Heather Clark in Get Out There Mix

by | Jan 31, 2007

Heather Clark on her way to clinching the runner-up berth at the Billabong Pro WCT event in Tahiti in June 2006. Picture ASPWorldTour.com/TOSTEEAfter seven years competing at the highest levels of professional surfing globally, Heather Clark will make her first appearance in a domestic surfing event when she takes to the waves in the fourth and final leg of the Billabong ‘Girls Get Out There’ Surf Series on the Tableview beachfront in Cape Town this weekend.

Clark, from Port Shepstone and the undisputed ‘Queen’ of South African surfing, is excited about the prospect of competing against and mixing with the top local girls and passing on the vast experience she gained on the ASP World Championship Tour, the global circuit that determines surfing’s annual world professional champions.

“I’m so excited to surf in Girls Get Out There, I really can’t wait,” said Clark, 34, while making plans for her future career in SA surfing. “Its one thing I’ve been looking forward to – catching up with the top local girls, finding out who the up and coming girls are and helping them whenever possible.”

Clark’s first foray on the local Pro Surf Tour (PST) will come in the Open women’s division of this festival of female surfing action.

She will be up against the likes of Sarah Maritz (Warner Beach) and Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie), the winners of the Open titles in the first two events in Durban and Margate respectively, along with rising international star Nikita Robb (East London) and Melkbosstrand locals Stacey Guy and Chantelle Rautenbach, all of whom will be determined to pocket the R5 000 winner’s pay-cheque in the R12 500, 3A rated PST event.

The Billabong Girls Get Out There event caters for girls of every age and ability from absolute beginners, who can participate in the free learn to surf lessons conducted by experienced surf coaches, through the country’s best competing in contests that include Novices, U15, Pro Junior (U20) and Open divisions.

Scheduled for the Tableview beachfront on Saturday and Sunday, 3 & 4 February, with a backup option of nearby Melkbosstrand if conditions dictate, the two-day event is all about girls getting out and having fun at the beach, says Billabong Girls marketing manager Jeannie Castle.

“The girls can compete at the highest level in the country or learn to surf, try Yoga or simply come along and express their creative talents on canvas, hear about marine conservation and listen to positive messages from the bands.”

The Cape Town leg is launching the free live music performances by recording artists Arde and One80 whose easy listening and motivational concert will be staged at the event venue on Saturday afternoon.

The complimentary ‘Learn to Surf’ lessons provide the opportunity for any girl who wants to try her hand at riding waves.

All surfing equipment is provided and the lessons will be conducted by Liam Wood, a fully qualified Surfing South Africa accredited surf instructor, who is well versed in teaching beginners the basics of how to stand up and ride their first wave.

The Soft Lips Yoga sessions are also open to all and the techniques demonstrated during these free sessions are designed to assist young and old to become more supple and hopefully awaken an interest in this highly beneficial practice.

The Make UR Mark creative workshop comprises ocean orientated canvasses erected on easels at the event site where girls can use the freely provided brushes and paint to express their artistic talents to add to the images.

Once completed, these unique works of art are auctioned off with the funds raised contributed to marine conservation programmes.

Aaniyah Omardien, the manager of the WWF Sanlam Marine Programme, will be present on Saturday to talk about the importance of keeping our oceans healthy. Albatrosses are one of the indicators that tell us how healthy our oceans are and Samantha Petersen will talk more about this.

Yvonne Kamp, the coordinator of the Shark Spotters Programme will attend on Sunday to talk about White Shark conservation and ocean user’s safety.

The entire two-day beach extravaganza features good music and commentary throughout both days with plenty of give-aways and spot prizes for participants and spectators alike. The whole event is covered by Silver Bullet Productions and broadcast on SuperSport.

The Billabong ‘Girls Get Out There’ Surf Series is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa and proudly supported by Soft Lips, Liqui Fruit, First National Bank (FNB), Von Zipper, Kustom, Silver Bullet and Interstage and is presented by Nashua Mobile.

The 206 / 2007 series started in Durban in September followed by Margate and then a fun day in Jeffreys Bay both in December.

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