Sun, 2 May 2010

A brawny bunch of rugby legends met up for a fundraising event at Seal Point before the 2010 SA Longboarding Championships last week, and the surfing was not too shabby, writes Spike.

When Kobus Wiese was asked today on All Out Rugby, the TV show, whether he could see himself surfing like his rugby legend mates did at Seals, he quipped, "I work for a living ..."

He was commenting on a charity fundraising event put together by former Bok and Eastern Province legend Garth Wright, who invited the rugby stars to surf in an exhibition event at Seal Point and attend a charity function afterwards. Among those surfing were Percy Montgomery, AJ Venter, Warren Brosnihan, Andy Marinos and Rob Louw. They surfed (quite well, it must be said) at the Cape St Francis break. The idea was to raise funds for Eastern Cape groups Penguin Rehabilition Centre and Child Youth Care Centre.

"Who are the penguins, the ones on the boards?" asked the giant Wiese on the show.

What was interesting is the way the guys applied themselves in the fun, clean 2-3' lines rolling down the fabled point. Percy was a standout, riding the longest wave, while Wright had a few cookers. Garth Wright had a headcam on helmet and looked like a rooster as he styled down the line, and got a near full-stop close-up.

AJ was classic. He lost his SUP paddle on a first wave wipe-out. The paddle drifted in over the rocks, so he rode his SUP like a longboard for the rest of the session. Fellow former Sharks player Brosnihan also brought some hard-won Durban skills to the little ledgy righthander.

As for former Bok and Western Province star Marinos and Louw, the Bok legend who once rated an 8 ft wave he rode at Supers tubes as the highest point of his life, both fell off a lot. Few tips on style or skilful moves were on display for the congregated crew of longboarders about to compete in the SA Longboarding Champs.

"So stoked to be here," said Wright, claiming 'local knowledge' and 'sitting on the inside' as the reason for his solid performance.

A sheepish Louw, the ballie of the legends, had to be hauled out from behind a surfboard where he was hiding to accept the "worst wipeout award" at a function later that evening at the Cape St Francis Resort.

Pieter de Villiers was a guest at the function, participating in a panel discussion on the 2011 Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand. Big bucks were raised at an auction of gear, including a surfboard bought by Eric Stevens for a whopping R50,000.

The jorl continuted at the Deck nightclub with music by ... er ... Hot Wasabi. Jjoe bru!

Many rugby players have dabbled with surfing, including former Bok prop forward Ollie Le Roux (his minimal once famously featured a hamburger), and former Province and Bok players Robbie Fleck and Bobby Skinstad. Bobby is pretty busy these days, but always finds time for a paddle in and around Cape Town when he has time.

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