Competitors from seven provincial teams competing in eight divisions descended on the Richards Bay Multi-Sports club on Sunday 4 October to witness and take part in the formalities as the 29th annual national event was declared open.

NKZNBA team captain Mark McCarthy welcomed the riders and guests and thanked all the sponsors involved for making the event a possibility. Chairman Nick Phillips gave a message on the role sport plays in our lives and the importance and benefits to the community as well as thanking his hard-working organising committee for putting the event together. Multiple SA Champion and current South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) Chairman Mike van Huyssteen wished the competitors well and congratulated the hosts for their communication and preparation. van Huysstteen, thrilled to be back in the water in the Bay is competing in the Grand Masters Division and rode his first SA Champs event in 1987. He reminded the competitors that although it was the 29th edition of Champs with a big 30th coming up next year, it was a big first ever event for some and for those still looking for their first ever national title.

Pat Harris, long serving SABA contest director had a few words to say on the running of the event before presenting the customary mixing of the sands. Each province’s representative brought sand from their home break to be mixed together as a symbol of sportsmanship and goodwill between competing provinces. The sand is then returned to the local beach in a symbolic trust for some good waves throughout the week.

The briefing event was also used to announce the winner of the 2015 Free Surf World Tour Africa event. ISA South Africa Team manager Clinton Millard was present to award the title to Michael Ostler from Central KZN along with a generous cheque for R14 000.

Competition is now well underway in a strong South West wind and contestable 2-3 foot surf. Follow the action on twitter @nkznba and on Facebook as well as our media partners websites www.surfalliance.co.za and www.zululandobserver.co.za

Images by surfalliance.co.za

first-years

New members of the Boland Team with customary first year hair cuts

fishman

the coveted fishman trophy stands on the table. From left: NKZNBA Chairman Nick Phillips, SABA Chairman Mike van Huyssteen, head judge Mark Rossouw and NKZNBA Team Captain Mark McCarthy

officials

From left: Contest Director Pat Harris, SABA Chairman Mike van Huyssteen, Team Captain Mark McCarthy

team-captains

Team Captains Meeting

team-nkzn

Team NKZNBA

venue

The awesome views at the Zululand Multi-Sports Club