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Tue, 3 March 2020

For the first time in yonks, a SA kneeboard team is contesting a world title, and they're taking no prisoners. Here's the latest from Dunedin in Kiwi-land, from Lawrence Atkinson and Spike.


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SWELL DIRECTIONS: This beach near Dunedin boasts a mellow right hand point. Photo Supplied


kiwi-taalThe World’s kneeboarding fraternity got their campaigns underway at the Emerson’s Kneeboard Surfing World Titles 2020 held at St Clair Beach, Dunedin yesterday - an inconsistent beach break with a hint of a right-hand point.

Under a clear blue sky, the waves were 4-6 ft with a frisky offshore - the sun shining as best it can in the land of the long white cloud. More than 80 surfers from USA, Australia, South Africa, France, Portugal, Tahiti and Puerto Rico (with ages ranging from 14 to 69) have congregated in Dunedin trying to learn Kiwi the local way.

For those who don't know, that means "sex" is one before seven, a "suckspeck" is the collective noun for six beers, and a "pissed aside" is a chemical that kills insects.

A formidable South African Team racked up impressive scores, led by Jedd McNeilage McNeilage's highest heat score of the day: 17.83 out of 20. Like a few others, McNeilage opted to surf the right hand point at St Clair where he found two good waves.

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TEAM ZA: The best kneeboarders in SA. How many did they leave behind? A few. Photo Supplied


He tore onto the overhead walls and attacked with huge hooks in the purple zone. The judges threw numbers at it, the Saffa's screamed and a very strong Aussie team got nervous. The Aussies have 28 surfers, yes 28 surfers, in the event, which could be more than all the kneelos of South Africa.

The Aussies have 28 surfers, yes 28 surfers, in the eventMcNeilage was joined by team mates Gigs Celliers, Lester Sweetman, Tom Gray, and Garth Price who all advanced directly to Round 3 after first place in the opening skirmishes, with ZA flags hoisted on conquered oceanic territory. The New Zealand Team relied on the local knowledge of National Champion Malcolm Diack who secured the only win for the hosts to oscore a 9.03 point heat total. Diack advanced alongside fellow Dunedin surfer Greg Bell and they were joined by the youngest surfer in the event, Regan Story as the three Kiwis to advance.

Australia lived up to their reputations as the top nation with big performances from Baden Smith, Albert Munoz, Peter Fairweather, Wayne Jennings and Chayne Simpson. The open title is currently held by Michael Novoakov, who was present today but injured and unable to compete.

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BEEN A WHILE: These four ous surfed in the first club event in KZN 37 years ago. Photo supplied


aramonoa-beachThe USA, who probably have more kneeboarders than standup surfers in SA (okay maybe not) is another powerhouse nation with a large team in New Zealand for the week. The American’s turned in solid performances through Tom Backer and Shaun Murphy.

Day 2 (today Tuesday) was held at Aramoana Beach. It resembled any southwester day at Dairy Beach except the water was very very cold. It was 4-6ft, windy, rainy, and closing out. A hundred metres down the beach there were tubing, spitting barrels. Why were we not surfing 100m down the beach? Too lazy to carry our stuff down.

The Saffas were making bacon butties, ginger tea and all the noise. The event is split into Open Division - any age can enter and then into assorted age groups going all the way up to (down to?) Immortal. Today it was Round One of all the age divisions.

A large 'walrus' trundled through the judging area and then wallowed around in the takeoff zone. Called a Hooker's sea lion, it was just chilling.


Open Division Round 1 - Day 1:
Heat 2: David Avni (AUS) 4.87, Robert Cove (USA) 3.17, John O'Neil (AUS) 1.9, Flavio Viana (Port) 0
Heat 3: Jedd McNeilage (ZAF) 18, Mark McLeod (AUS) 10.73, Jason Revis (AUS) 4
Heat 4: Shaun Murphy (USA) 10, Reg Ceglow (AUS) 9, Tehei Tuahine (TAH), 8
Heat 5: Bradford Colwell (USA) 7.93, Tom Novakov (AUS) 7.5, Tracy Skelton (NZ) 4.07
Heat 6: Regan Story (NZ) 6.13, Phillipe Klima (TAH) 4.67, Stuart Murdoch (AUS) 3.07, Matthew Novakov (AUS) 0, N/S
Heat 7: Gigs Celliers (ZAF) 13, Scott Wessling (USA) 7, Marc Crawford (ZAF) 5, John Finlayson (NZ) 5
Heat 8: Tom Backer (USA) 11, Tom Linn (USA) 10, Evan Odom (USA) 7
Heat 9: Jerome Blnaco (Fra), Mike Anderson (NZ) Maukino Skelton (NZ)
Heat 10: Phillips Stubbs (NZ), Cameron Stanley (NZ), Allan Deadman (AUS) n/s, Paul Cornelius (AUS) n/s
Heat 11: Malcolm Diack (NZ) 9, Greg Bell (NZ) 7, Peter Johnson (AUS) 5, Joe Coyne (USA) 5
Heat 12: Liam Taurins (AUS) 12, Rodney Smith (AUS) 7, Craig Hooper (NZ) 6
Heat 13: Baden Smith (AUS) 11, Chris Linn (USA) 8.27, Bob Woodward (USA) 6.47
Heat 14: Owen Fairweather (AUS) 10.4, Jack Beresford (USA) 9.87, Jim Brown (AUS) Gary Smithett (AUS) 1.50
Heat 15: Lester Sweetman (ZAF) 12, Graeme Timmis (NZ) Matthew Cunningham (USA)
Heat 16: Wayne Jennings (AUS) 11, Ryan Gallagher (AUS) 11, Milon Wyle (USA)
Heat 17: Tom Gray (ZAF) 9.00, Eric Peterson (USA) 7.93, Kelvin Weir (NZ) 4.87
Heat 18: Albert Munoz (AUS) 10.9, Larry Berger (ZAF) 8, Murray Weir (NZ) 1.57
Heat 19: Jose Maldonado (PRC), 8, Dane Rennie (AUS) 7, Peter Maclure (AUS) 7, Ricky Harris (NZ) 4
Heat 20: Peter Fairweather (AUS) 12, Sam Coyne (USA) 10, Greg Shewman (USA) 4
Heat 21: Garth Price (ZAF) 5.56, Roger Hughes (USA) 4.5, Stephen Van Der Watt (ZAF) 4.17

Full SA results (Age Groups) Day 2:
Gigs through on a 2nd
Marc through on 2nd
Stevo through on 2nd
Jedd through on 2nd
Larry Berger 1st
Mike de Heer 1st
Lester Sweetman 1st
Tom Grey 1st
Garth Price got 4th

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