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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Fri, 25 August 2017

The predicted swell hit East London with a vengeance yesterday, forcing organisers of the SA Surfing Championships to move the event from giant Nahoon Reef to solid Nahoon Corner.

This decision to move the Mercedes-Benz SA Champs presented by Buffalo City was made by experienced Surfing South Africa Contest Director Cyril Nel who described the conditions at Nahoon Reef as "the biggest I have seen it in 30 years". Continuing with the contest at Nahoon Reef would have put contestant's lives at risk and moving the rounds to the relative calm of Nahoon Corner was met with applause by the surfers.

As the mayhem continued to build along the East London coastline the SA Championship 22 Day Three heats ran in the relative four foot tranquility of Nahoon Corner which is also the venue for today, Day Four, as giant surf continues to pound the better known surf spots.

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SMOKING SURF: The waves have poured through for the 52nd SA Champs. Photo Ian Thurtell

The Open Women Semi Finalists were decided on Day Three and the first of these semis is made up of Olivia Donald and Samelikiswe Cele ( both eThekweni), Danica Stockigt ( Buffalo City) and Tasha Mentasti (Eden). The second semi consists of eight time SA Champion Heather Clark (Ugu), Britney Linder (Nelson Mandela Bay), Lynn Mackey (eThekweni) and Maya Shefer - Boswell ( Cape Town). The top two from each semi will compete for the SA Championship title in the Final on Sunday.

Qualifying for the first Over 35 Men's Semi Final are Tyrell and Stuart Fowles (both Buffalo City), Rene Terblanche (Cape Winelands) and Etienne Potgieter (Nelson Mandela Bay). Defending champion Llewellyn Whittaker (Eden) is joined by Orrin Johnson (Buffalo City), Jon Sam Caswell (Cape Winelands) and Calvin Moore (Ugu) in the other Semi Final.

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RAINBOW NATION: A competitor paddles for the shoulder in the big surf. Photo Alan Thurtell

The Over 40 Quarter Finalists are Greg Emslie, Tristan Johnson,Philip Malherbe and Greg Harris (all Buffalo City), Warwick Heny, Simon Owen and Andrew Donaghy (all Nelson Mandela Bay), Graeme Field, Rory Heard and Ryan Kuhn (all Cape Town), Karl Ribbink and Ross Solomon (eThekweni), Justin Maisch and Gary Van Wieringen (both Ugu), Luke Meiring (Eden) and Dave Petersen (Ilembe).

The Qualifiers for the Over 45 Quarters are Gareth Sepp, Andre Malherbe, Kevin O' Brien and Wayne Monk (all Buffalo City), Jacques Terblanche, Ryan Ribbink and Rob Moore Boyle (all eThekweni), Pieter Ben Van Rhijn and Mickey Lindsay (both Nelson Mandela Bay) and defending champion, Carl Roux (Ugu).

Day Four will see surfers in the Over 30 Women's Division, Over 55 and Over 60 Division joining the contest for the first time this week.

All the results and photos are posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and heat results with scores are posted on the Surfing SA Facebook page immediately after they are completed.

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OUTER LIMITS: Spectactors watch as heaving seas run past at the back. Photo Ian Thurtell

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