Young surfers ride high on success

WESTERN Province’s young surfers successfully defended the Mandela trophy at the Billabong Grommet Games at Pollok Beach at the weekend.

The WP team beat KZN Central into second place by a significant margin of 3347 points.

Not only did the team in blue and white successfully defend the Mandela Bay trophy, awarded to the team with the highest number of points across all disciplines. They also won the surfing trophy and the best team trophy, awarded to the team with the most spirit throughout the event, as well as the tag team trophy. The special award recipients were Jono Coffey (EP), who won the Dakine youthful movement award, Rigter Markgraaf (Boland), who took honours in the Von Zipper expression session, and Karl Steen (KZNC), who won the kinetic racing fins prize.

In the individual surfing categories the talented James Ribbink (KZNC) won the under-10 boys final and was named surfer of the contest. Team-mate Sam Cele was awarded the sportsmanship trophy for her grace and courtesy.

Coffey won the u-16 boys title and Bronwyn Moodie (Boland) took gold in the girls final. Other titles went to Gabriel Fernandez (WP, boys u-14), Christy Gilmour (KZNC, girls u-14), Eli Beukes (WP, boys u-12) and Juliet Fiet (Boland, girls u-12).

Ribbink added the u-10 title to his u-8 victory of last year, while diminutive seven-year-old Kyra Bennie (WP) was crowned this year’s u-8 champion.

Over 120 girls and boys from eight provincial associations took part in the annual event which is Surfing South Africa’s premier entry level interprovincial tournament.

Sponsorship from Billabong and funding from the Department of Sport and Recreation ensured that the 21st SA Grommet Games was a huge success once again. Not even a cold front which hit the Eastern Cape on Saturday could dampen the spirits of the surfers.

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