SA Seniors at Links

Seniors SA Champs being held at The Links this week

With Eastern Province Golf having selected St Francis Links as the host club,  some 88 plus golfers are in St Francis  this week to compete in the Senior and Super-Senior Inter-Provincial Championships.  Made up of eight teams of eight players in the senior division (50+) and six teams of four in the super-senior division (60+).

All the teams and their management are staying at Cape St Francis with the Opening and Closing ceremonies both being held at The Links.

Great weather welcomed the golfers over the weekend and remained perfect for yesterday’s official start . However all that is about to change with a rather strong westerly forecast for today.

The mornings see golfers tee off in foursomes  with single s being played in the afternoon, Monday through to Thursday. morning from today until Thursday, the teams will compete in foursome play, with singles following in the afternoons.

Central Gauteng has dominated the event over the past years and  will no doubt be the one’s to beat this year but both the Southern and Western Cape are right in there.

St Francis Links has been the venue for several Eastern Province Championships  and Greg DeDonker of EP Golf expressed his delight that the Links is hosting this prestigious event. Commenting DeDonker said “It’s a perfect course for match play. St Francis Links will provide all of the risk and reward that makes match play golf so special.”

Undoubtedly Jeff Clause and his team will be in his element and will as always, be the perfect ambassador to fly the colours of St Francis high and promote our wonderful region to his captured audience.

Photo courtesy St Francis Links Facebook page

St Francis Rotary Makro Golf Day

St Francis Rotary Makro Golf Day Around the Corner       

The annual Rotary Makro Golf Festival in St Francis Bay taking place on Saturday April 28th at St Francis Bay Golf Club.  This is the fifth year in a row that the title sponsorship is claimed by retail giant Makro in Port Elizabeth with the intention of raising substantial amounts for Rotary projects in St Francis.

The prestigious event will see golfers compete for great prizes in a Better Ball competition for an amazing entry fee of R350 including half way house.

“This day is more than just a fundraiser for our Rotary projects. It also provides a welcome boost to the economy of St Francis as golfers are expected to travel from as far afield as Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown for the weekend. The Festival also attracts keen interest from Rotarians countrywide and visiting overseas players,” said Rotary St Francis chairman, Ivan Beaumont.  “There are still some hole sponsorship opportunities open for anyone keen to take advantage of this great promotion opportunity.”

For golf  bookings and information contact Janine van der Merwe, manager at the St Francis Bay Golf Club on 042-294-0467 or e-mail For details of corporate and other sponsorship opportunities call Paul Sherman on 082-562-4265 or

Article – Lynette Aitken

Debbi our Iron Hero

St Francis’ very own Ironman …  or is that ‘Steel lady’

Dedication, determination and just pure courage saw Debbi Nevay Hudson achieve her dream of competing in and completing an Ironman. Running late into Sunday night crossed the line to the delight of her followers, many of whom were kept up to date on her progress throughout the day on the St Francis Open Water Swimming WhatsApp Group.

Competing in the age group 55 to 59, Debbi completed the 3.85 kilometre swim, 180.25 kilometre cycle and a 42.2 kilometre crossing the finish line at around 9:30 last night having spent some 15 hours in the water and on the road. Making this remarkable feat all the more amazing is that just two years ago it seemed unlikely Debbi would ever run even a marathon again after suffering a debilitating heart disease. Following successful surgery, Debbi was soon up and running again with the completing an Ironman firmly in her sites.

What a magnificent achievement Debbi. St Francis is proud of you!

We trust the photographer / s won’t mind us using the photos of Debbi in action without acknowledgment.


World Champ is Kromme King


The Pam Golding King of the Kromme was held on Easter Saturday, and won by Surfski World Champion, Jasper Mocke, the new 2018 “King of the Kromme”!  Held in calm warm conditions, with a full moon high tide, the 75 paddlers headed off from Quaysyde, and enjoyed an incoming tide for the beautiful paddle up the river, but had to work hard on the way back as the tide was still surging in! Plus some short cuts over still shallow sandbanks in less than 500mm of water, made for some very tiring sections. But the scenery, particularly up the Geelhout made it worthwhile. The river was full of Easter weekend boats, many pulling skiers, adding another dimension with their wake causing a few paddlers to take a swim.

