into contention, after having to contest the repecharge Round 2 heats.

The Novices division, which featured girls as young as seven years of age such as Zoe Smith, was next up with Janelle Rademeyer and Jordyn van Houtte displaying the best form.

Nearly 20 aspirant surfers filled three beginners’ classes conducted by surf champions Heather Clark and Sarah Maritz, both of whom are fully qualified SSA accredited surf instructors, while Billabong Girls marketing coordinator Tara Hossack presented two sessions of the Soft Lips Yoga sessions.

The Girl Inc painting competition where spectators are invited to use their artistic skills with paint, brushes and canvases supplied to produce Marine Themed paintings attracted plenty of attention and TV personality Marius Roberts was kept busy running beach games and promotions for Seventeen Magazine, FNB and Tropitone.

Even better waves are predicted for Sunday and the finalists and series champions will be crowned after the finals and the spectacular Von Zipper Expression Session are completed at around 3.30pm.

 

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Launched in 2006, gsport exists to enhance the commercial prospects of our women athletes, and other women in sport, by telling the inspiring story of SA women in sport. Thank you for your contribution!

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