TWO Eastern Cape surfers have been named in a six-member South African team to compete in the World Surfing Games in Santa Catalina, Panama, next month.
Port Elizabeth star female surfer Faye Zoetmulder is joined by St Francis Bay’s Dale Staples in the team, with Etienne Venter, of Jeffreys Bay, chosen as the manager-coach.
The six-member team also features Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), Mike February (Kommetjie), Davey Brand (Kommetjie) and Tanika Hoffman (Clifton).
The average age of the group is 22, but despite their youth all of them have competed at international level in the past nine months.
The last World Surfing Games were held at Playa Venao in Panama in 2011. South Africa finished seventh overall that year, but this year’s team will be determined to improve on that position as they take on surfers from more than 32 nations at the long right-breaking point break in Santa Catalina.
South Africa must finish in the top eight to be invited to compete in next year’s China Cup in Hainan Province, China in January.
The top eight teams will also contest the Aloha Cup and will be fighting for international team rankings.
At this stage a lack of sponsors and funding means that team members will have to raise about R25000 each to make the trip to an event that is regarded as the “Olympics” of surfing. With less than four weeks to go before the World Games get under way, they have limited time to book flights and accommodation.