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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Tue, 5 December 2017

A packed house at Centre for the Book enjoyed an educational and inspiring evening of talks last night by 10 ocean gurus with a common passion for the ocean.


300s a crowd: Almost 300 people attended the evening of 10 minute talks Photo Leah Rolando

Marine biologist Lauren de Vos was the glue that held the evening together, threading together the talks with wit and scientific gravitas, while Spike lurked with the Shark Gong when speakers threatened to go over their 10 minute slot.

Janine Basson from PETco opened the evening, updating the audience on the positive work her organisation has been doing to reduce plastic waste and increase employment.

Chilean seabird champion Andrea Angel who heads up the Albatross Task Force for Bird Life SA showed the passion and hard work it has taken to virtually save the Wandering Albatross from extinction, while also cutting seabird bycatch mortality by almost 100 percent in the hake fishing industry. As a surfer Ceini Smith showed how her love for the sea has led to a role as a conservation steward with focus on marine plastic pollution through her advocacy group the Beach Co-op.


TEN OUT OF TEN: The 2017 sliders pose for the camera after the evening. Photo Leah Rolando

Mike Schlebach gave a personalised and entertaining account of riding big waves, with a humble and at times humorous glimpse into the tight-knit big wave community that has been tackling the giant waves of Dungeons for the past 15 years.

Dougal Paterson gave a funny account of a life-changing decision to sell up his life asset and go big wave surfing. The audience loved his zany approach to how you should spend your money on what you love, and how film making has provided his creative and emotional outlet away from the helter skelter world of professional advertising photography.

UCT student Faine Pearle Loubser, 22, spoke with real honesty and passion about how she turned her back on the consumerist notion of adventure photography to immerse herself in a new story, below the surface of the ocean.


PEARLS OF WISDOM: Faine Loubser spoke of how she found her life under the sea. Photo Rolando

Robin de Kock gave a fascinating glimpse into the future of surfing, while recapping the history of surfing in South Africa. Robin showed how wave pool technology has changed the game and what it means for the Olympics and the future of pro surfing. Already, Paris has announced the construction of a wave pool for the Paris Olympics after Tokyo.

Ian Thurtell showed his lifelong passion for ocean and surf photography, and with a typically understated style, gave the audience an intimate glimpse into his work. Another photographer Saskia Koerner has been telling the story of women single fin longboarders from all over the world, from Bali to New Zealand and from Byron Bay to Cape Town. Last night she told us her story of how she got there. Fascinating.

John McCarthy, self-confessed surf swindler, has found a way to make a living while surfing virtually every day. His talk centred on some tips he has learned to live a good life by using your own personal parallel universe.


GHOST SHIP: Bernie Shelly narrated the film about her surfing comeback. Photo Rolando

The final speaker Bernie Shelley, the 70-yeard-old surfing stalwart, narrated the film The Ghost Ship live on stage. This courageious and eloquent eulogy to a unique surfing soul had the audience in tears.

See you next year.

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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