Many thanks to organizer Daryl and Ingrid Staples, Dave and Marie Louw, and Alastair Stuart-White for driving the safety boat, Pete King for placing the turn buoy, Woodlands Diary for the chocolate milk, Carbonlogy Sport once again for their generous and high-quality lucky draw split shat paddle, Quaysyde for providing the best venue in the country, prize-giving photographers Jane Arderne and Warren Knez.




St Francis Junior Surfers Shine

NMB Junior Surfers Shine at 2018 Sea Harvest South African Grommet Surfing Games

Representing St Francis in the Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders team (l to r) were Cateline Plomaritis (U16 Girls), Kealan Cowling (U16 Boys), Chloe Atkinson (U16 Girls), Hannah Praetorius (U14 Girls) and Rory Dace (U10)

The Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders team claimed the coveted SSA and Sea Harvest 2018 Grommet Games Surfing Cup Award for the team with the most points in the Surfing Division at this year’s event held at Pollock Beach in Port Elizabeth between the 22nd and 26th March.

This was no mean feat considering the event, which was supported by Sport and Recreation SA, presented and run by Surfing South Africa (SSA) and hosted by Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders, attracted over 120 surfers representing eight Districts out of three Provinces!

Team Manager, Debbie Atkinson said, “Although we did not have a full team and we still managed to win the surfing shield, which is highly commendable. Our surfers showed the highest calibre of sportsmanship, manners, beach and competition etiquette during what was a very tough week of heat, wind and stress. We are all very proud of their achievement!”

“Seven of our team were included in the total of  21 surfers and officials recognised by SSA for their outstanding performances in the games and inducted into the Sea Harvest Grommet Games Stars group,” said Atkinson. Team coach Jerry van Wyk, was also inducted.

The overall win went to Cape Town Surfriders who claimed the Nelson Mandela Bay Trophy for the seventh year in a row. NMB Surfriders came in a close second having narrowly missed first place by just over 200 points.

The Games featured eight age divisions for girls and boys with the youngest surfers in the contest competing in the Under 8 Division and the oldest taking part in the competitive Under 16 Boys and Girls group.  The NMB Team’s results were as follows :

U10 category

Rory Dace (Cape St Francis) – Finalist – Gold Medallist Winner of the Under 10 Age Group and inducted into the All-Stars of the SSA Groms Group
Shewaan Perils – (Jeffreys Bay) Round 3 knocked out

U12 Boys
Evan Prinsloo (Jeffreys Bay) – Finalist – Nickel Medallist 4th place – inducted into the All-Stars of the SSA Groms Group
Jedia El Titus (Jeffreys Bay) – Quarters Knocked out
Oliver Boucher (Port Elizabeth) – Quarters knocked out

U14 Girls
Hannah Praetorius (St Francis Bay) – Nickel Medallist 4th Place
Kayleigh Botes (Jeffreys Bay) – Semis Knocked out

U14 Boys
Lorenzo Perels (Jeffreys Bay) – Gold Medallist – Chosen as the 2018 Surfer of the SSA Grom Games – Inducted into the All-Stars of the SSA Groms Games
Justin Van Niekerk (Port Elizabeth) – Silver Medallist –  Inducted into the All-Stars of the SSA Groms Games
Renaldo Atties (Jeffreys Bay) – Round 3 Knocked out

U16 Girls
Catelin Plomaritis (St Francis Bay) –Gold Medallist – Inducted into the All-Stars of the SSA Groms Games
Chloe Atkinson (St Francis Bay) – Silver Medallist – Inducted into the All-Stars of the SSA Groms Games

Kealan Cowling (St Francis Bay) – Silver Medallist – Inducted into the All-Stars of the SSA Groms Games
Zac Bakker (Jeffreys Bay) – Semis Knocked out

Atkinson added thanks to the all the sponsors, hosts, service providers and parents who offered so much support and whose combined efforts make such events possible.

