Cool Shoe South African Masters Surfing Championships
Surfing South Africa
Nahoon Reef, East London, South Africa
15 - 18 May, 2014
Excellent conditions prevail in East London
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 May, 2014 - The semi-finalists in the five of the seven divisions were decided in excellent conditions and pumping waves at Nahoon Reef in East London on Day 2 of the 2014 Cool Shoe SA Masters Surfing Championships today (Friday).
Competitors were greeted with the predicted light offshore winds with solid overhead surf at dawn and poured into the surf zone for a mass practice session. The ideal conditions prevailed throughout the day with the waves producing even longer rides as the tide dropped, enabling the country’s top surfers over 30 to post excellent scores.
The Senior Men (over 30 years) produced the heat of the day. Defending champion Llewellyn Whittaker (Southern Cape) opened his account with an outstanding 8.5 out of 10 awarded for a series of backhand carves only to be overtaken by Kelvin Zehmke (Eastern Province) who racked up a 9.0, the highest single ride of the event to date.
Whittaker added a 6.75 to his tally to win the heat with a total of 15.25 out of 20 to Zehmke’s 14.15 as both advanced to the semi-finals. They were joined by Alan Johns, who continued Zululand’s strong showing at the event by winning his heat, along with Neil Zietsman (Western Province) and Dylan Stewart (KZN Central), and will take on the three winners of yesterday Round 1 heats in the last eight.
The Grandmasters (O40) ran through three rounds with two-time former SA Open champion Wayne Monk delivering several strong performances to advance to the semis where he will face Border teammates Andre Malherbe and Kevin O’Brien. The second semi sees Zululand’s Dave Peterson and Vince King against Gary van Wieringen (Southern KZN)
The Grandmasters produced one of the upsets of the event when the KZN Central top seed Ryan Ribbink, who won his Round 1 heat yesterday and looked in great form during the free surfing sessions, arrived late for his Round 3 encounter. After catching his first ride with just seven minutes remaining, Ribbink was eliminated from the contest needing just a 3.0 point score.
In the Grandkahunas (O50) quarter-finals, Robin Lavery (Zulu) and Andre Venter (EP) won their heats and progressed to the semis along with their respective second and third placed opponents. There they meet Round 1 heat winners Nick Pike (BOR) and Arthur Cowan (KZNC).
Wayne de Klerk (EP) and Gareth Sepp (BOR) won their Kahunas (O45) division quarters and will contest tomorrow’s semi-finals along with Steve Kuhn and Kenneth Hodgson (both Zululand) and Andre Mory (WP) plus the three heat winners from yesterday’s Round 1.
Western Province’s Jeremy Zinn and defending champion Hans Kamhoot will contest tomorrow’s semi-final in the Veterans (O55) division against Dave Lipschitz (EP) and Gordon Harmer (BOR), with the top two advancing to the final where four-time World Masters Champion Chris Knutsen (KZNC) and Brian Heathcote (BOR) await.
The Masters (O35) division saw two rounds completed where Phillip Malherbe (BOR) and former World Masters Champion Andrew Banks, now representing Zululand, were the standouts.
The Masters quarterfinals will be first in the surf on the final day tomorrow, followed by the Women’s Final, the semi-finals of all six men’s divisions and then the finals, starting with the Veterans and ending with the Senior Men.
After some initial teething problems, the historic first live webcast from a Surfing South Africa national tournament enabled viewers worldwide to watch the competitors battle for individual and team honours in the bright sunshine and overhead waves.
The scene is set for an epic final day at the 2014 Cool Shoe SA Masters Surfing Championships when the 2014 national champions will be crowned in seven divisions and the provincial team whose members accumulate the highest total of points is awarded the prestigious Masters Cup.