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The Pelican Single Fin Ladies Invitational held on 18 of November 2017, was a well organised contest with some fantastic sponsors. This event boasts being the first ‘lady sliders only’ event to be held in South Africa. 16 ladies from around the country, some from as far as Cape Town and all very varied in ages, came out to have a whole heap of fun and win some decent prizes too. 

Pelican Island offers beautiful longboarding waves only in very specific swell, wind and tide conditions. The wave is unique in that is breaks 200m from shore on a sandbank in the entrance to the Harbour. We also have a resident Hippo, true story! The contest had a one month waiting period with contest organisers Michael Mc Carthy and Sarah Horlock watching charts daily in order to make a call on the best possible conditions to hold the event, and I would say they got it right. It certainly was the biggest I have ever seen Pelican break, the wind was on it, so a little messy but not too much to complain about. 

What I loved about the Pelican Invitational was the sense of community, even among strangers! We did not all know each other, but we all love the same thing, and that thing brought us all together. Even with the varied age bracket with the youngest competitor being 14 and the eldest being 70, we all had something in common. Though this is my local break, I am new to logging and this was the first surfing contest I have taken part in. I felt so at home and ‘welcome’ surfing in a heat with a 70year old long boarding legend that I look up to. There was nothing intimidating about this event. Everyone ‘belonged’! I even BORROWED a single fin as I don’t own my own, and that’s just how it went down at the Pelican Lady Sliders Invitational… supporting one another, cheering for one another and having an ocean of fun.

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The day after the contest the wave was a bit smaller but cleaned up and it was great to share this wave with some of the ladies who stuck around for the weekend.

The overall winners respectively,
1st: Sarah Horlock, Richards Bay
2nd: Brittany Gadd, Durban
3rd: Nix Bezuidenhout, Durban
4th: Jenny Dean, Durban

 

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