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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 27 March 2017

It was third time lucky for the Rolling Retro specialty surfing get-together, which ran on Saturday in absolutely cranking 4-6' conditions at Llandudno near Cape Town after two false starts.

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STYLE IS EVERYTHING: This is the retro way to surf a wave, with nonchalance. Photo Ian Thurtell

Rolling Retro contest director Captain Kai took some heat calling off the event twice before the weather gods finally smiled and the event went off in epic 4-6' surf and clean offshores.

Early in the day, on the low tide, the barrels were mutantly morphing and spitting like cobras, with a lot of closeouts. That's okay, send in the body surfers, who valiantly tackled heaving pits to give the judges a lot to think about. In the end it was local Ed Millat who took the title of best bodysurfer.


GUNNING THE GAT: Jasper Eales hooks into a beauty in the corner. Photo Ian Thurtell

Bodyboarders were up next and continued to keep the building crowd on their feet. There were multiple tube rides and explosive finishes. John McDonald, old local, who has been working out of town, returned to his old stomping ground and put in a notable performance. His double tube almost took the title, but Aden Kleve, with an incredible drop knee, double knee and prone performance was the clear winner. In the free surf later, Aden got one of the best tubes of the entire day, and almost took the best tube award too.

As the tide pushed, the waves just got better and better. Enter the surfers, who charged the ethereal, aquamarine waves. There were shouts of joy, cries of wonder and groans of pain. Yuca Deureese, visiting from Europe, was the stand-out lady in the water, handling the heaving peaks with ease. There were very few Groms surfing the event, but Brad Scott, paddled out with his dad and got one of the best tubes of the early heats to take out the Grom title.


CIRCLE FOR SANDY: The crew said goodbye to Robby McDonald's mom. Photo Michael Veltman

As the afternoon waned and the party swung into motion, the incredible performances continued as the waves started to go world class. In the water, surfers like Robby Schofield (Best Tube Winner), Teager Eales (Best turn), and Jacques Smit (Best Variety) were revelling in the best Llandudno in ages, while on the beach, Dunty Latrobe aka Tank Girl (Best dressed Lady) and Dale Swanepoel (best dressed Guy) were leading the party charge.

Before the final heat hit the lineup, the entire event got together on the beach to honor Sandy MacDonald, mother to contest co-founder Robby McDonald. She had passed the previous weekend. Sandy had been involved with every Retro since the beginning and Robby and her family were surrounded by a circle of love as we celebrated her life and paid her memory honor as only surfers can, with love, noise and joy!


TANK TOP: Dunty Latrobe got into the spirit with a winning Tank Girl impression. Photo Ian Thurtell

The final heat of the day had some people claiming the best surfing they have ever seen, with locals Josh Brodie, Jasper Eales and Ike Forsythe going head to head in the heaving tubes on offer. New member to the Hout Bay community, Dale Staples, was the standout though. Threading amazing tubes, getting the wipeout of the day on the wave of the day, and doing one of the biggest turns ever seen in Cape waters, he was the Surfer of the Contest.

Prize-giving went mad, the Runaway Nuns fired up the crowd with live punk music and Mix N Blend and Ike ensured the dancing went late into the night. All in all an incredible day!

A huge thank you to everyone involved and especially sponsors El Jimador, Striped Horse, Red Bull, Billabong, Von Zipper, Hurricane, Vudu Surf and Captain Kai’s World.


CRAZY TUBES: Ike Forsyth makes it look way too easy as he tucks in. Photo Ian Thurtell

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