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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
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Fri, 23 March 2018

The big guns of the waveski community from around the country have pulled into Lamberts Bay on the West Coast for the annual Western Province Open. Yes its still a thing.


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SIDE SLASH: Double reigning champ Bruce Viaene in mid-wave slide. Photo Bruce Tavenor


The event will be held at Yo-Yo’s, considered the “Trestles of Africa”, with its powerful A-frames. Lamberts Bay also hosts the annual Van’s Surf Pro Classic, a QS1000 rated event by the WSL and the upcoming South Africa longboard champs.

The crew of kneelos may have shrunk over the years, but they're a close-knit group, who often have mini-reunions. Guys from Cape Town, Durban and East London will also compete for this year’s Western Province Open title.

“All of us from WP Waveski absolutely love the west coast. It's the most amazing surf on an unspoiled coastline. That, combined with spending quality water time with good friends, and the opportunity to serve the local community, makes for an awesome time,” said WP spokesperson Rory Taylor.

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BOTTOM UP: Chris Jones digs the fins in to set up the next section. Photo Rory Taylor


Local standouts include 2016 South African Champion Chris Jones and 2016 WP Open Champ Rory Taylor. Rory has recently come off an injury, but is no stranger to Yo-Yo’s.

The invasion from the East includes notable mentions like 2016 and 2017 SA Seniors champion, Ant Stott (DBN), Multiple SA Junior champion and World Champs finalist Duran Martin (DBN) as well as the current South African Age and Open Men’s Champion, Bruce Viaene, from East London.

“I’m really excited for the contest and hopefully get good waves with the boys, I’m riding a new board and its feeling really good underneath me, so let’s see how it goes”, said Viaene.

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ON POINT: Gerhadus van Zyl puts some style into the glide. Photo Rory Taylor


It’s not all about competition, however. The Western Province Waveski Surfing Association have a charity spin on the event.

“Waveski contestants are giving back to an impoverished community of Lamberts Bay by supporting Francious and Betina Engelbrecht, who work closely with the struggling kids within the community.

“They represent Christian Surfers in Lamberts bay and mentor a large group of Kids from the area using surfing. Each contestant will be contributing their previously used wetsuits, boards, and non-perishable food items. All profits of the event will also be donated to them, including the events prize money,” said Taylor.

Clean small 3' surf tomorrow, followed by a new 4-5' groundswell on Sunday will provide plenty of opportunity to prove whose Best in the West.

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