The inaugural Tigers Milk Surf Classic was completed on a high note at Muizenberg Corner yesterday (Sunday, September 13th) and the large crowd who gathered to watch the unique multidiscipline event were treated to some top class performances in each of the divisions.
As the strong southeaster backed off conditions at Surfers Corner improved and the competitors posted some high scores. South African Men’s SUP Champion Justin Bing showed his class, scoring the only 10 point ride of the event while two time World Longboard Champion Matthew Moir came close with a couple of 9 point rides as he worked his way to the Final.
Others who impressed on the final day of competition were four time South African Surfing champion Nikita Robb, Jeffreys Bay sisters Emma and Gina Smith, talented young surfer Jordy Maree, Muizenberg locals Dillon Fernandez and Paul Sampson Chudleigh, longboarders Tristan Lev, Alfonso Peters,Kay Holt and Simone Robb and SUP exponents Chris Bertish,Tammy Robarts and Roxy Davis.
The inaugural event celebrated a number of firsts.These included a shark sighting which brought a premature close to the proceedings on Saturday, a dispute with local law enforcement officers who issued Tigers Milk with a fine for displaying advertising banners on the beach,the introduction of a Varsity Division into a surf contest and the running of a surf event from inside a restaurant.
Surf contests are usually run from gazebos or structures positioned on the beach but over the weekend officials were able to judge from behind the front window of the restaurant which displayed the live scores on a large screen. The commentators had the perfect vantage point to comment on each ride, the judges were able to see each ride perfectly from the elevated vantage point and for the first time a set of red and green lights, positioned inside the restaurant, was used to indicate the beginning and end of each heat.
All in all, the Tigers Milk Surf Classic, the first major surfriding event to take place at Muizenberg Corner in over 25 years, was completed on schedule, eight champions were crowned, R50,000 in prize money and prizes was handed out at the prize giving and competitors in the Men’s and Women’s Surfing divisions added some Pro surf Tour ratings points to their annual tally.
The SUP Women’s champion was Tammy Robarts of the Strand with Roxy Towill of Kommetjie taking second spot ahead of Penny Stemmet of Strand.Khara Tompson of Hout Bay was fourth. Justin Bing put on an almost flawless display in the Men’s SUP Division to take the win. Fellow Hout Bay rider, Chris Bertish was second, Dylan Frick of Strand was third and Nic Walker of Bloubergstrand took fourth.
Star of the Sea schoolteacher and former South African surfing champion Kay Holt of Muizenberg beat current World Champion Simone Robb of Kommetjie to take the Women’s Longboard title. Jessie Marjaan Goodman was third and fellow Muizenberg longboarder,Angela Craemer came fourth.
Two time world Longboard Champion Matthew Moir of Kirstenhof took the honours in the Men’s Longboard Division ahead of talented Tristan Lev of Cape St Francis. Muizenberg local Alfonso Peters was third and longboard stalwart Michael Grendon of Scarborough placed fourth. As part of the occasion SA Longboard Team manager Deon Bing presented commemorative International Surfing Association gold Medals to World Champions simone robb and Matthew Moir. The medals have been presented to all previous ISA World Champions in celebration of the World governing body’s 50th Anniversary.
The Women’s Varsity Final was won by Gina Smith, who not only earned R2000 for the victory but also won a custom made Simmons Surfboard for her efforts. Anoush Zakarian came second, Nikita Kekana was third and Dayni Sanderson was fourth. Norman Lotz won himself a Gul wetsuit and R2000 for his victory in the Varsity Men’s Final. Top surfing judge Dillon Lowenthal swopped his clipboard for a surfboard and secured second place in this division while Ben Alheit took third and Daniel Wilson was fourth.
The Women’s Surfing title went the way of four time South African champion Nikita Robb of Cape Town. Robb beat Emma Smith of Jeffreys Bay into second place with Kommetjie based Tarryn Chudleigh taking third spot ahead of Pippa Jones of Marina da Gama.
Jordy Maree of Kommetjie beat Muizenberg local Dillon Fernandes into second place in the Men’s Surfing Final with Kommetjie’s Paul Sampson Chudleigh third and Brandon Benjamin of Retreat fourth.
Chris Bertish, the author of the book Stoked, presented local surfer Craig Johnson with a signed copy in recognition of Johnson’s passion and commitment to the sport.
In a special finale to this highly successful event Tigers Milk partners Michael Townsend and Niall Smith committed to sponsoring the Tigers Milk Surf Classic for a further four years and confirmed that the prize money would be increased.
Full results and a photo gallery can be viewed on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).