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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Sun, 3 December 2017

A salty evening of talks by 10 ocean gurus includes the drama of riding giant waves off Cape Town and the heartwarming tale of how the hake fishery's seabird bycatch has been virtually eliminated.


STARFISH: Faine Pearl Loubser will speak about her underwater adventures. Photo supplied

Wavescape Slide Night, an intimate series of 10 minute presentations at Centre for the Book in Cape Town, takes place on Monday 4 December.

Mc'ed by marine biologist Lauren de Vos, the prestigious lineup of speakers includes big wave surfer Mike Schlebach who takes us out to the Dungeons to ride giant waves. Mike started out as a bodyboarder but is now part of an elite group of big wave surfers in Cape Town. He shares anecdotes about the scariest, and finest, moments of his big wave surfing career.

Seabird champion Andrea Angel, a Chilean national but a Capetonian at heart, manages the Albatross Task Force and leads BirdLife International's policy and advocacy. Part of her story is how Birdlife SA helped the South African hake trawl fishery reduce accidental seabird mortality by 90 percent and up to 99 percent reduction in albatross deaths as a condition of the fishery’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. This astonishing conservation success story is a notable example of collaboration by stakeholders to ensure sustainable use of marine resources.


THE FUTURE: Robin de Kock will speak about wavepools, Olympics and the future.

Bernie Shelly, the 70-year-old longboard surfer who came back from three hip operations to defy the odds and get back in the water, will narrate the short film The Ghost Ship live on stage. According to filmmaker Dougal Paterson, "the film is testimony to the indomitable courage of women-kind: part love poem to the ocean and part hero’s journey".

The news that the World Surf League has bought multiple world surfing champion Kelly Slater's wave pool, and will hold an event there in 2018 has thrown the future wide open. Surfing administrator Robin de Kock gives us a fascinating glimpse into man-made wave technology and how it fits into the global plan now that surfing is part of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

The soulful, visual side of the ocean is strengthened by the beautiful photography of Saskia Koerner who started out as a fashion designer but graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art in Photography from Brooks Institute in California in 2014. Her exhibition Light Waves chronicles female surfers who ride single fin longboards. In this talk, Saskia shares her passion and some of the highlights of her work with us.


JAWS OF VICTORY: Mike Schlebach will talk about his big wave experiences. Photo Hepp

Speaking of photography and fashion, Kommetjie resident Dougal Paterson is commissioned for advertising campaigns that require high fashion and lifestyle imagery specialising in the global airline industry. He counters these spurts of high octane travel by riding giant waves back home, while furthering his unique storytelling ability to explore the art of surf movie making, a hobby that is fast turning into his passion.

Ceinwen Smith, part fish and part mountain goat, has a passion for marine creatures and steep mountain faces. Her marine research has focused on biodiversity and conservation stewardship, and finding creative ways to raise awareness about marine plastic pollution. Ceinwen shares insights in her work with the Beach Co-op - a volunteer movement that has evolved into a formal organisation dedicated to eliminating single-use plastics in South Africa.

Faine Pearl Loubser, a 20-year-old film student at UCT, has a passion for the beautiful underworld of the Cape Peninsula where she spends many hours, sometimes with no wetsuit in temperatures as low as nine degrees celsius to become one with the marvellous myriad creatures of this nutrient-rich shoreline. She will show her passion while unlocking some of the mysteries of this amazing realm.


10 x 10: Ten speakers speak for 10 minutes each about their ocean world. Photo Wavescape

Waterman John McCarthy, who hails from Durban, lives a life with the sea at its heart. Publisher of theBOMBsurf magazine, instigator of theGREENERsurfer and the architect behind the Swim Free Confidence Underwater course, he is the founder of OCEAN CHILD, an environmental surfboard and adventure company. John has just written a book and will regale us with some of the anecdotes that tell the story of his trajectory from international competitive surfer to a more connected and sustainable life of ocean endeavour.

Shooting surfing imagery in a heaving ocean, with waves exploding all around you, can be challenging experience, but for water cameraman Ian Thurtell it's a thrill he never grows tired of. To get the shot, many elements must converge at the same time. Ian, who also tells us about the underwater housings he makes, immerses us in the ocean in his pursuit of the perfect photographic moment.

2017 Speakers

Wavescape Slide Night is part of the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival, which takes place from November 20 to December 10. It is proudly suported by Save Our Seas Foundation, PETCO, the South African PET Plastic Recycling Company, MSC – Marine Stewardship Council, Jack Black Beer, Wavescape, Wesgro & Channel24 Mami Wata, Deus, Long Beach Capital, Audio Engineering, Fuel Design and Enhance PR. More info at www.wavescapefestival.com

Get Tickets

Book tickets here: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/37050-wavescape-festival-2017/#/

Facebook events here

Mon 4th: Slide Night: https://www.facebook.com/events/179162815972005/
Tue 5th: Jack Black Film Night: https://www.facebook.com/events/172228536694899/ 
Tue 5th: Mami Wata Night: https://www.facebook.com/events/678825042308014/ 

Wed 6th: Filmmaker's Masterclass: https://www.facebook.com/events/174026769848462/ 
Wed 6-10th: Film Festival, Labia: https://www.facebook.com/events/136427270462235/

pdfDownload a printable flyer here to stick on your fridge!

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