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Middle East surf stars shine at Dubai Sunset Open

Wes Van Zyl © Samantha Chambers

Surf Dubai Sunset Open 2011
Presented by Quiksilver

Surfing Dubai
5 - 6 February 2011 

Wes Van Zyl takes first place in the Open Men's division

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 February, 2011 : - - Dubai -- Over 71 surfers competed last weekend in the Surf Dubai Sunset Open 2011 sponsored by Quiksilver.  High winds brought in a big swell on Friday for the Men’s Open so although the waves were messy there was good size and challenging conditions.  This brought out the very best in local talent with Wes Van Zyl taking first place, Brad Van Dervyver second and Cesar Rocha third place. 

Saturday saw a drop in the wind providing perfect clean waves for the Grommet’s (under 14 years) division.  The boys and girls worked really hard to show their best surfing skills.  After much deliberation, the judges awarded first place to Dan Hobson, Omar Al Abbar second and third place Joshua Pickering. 

As the ladies hit the waves for the first ever Women’s division, the waves were picking up in size and strength.  The Women rose to the challenge and gave the judges some impressive surfing.  Janice Smith took first place, followed by Maria Louisa Haro in second and Rachael Sherif in third.  All the women that competed were an inspiration to the younger girls working their way up the ranks. 

The winds increased by early afternoon, giving the waves perfect power for the Men’s Longboard (over 8ft surfboard) division.  Aside from maximizing every wave, the longboarders gave the crowd on the beach an entertaining show of acrobatic and balancing surf skills.  Dean Cockle dominated the competition and took a convincing first place, followed by Wes Van Zyl and then Abdel Elecho in third.

Winners received hand crafted trophies from the Big Art Company and bags of goodies from Quiksilver.  Other sponsors of the event FlipFlop Arabia, The Beach Hut, Circle 8, Caribean Breeze and Red Bull also gave out free samples and prizes to the attendees.  The biggest crowd pleaser came from sponsor N_K_D Pizza who provided boxes of fresh, healthy pizza to all the participants and spectators.

Surf Dubai gives thanks and gratitude for the pro-active collaboration of Dubai Municipality and Dubai Sports Council with all aspects of the competition.  With their support, over 2000 spectators attended the two day event, ensuring the Surf Dubai Sunset Open was a massive success.  Surf Dubai Managers Scott Chambers and Daniel Van Dooren couldn’t be happier with the results. 

They witnessed a great improvement in the overall surfing skill level of all the competitors across all the divisions and were happy to see the multi-cultural and family oriented atmosphere the competition generated. 

Never ones to rest on their laurels, Scott and Daniel are already planning the next Surf Dubai event.  To celebrate their ‘Round the World’ Stand up Charity Paddle, Surf Dubai will be holding a Charity Dinner at DOSC on 3rd March.

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Samantha Chambers

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