The South African Grommet Games was introduced into South African surfing culture after unification in 1991 as part of Surfing’s commitment to transformation and development. The primary objective of the event 26 years ago was to give young surfers from different backgrounds, communities and cultures the opportunity to participate in an event that not only had a competitive element but also focused on fun, camaraderie and social interaction.

Although the Grommet Games is made up of Surfing, a Beach Relay, and Paddle Battle events, the Surfing takes the main focus over the contest.

Accepting the SSA and Sea Harvest 2018 Grommet Games Surfing Cup Award for the team with the most points in the Surfing Division from SA President, Johnny Bakker, is team manager Debbie Atkinson

Article Lynette Aitken
Photographs by Petronel Posthumus


Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro

World Surf League Africa Launches 2018 Regional Tour Over Easter Weekend

  • Africa to Host 14 Events Offering Prize-Money Totaling Over R18 million in 2018
  • Participants Include Men, Women, Juniors, and Longboarders
  • Sep 27-30        Cape St Francis     Billabong Junior Series #2

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay), currently No. 8 on the WSL Qualifying Series rankings, is looking forward to competing in his home surf during the 2018 WSL Africa events – Photo: WSL / Masurel

The African continent’s most lucrative year of professional surfing will be launched in Port Elizabeth over the Easter weekend when competitors in the Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong take to the surf at Pollock Beach on Friday.

Taking place at locations that range from Lamberts Bay on the West Coast to Ballito on the East Coast, and including events in Morocco  (co-sanctioned with WSL Europe) and the first-ever World Surf League (WSL) event in Dakar, Senegal, the 14-event schedule offers total prize money exceeding R18 million.

Comprising events for men, women, junior (18-and-under) men and women and longboard men and women, the WSL Africa tour provides local surfers with the opportunity to accumulate prize money and coveted WSL Qualifying Series (QS) ranking points in their home surf without having to incur exorbitant international travel costs. The points earned enable them to qualify for and gain preferential seeding in major international events

The season starts with the VW Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro which runs from Friday to Monday, 30 March to 2 April. The tournament features a QS 1,500 rated event for men, a QS 1,000 for women and Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 events for men and women. The prize-purse totals R200,000 and it is the first of five events in the City Surf Series (CSS).

Next up is the inaugural running of the Royal St Andrew Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver (April 5-8) which sees the WSL re-visit the great waves at the mouth of the Kowie River in the Eastern Cape for first time in more than two decades. Along with QS 1,000 events for men and women, the event re-introduces Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events for men and women with the top performers going on to qualify for the two WSL World Longboard Championship events in Papua New Guinea in October and Taiwan in November.

The second and third events in the CSS, the Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits (April 12-15) at Nahoon Reef in East London and the Zigzag Durban City Surf Pro pres. by G-Force Surfboards (May18-20) at New Pier in Durban, both feature QS 1,000 and JQS1,000 events for men and women.

The action moves to the Western Cape in June for the third annual Vans Surf Pro Classic at the iconic fishing village of Lamberts Bay on the West Coast, which runs June 1-3 with QS1,000 men and women’s events and a JQS 1,000 men.

Next up is the fourth stop on the CSS, the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill (Jun 14-17), that uses a mobile event format to find the best waves on the Cape Peninsula for QS 1,000 and JQS 1,000 men’s and women’s events.

The grand finale of the 2018 CSS, the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley (Jun19-24), will also use a mobile venue format in Port Elizabeth to determine the winners in a QS1,500 men’s event and the first QS 3,000 rated women’s event, the biggest QS women’s contest to be run in the region, alongside JQS 1,000 and LQS 1,000 men’s and women’s events.

There will be no break in the action with the junior men and women back in the surf zone at Willard Beach in Ballito for JQS 1,000 events in the Billabong Junior Series (Jun22-24), followed immediately by the men and women who will be competing in the historic 50th edition of the world’s longest-running professional surfing event, the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong (Jun 25-1 Jul).

