Stars Line Up for Inaugural Pro Surf Contest

by | Oct 24, 2012

Bianca Buitendag (George) displays the form that has taken her to the highest levels of international women’s surfing. Photo: Henning

Bianca Buitendag among 80 girls competing in the first-ever Surfing South Africa Women’s Pro, which take place simultaneously in Cape Town, Jeffreys Bay and Durban on Sunday.

Cape Town, Jeffreys Bay and Durban will host the inaugural Women’s Pro surf contests on Sunday and over 80 girls will compete at the three simultaneous events. Each venue has attracted the cream of South Africa’s female surfers adding enormous prestige to the Surfing South Africa Pro Surf Tour (PST) events.

Bianca Buitendag, who achieved tremendous success on the international stage this year, qualifying amongst the World’s top 17 ranked women for the 2013 World Tour, will be competing in the Open and Under 20 divisions in Jeffreys Bay on Sunday. Organisers are delighted that the 19 year-old from George continues to support local events even though she spent the majority of the year campaigning overseas.

Although she is now one of the world’s elite competitors, locals will be keen to take Buitendag on and her toughest opposition in the Open division is likely to come from 2012 SA Junior team member and Jeffreys Bay local Emma Smith.

In the Under 20 group, Emma and her sister Gina, the recently crowned SA Under 17 champion, plus talented Inge McClaren of East London and 2011 SA Under 15 champion Tahra Uren of Jeffreys Bay will be keen to upset the international star.

Recently crowned South African Under 15 champion Crystal Hulett of Cape St Francis, Uren, McClaren, twins Michelle and Kayla Ann Verrynne of George and Britney Linder of PE are the ones to watch in the U16 division at Jeffreys Bay.

The Open Division of the Cape Town edition of the Women’s Pro features a host of talented surfers. Tanika Hoffman of Clifton, who recently returned from competing in Europe, SA Masters champion Tasha Mentasti of Tamboers Kloof, former SA team members Tarryn Chudleigh of Kommetjie and Chantelle Rautenbach of Melkbosstrand and SA Women’s Day champion Danielle Johnson of Muizenberg look the pick of the group, while Holly Armstrong of Scarborough is another accomplished competitor.

Hoffman, Johnson and Armstrong also head up the U20 division where Anoush Zakarian of Melkbosstrand and Nina Woermann of Kenilworth are the up and coming surfers in this group. In the Under 16 division Zakarian and Woermann will be up against talented Ruth Armstrong of Scarborough, Amy Bosworth of Kommetjie, Caitlin October of Noordhoek and half a dozen other young girls keen to make their mark.

The South-Easterly winds predicted for Sunday make Long Beach in Kommetjie the most likely venue for the Cape Town event.

Bay of Plenty will host the Durban Women’s Pro where another recently-returned international surfer will be competing. Sarah Baum of Athlone Park, who started 2012 in style with a runner-up finish in the ISA China Cup and was captain of the SA Junior Team at the ISA World Championships, heads up the Open division.

Baum’s toughest competition is bound to come from experienced campaigner and two-time World Masters Champion Heather Clark of Port Shepstone along with current Under 20 SA Champion Heidi Palmboom of the Bluff, 2012 SA Junior team member Nicole Pallet, former SA Junior team member Nikita Kekana and current PST rankings leader Zoe Papadakis, all three of whom are from Durban.

In the Under 20 Division Baum, Palmboom, Kekana and Pallet will face a talented group of rising stars headed by Chanelle Botha of Warner Beach, Teal Hogg, Jade Story and Cana Foster (all Durban) while the Under 16 division is headed up by Botha, Hogg, Story, Foster and fellow Durbanite Sophie Bell.

There will be a final for “Rookies” in all three regions and all three venues feature 1A rated PST events for Open Women, U20’s and U16’s. There is R2 500 in prize-money at stake in each division at each event while the Rookies, who have not previously represented their respective Provinces or competed in a national event before, will win prizes.

The heats and provisional schedules for all three events are available on the Surfing SA website.

http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

Surfers competing in the Cape Women’s Pro should meet at Long Beach in Kommetjie, the Durban group are required to meet at the Bay of Plenty and the surfers competing in J-Bay must meet at the Albatross car Park. The meeting time is 8am for an 8.30am start.

The Women’s Pro events are supported by Sport & Recreation SA. Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

 

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