EP surfers ride wave of success

Neale Emslie

DYLAN Lightfoot and Emma Smith were honoured as Eastern Province’s top surfers of the year at the weekend.

The province is experiencing a high in surfing, shown in the number of EP members who represented South Africa this year.

Among the seven SA team members honoured at the function was EP surfing vice-chairman Etienne Venter, manager and coach of the SA team who won gold in Panama at the ISA World Championships.

Lightfoot and Gina Smith were captains for the SA Junior team who competed at the ISA Junior Worlds in Nicaragua, while Matthew McGillivray was also part of the team, with Graham Hynes the coach and Johnny Bakker the manager.

Gina’s sister, Emma, was named top woman surfer.

She won the Volcom in Durban, U20 girls at the RVCA in Jeffreys Bay, Ross Taylor Memorial in Buffels Bay, two U20 girls Billabong events and is the U20 SA champion.

Lightfoot won the U20 and U18 divisions in the first Billabong event in Durban.

He made the Mr Price Pro Prime event as a wild card and came 17th.

The Jeffreys Bay surfer is now following his dream on the World Qualifying Series and is ranked 134th in the world and 17th in the world junior rankings.

EP is reaping the benefit of a dedicated committee with a strong support staff.

There are some promising youngsters coming through the ranks. They were led by McGillivray (junior male surfer of the year) and Kai Woolf, who won the female award.

McGillivray won the U17 boys division as well as the Open division of the Vic Bay Quad.

Woolf won her award for clinching the U14 girls’ division in three of the Billabong events, was first U14 Billabong Junior Series and the SA U13 champion.

The award winners were:

Most improved junior, boy: Ryan Lightfoot; girl: Kirsty McGillivray

Sportsmanship: Britney Linder (PE)

Academy surfer of the year: Jono Coffey (PE)

Judge of the year: Grant Beck

Administrator of the year: Shirley Fairall (PE)

Surfer of the year, female: Emma Smith; male: Dylan Lightfoot

Junior surfer of the year, female: Kai Woolf; male: Matthew McGillivray

Achievement surfer of the year: Angelo Faulkner

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