The men’s event, with the highest available rating of QS 10,000, will again attract more than 100 of the world’s best competitors for a feast of world-class action in the mid-winter warmth of KwaDukuza. The handful of South African qualifiers will be determined to emulate compatriot Michael February (Kommetjie) who charged his way to third place in Ballito last year, which contributed significantly to the Capetonian securing a spot among the world’s top 34 ranked surfers on the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) for 2018.

The world’s top 34 ranked male surfers, including February and perennial title challenger Jordy Smith (Durban), return to Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay in July for the Corona Open J-Bay, the sixth of 11 stops on the 2018 CT that determines the annual World Surfing Champion. They will be joined by the top 17 female CT surfers for the first time since 2000 with the men’s holding period running from July 2-16 while the women’s runs July 6-16.

Negotiations are at an advanced stage for the sanctioning of the first WSL event to be staged at Dakar in Senegal, the westernmost city on the continent. Currently listed as ‘Tentative’, the event will be QS 1,500 rated for men and women and will run August 29-2 September.

The final WSL Africa event of 2018 for men and women is the Anfaplace Pro Casablanca in Morocco from September 4-9. Co-sanctioned by WSL Africa and WSL Europe, the event in Casablanca offers QS 1,500 rated events for both men and women.

The juniors’ season wraps up at the Billabong Junior Series event at Cape St Francis where the 2018 WSL Africa Junior Series Champions will be decided, and the squad of four men and two women who will represent the region at the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January will be announced.

The WSL Africa region also hosts the Cell C Goodwave, a unique one-day specialty event with a holding period that runs from 1 January to 31 December while organisers wait for ideal surf at New Pier in Durban. The star-studded 24-man invitational field competes for a prize-purse of R200,000 with the winner pocketing R120,000.

Long-serving WSL Africa Operations Manager, Colin Fitch, who has instigated, coordinated and implemented the incredible growth in the regional tour over the past decade, is anticipating yet another year of exciting events.

“I’m both happy and excited to see the WSL Africa Tour growing in 2018,” says Fitch. “While the upgrade of the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing presented by Hurley women’s event to QS 3,000 status will ensure that many of our female members get the chance to compete against the top international surfers, the inclusion of two WSL QS longboard events for men and women is also a great boost for the region.

“In June the QS 10,000 Ballito Pro presented by Billabong will celebrate the 50th edition of the world’s longest-running professional surfing event with Shaun Tomson, South Africa’s first World Surfing Champion and a six-time Gunston 500 champion, headlining the festivities. And with a QS 10,000 and four QS 1,500 men’s events scheduled here for 2018, we hope to see many more of our African surfers steadily moving up the QS rankings.”

The five events making up the City Surf Series will each host activities coordinated by Surfing South Africa, the national controlling body for the sport. These will be run by SSA Development Officer, Danielle Powis, in the various locations. The activities are designed to foster and encourage surfing among young people, regardless of their background.

2018 WSL Africa Schedule of Events

Mar 30-2 Apr   Port Elizabeth         *Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro pres. by Billabong
Apr 5-8             Port Alfred               Royal St Andrews Port Alfred Classic pres. by Quiksilver
Apr 12-15         East London           *Mitchum Buffalo City Surf Pro pres. by Reef Wetsuits
May 18-20       Durban                   *ZigZag Durban Surf Pro pres. by G-Force Surfboards
Jun 1-3            Lamberts Bay          Vans Surf Pro Classic
Jun 14-17        Cape Town             *Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill
Jun 19-24        Port Elizabeth         *Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres. by Hurley
Jun 22-24        Ballito                       Billabong Junior Series #1
Jun 25-1 Jul    Ballito                       Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong
Aug 29-2 Sep  Dakar, Senegal     Senegal Pro (Tentative)
Sep 4-9            Casablanca           Anfaplace Pro Casablanca
Sep 27-30        Cape St Francis     Billabong Junior Series #2
Jan 1-31 Dec  Durban                    Cell C Good Wave

* City Surf Series (CSS) events

See more details on all the WSL Africa events at and on the WSL App

Press Release – WSL