Weather and surf conditions were awful with the contest almost being called off altogether due to rain and wind affecting the officiating. The decision to run with it was made as many riders were from outside of Richards Bay and according to the organisers it went well with 29 riders taking part and some impressive riding seen despite the small, weak waves. The turnout from riders South of the Bay was impressive and Ballito’s Stefan Coetzee surfed really well along with 12 year old Alex Nutt from Southern KZN who beat Richards Bay local and stalwart Reinhard du Toit in his first heat.

Due to deteriorating conditions and with riders having to travel home, the officials did eventually call off the event before some divisions had completed their second round heats. With the new format of surfing two rounds and adding scores it will not affect overall ratings though. In this format that is being used for the first time this year, there are no semi-finals and finals just points awarded for heat positions which make it easier to reschedule heats or cancel altogether according to conditions.

The organisers are thrilled with the turnout in the year that they are hosting SA Champs. The national event will take place from 4-9 Otober. Local businesses and individuals who want to get involved in this sporting showpiece in terms of sponsorship and accommodation of teams can contact Nick Phillips on 078 417 2790.

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