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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Fri, 23 November 2018

A looming typhoon and errant paddle boards caused some headaches for the South African SUP team in China for the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship that starts today.


LEFT HAND SLIDE: A fun forecast has been given for the SUP Surfing guys. Photo ISA / Reed

However, according to coach Dave Maxwell, all looks set for a great edition of the worlds in the sleepy town of Riyue Bay near Wanning City on Hainan island off southern China. Conditions for the wave riding disiplines look fun and perfect from chest to head high.

The swell comes from systems in the Pacific, but it needs to enter the South China Sea through the gap between Taiwan and the Philippines. A lot of time, the swell comprises wind chop from easterly trade winds that straddle both the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean.

The Opening Ceremony - featuring 196 athletes from 26 countries - kicks off the event with the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony, followed by the opening rounds of the SUP Surfing discipline at the left hand point break in the bay.

Earlier, a typhoon had formed in the Pacific to the East but its trajectory has moved away from Hainan. The main problem were getting all the boards to the venue.

Lifestyle Sean_Evans-201

AERIAL MY CHINA: The rustic coastline that includes Riyue Bay. Photo ISA / Reed

"There have been major challenges for the athletes in getting their 12'6 race boards through the airports. Quite a few athletes arrived without their boards - including our one Sup Racer and our prone racer," Maxwell said.

"Our boards all arrived in Hong Kong where they refused to load them. Luckily one of the team had a Saffa pilot mate who lives there so two of us had to stay behind in HK overnight to hire a truck (n roof racks allowed in HK!). By 9pm last Sunday night we had to store the boards around Hong Kong, causing much frustration."

The 2017 ISA SUP Surfing Gold Medalists, Shakira Westdorp (AUS) and Luiz Diniz (BRA) took to the water today to defend their titles as the SUP Surfing got underway. Both SA Men, Matt Maxwell and Tom King, came second in their opening heats and are through to Round 2 tomorrow.

First up at 8am tomorrow is Round 1 of the women's event where twins Tammy Foster and Penny Stemmet are competing together in the team for the first time. Both have represented SA before but doing it together only become possible due to the ISA's recent gender equality policy.

Sprints ISA_Ben_Reed-57

SPRINT FINISH: The best SUP racing athletes in the world make it a tough field Photo ISA / Reed

The SUP and Paddleboard Technical Races will follow later in the week, November 27 and 28, also at Riyue Bay, with the grand finale to take place at Shenzhou Peninsula from November 30 to December 2 with SUP Sprints, Distances Races, and the Team Relay Race to decide the Team World Champion.

This will be the first time a Junior U-18 Gold Medals can be won in the SUP Technical Races. The juniors will form part of who will stake their claim for individual medals and the coveted World Team Champion Trophy.

Team Australia has been dominant since the event’s inception in 2012, winning the Team Gold in five out of six occasions. Returning to continue this dominance are the likes of past gold medalists Michael Booth, and Shakira Westdorp. A gold for the USA in 2015 is the only blemish on the Aussies’ record.

The 2018 ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championship will be streamed live on www.isasurf.org from November 23 to December 2.


South-African-SUP-and-Prone-Team-2017-Mandy-ScanlenMandy Scanlen (Manager)
Mandy is the Commercial Manager for SUPSA and the Manager to Team SA. She has worked in sports sponsorship for 25 years and is passionate about SUP. Mandy was involved in the procurement and management of sponsorship rights for Rugby World Cup, Soccer World Cup, Cricket World Cup and Springbok Rugby over the years. She wanst to make the SA SUP team the best in the world.

Dave-Maxwell.tifDave Maxwell (Coach)
Dave is coaching the team for the second time, having been coach at the 2014 worlds in Nicaragua when South Africa finished 6th. He is President of SUP SA where he has served on the Board since 2013. Dave has been competing in the Legends and Open divisions of SUPSA surf and race events since 2012 and is a regular competitor in the SA kiting wave riding events.


TomKingTom King (Captain, Technical, Sprint, Surfing)
Surfing has been part of his life since he was five, with national short boarding and longboarding titles and a 4th at the ISA World Longboard Champs in 2013. His Supping career started almost six years ago and he has not looked back. He has won every major contest in South Africa and in 2016 placed 4th in the World at the ISA World SUP Champs.

Picture2Kimon Dos Santos (Technical, Long Distance, Sprint, Surfing)
Kimon has been Supping for eight years and at the age of 15 had his biggest achievement of completing the Maui 2 Molokai 43km and the Molokai 2 Oahu 53km (youngest to have done it), where he won 3rd place in the 14ft class. Kimon also received a 3rd in the Maui Paddle Board Championship 16km in the 14ft class.

Matthew-MaxwellMatthew Maxwell (Surfing)
Matthew got into Supping in 2011 when he was 11, and began to compete at local surfing and racing SUP events. Now, aged 18, he balances his time between Supping and kitesurfing. He is currently the Junior South African SUP Wave-riding, Racing and Overall Champion. He is also the reigning Junior South African Kitesurfing Wave-riding Champion and will be competing in Portugal and Mauritius at two wave-riding world tour events this year.

Rory-SmythRory Smyth (Long Distance, Sprint)
Rory started Supping seven years ago for fun after his wife got him into the sport. The bug soon bit as the sport was taking off in SA. Ffrom a running and endurance background he took to distance paddling, and started competing in 2014. He did 11 Cities 220k in 2015 finishing 15th and in 2016 finished in the top 30 when he was ranked #1 in the SA Legends division.

Jadon-WesselsJadon Wessels (Prone)
Jadon began his journey as a lifesaving nipper aged eight. He excelled in ocean swimming and later open water swimming, winning podium in many events. His passion for Prone Boarding began after he won two back-to-back silvers in the Iron Man at the SA Lifesaving Nationals. He took third in the Prone Technical Race at the 2018 SUP SA Championships and first in the Prone Distance Race.


South-African-SUP-and-Prone-Team-2017-Tammy-FosterTammy Foster (Surfing)
Tammy has been surfing for over 25 years and started SUP about six years ago. She represented SA at the Worlds in Peru in 2013 where she placed 7th, and at the Worlds in Demark 2017 where she placed fifth, narrowly missing out on a place in the finals by a split point

Penny-StemmetPenny Stemmet (Surfing)
Penny has surfed since she was a kid and started SUP surfing in 2011 and won the SA Champs. She took 3rd at the first ISA SUP World Championships in Peru in 2012 where she took third in the women's division. In 2012, she won the SA Champs in Durban. In 2017 won the SA Champs in Cape Town.

Tarryn-KingTarryn King (Technical, Race, Long Distance)
Tarryn has been surfing and enjoying the ocean for 12 years and Stand up paddle boarding for the five years. Notable achievements are 7th in the ISA Worlds SUP Surfing and Prone (2014), 5th in the ISA World Championships in SUP Surfing (2015), 4th in ISA Worlds Sprint (2016, and 7th in the Technical Race. In 2017, Tarryn took the year off for "maternity leave" but is back and in top form.


Karissa-Grace-Karissa Grace (U18 technical race)
Karisa has won all the SA junior long distance and technical SUP events since 2015. In 2017, Karisa was ranked 3rd in the senior women long distance event and was the SA junior racer and surfer girl of the year.


Henco-ScholtzHenco Scholtz (U18 technical race)
Henco Scholtz, 17, hails from the Strand in the Western Cape. He is a grade 11 pupil at Strand High and a Cape Winelands surfer who made the the semi finals at SA Champs in Jeffreys Bay in 2017. He is a keen kiter.

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