THERE was reason for Eastern Cape surfing to celebrate this week when three local members formed part of the South African team who won gold medals and the Fernando Aguerre World Surfing Team Champion trophy at the ISA championships in Santa Catalina, Panama, at the weekend.
PE’s Faye Zoetmulder, St Francis Bay surfer Dale Staples and team coach Ettiene Venter, from Jeffrey’s Bay, joined Shaun Joubert, Mike February, Dave Brand and Tanika Hoffman in the triumphant SA team, who arrived home this week.
“This was the most important tournament in the lives of these team members and I’m very happy for them,” said Venter. “We won the top prize because we went there with the spirit of representing the country and we were supportive of each other like we were a family.”
The tournament saw 24 countries competing.
“Our main challenge was that we prepared ourselves before the tournament for big waves but it was the other way round, because the level of waves was small.”
Venter said the top seven teams qualified for the annual ISA China Cup to be held on Hainan Island in the South China Sea in January.
The South African team finished on 11102 points to claim the championship trophy. Australia came second with 10332 and Peru third with 9636 points.
Joubert, from Mossel Bay, was again crowned the Open Men Reef ISA World Surfing champion following some powerful turns and aerial tactics which earned him a second gold medal.