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Multiple events crown women champs in South Africa

Tahra Uren © Claire Butler

Women’s Day Surf Challenge

Surfing South Africa
Bay of Plenty & Muizenberg South Africa
9 August 2012

Women's Day Challenge events run in Durban and the Cape

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 August, 2012 : - - National Women’s Day was celebrated in style yesterday when the Cape edition of the Women’s Day Surf Challenge presented by Surfing South Africa (SSA) and supported by Sport and Recreation South Africa took place at Muizenberg Pavilion. Held in benign winter conditions with one metre waves and light offshore winds, the Cape edition of this unique celebration of Women’s surfing went off without a hitch.

Not only did the event feature surfers from the Cape Peninsula but it also played host to a group of surfers who travelled all the way from the Eastern Cape to participate. In addition, six girls from the Isiqalo Waves of Change project competed in the Rookie Division,two of them reaching the final. The Rookie Division was won by Georgie Snaddon with Kiah Bettison taking second place ahead of Noncedo Mahunu, who was third, and Michelle Jonas who came fourth.
In the well supported U16 division honours went the way of Jeffreys Bay local Tahra Uren who beat local girl Anoush Zakarian into second place. Another Eastern Cape surfer, Britney Linder, was third and Ruth Armstrong filled fourth place in the final. Local girl Danielle Johnson, who learned to surf at Muizenberg, out scored her fellow Under 20 finalists to take her first ever Pro Surf Tour victory. She beat Holly Armstrong into second place with Jeffreys Bay surfers Emma Smith and Tahra Uren taking third and fourth respectively.
The  Women's final featured two current South African champions in Nikita Robb and Tasha Mentasti, the defending event champion Chantelle Rautenbach and another top South African surfer, Tarryn Chudleigh.  In a fitting climax to a highly successful Women’s Day event current SA Champion Nikita Robb beat the recently crowned SA Masters champion Tasha Mentasti to take the title. Tarryn Chudleigh came third and last year’s champion Chantelle Rautenbach was fourth.

The winners of the Women’s, Under 20 and Under 16 divisions will each receive a brand new surfboard from Stubby Surfboards while the winner of the rookies division will receive a brand new Reef Wetsuits Triplex Wetsuit. For the second time in three years, Anoush Zakarian won the lucky draw for a surfboard which she will be able to order through Stubby Surfboards in Muizenberg.

A simultaneous event was held at the Bay of Plenty in Durban. Both venues featured 1A rated PST events for Open Women, Under 20 and U16’s with R2 500 in prize-money at stake in each division while the Rookies won generous prizes.


Danielle Johnson © Claire Butler


Eastern Cape girls make their mark in the Women’s Day Surf Challenge in Cape Town and Durban

A small contingent of girls from the Eastern Cape made long journeys to Cape Town and Durban for the Women’s Day Surf Challenge which was held at Muizenberg and Bay of Plenty on Thursday. Accompanied by top coaches Graham Hynes and Etienne Venter, Tahra Uren, Emma and Gina Smith, Britney Linder and Crystal Hulett took on the Cape Peninsula’s locals displaying great form in the sluggish Muizenberg beach break. For surfers who spend much of their time surfing the long point breaks at Jeffreys Bay and Seal Point, Muizenberg Pavilion’s surf must have been a horror story.

It seemed to have no effect on them as they made their way through the rounds. Despite bowing out in the semis, Gina Smith, Crystal Hulett and Britney Linder won a couple of prizes and some prize money while Emma Smith reached the Women’s semis and came third in the Under 20 Final.

The top Eastern Cape surfers were Tahra Uren, who was fourth in the Under 20 division but won the Under 16 title, and East London surfer Nikita Robb who won the Women’s division. Uren is the current Under 15 South African champion and Robb successfully defended her South African Women’s title in Cape Town two months ago.

The Eastern Cape was also represented in the Women’s Day Challenge in Durban where Inge McClaren of East London came fifth in both the Under 16 and Under 20 finals. The annual Women’s Day Surf Challenge featured 1A rated PST events for Open Women, Under 20 and U16’s with R2 500 in prize-money at stake in each division while the Rookies won generous prizes. .

Bay of Plenty and KZN surfer girls put on a show for the Women’s Day Surf Challenge

National Women’s Day was celebrated in style Thursday (August 9) when the third edition of the Women’s Day Surf Challenge presented by Surfing South Africa (SSA) and supported by Sport and Recreation South Africa took place at Bay of Plently in Durban. Great weather, one metre surf and a light offshore all day ensured the success of the Durban version of this special and unique surfing tournament in Surf City. Over 40 girls participated in this event which has become a feature of the Surfing South Africa calendar since it was first held to celebrate Women’s Day in 2010.

One of the highlights of the Durban contest was the number of rookies who competed, many of whom were surfing in their first ever major tournament. This important division, and a brand new Hutchison Handcrafted surfboard, was won by Sophie Bell who edged 13 old Samkelile Cele into second place. Kelly Medley was third and Gabi Lalivaux, who won a brand new Hutchison Handcrafted surfboard in the lucky draw, came fourth.
In the highly competitive Under 16 division most heats were tightly contested with current SA Under 15 runner-up and 2012 National Junior Team member Chanelle Botha taking the honours ahead of Teal Hogg. These two talented young surfers, along with third placed Olivia Brand and fourth placed Jade Story, define the future of South Africa’s up and coming female talent and have bright futures ahead of them.
The U20 division was a closely fought affair but in the end experience showed as current SA Under 20 champion Heidi Palmboom took the honours. National junior team member Nicole Pallet was runner up with Kat Steffan and Chanelle Botha placing third and fourth respectively
In an entertaining  Women's final the lead changed several times between two time World Masters Champion Heather Clark and former SA Champion Tammy Lee Smith. With Clark leading and only moments to go before the final siren would end the heat, Smith posted an 8.0 ride to seal the deal. Under 20 winner Heidi Palmboom placed third in this final with Lynne Mackey taking fourth place.

The Women’s Day Surf Challenge was supported by a grant from Sport & Recreation SA.bSurfing 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).

Source: Surfing South Africa

Author: Robin de Kock

Tags: Women's Surfing, Surfing South Africa, Women's Day

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