World Surfing Games

Clean Sweep for SA as All Four Men Advance at World Surfing Games

The South African surfing team built on the momentum from team captain Bianca Buitendag’s medal performance in the women’s event when all four men advanced to Round 2 of the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games taking place at Grand Plage in Biarritz, France.

A slight increase in swell size on Tuesday provided waves in the waist to chest high range and the onshore wind did not deter the South Africans from producing top class performances against their opponents from 47 other nations at the annual ‘Olympics’ of surfing.

Vice-captain Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) led the way for his teammates by finishing runner-up just behind two-time (2004 & 2010) ISA world champion Hira Terinatoofa (Tahiti) in his opening encounter of the event in the tiny waves on Monday.

Debutant Brandon Benjamin (Steenberg, Cape Town) overcame his nerves in his first appearance representing his country by also grabbing the runner-up spot in his Round 1 heat, relegating the vastly experienced Marcus Selman (Chile) to the Repecharge round.

“Amped to surf one of my biggest heats of my career today,” was Benjamin’s comment on his Facebook page before his heat.  “First round nerves out the window, thanks for the support,” he commented after advancing.

David van Zyl (Glenashley, Durban) took to the waves four heats later and used all his progressive aerial skills in the crumbling waves to post a heat victory over surfers from Spain and Chile.

David van Zyl ISA World Surfing Games

David Van Zyl (Glenashley) displays the progressive surfing that earned him victory in his opening heat at the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games in Biarritz, France – Photo: ISA / Reed

The vociferous South African team, whose use of Vuvuzelas in both the opening ceremonies and to support their teammates while they are competing drew favourable mentions from the event commentators, was then rewarded for their patience when Shane Sykes Salt Rock) completed the clean sweep by winning the last heat of the day.

The first ISA World Surfing Games to be staged since it was announced last year that the sport will be included in the Japan 2020 Olympic Games has attracted a record 243 competitors from 47 nations, many of whom are participating at an international event for the first time.

Newcomer nations such as Afghanistan, Greece, Senegal, Chinese Taipei and China got their chance to show the world the great leaps of growth that their non-traditional surfing nations have experienced in recent years, and especially since the inclusion of surfing in the Olympic Games.

The event runs until Sunday 28 May and the four South African men will be aiming to advance through another five rounds of competition to reach the final and claim a gold, silver, bronze or copper medal to add to the copper won by Buitendag on Monday.

The schedule for the remainder of the event is:

May 24-28 – Men’s Competition, Grande Plage
May 26 – World Premiere of “Shredding Monsters”, an Olympic Channel Production, 8pm at the Municipal Casino Theatre, Biarritz
May 28 – Closing Ceremony, Grande Plage

Watch the action live on from 7am (South African time) daily. Results and images will be posted daily on

The South African team is supported by Mercedes Benz South Africa, Buffalo City Municipality, the National Lotteries Commission and Sport and Recreation South Africa. Travel arrangements were made by All Aboard Travel.

About Surfing South Africa

Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). All South African surfing teams that participate in international events are chosen by the National Selectors and in terms of the SSA Constitution all national teams are ratified by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa.


South African Surfing Team for World Games

South African Surfing Team ready to show their class at the 2017 ISA World Games in Biarritz, France

The South African Surfing team of four men and two woman leaves for Europe today to take on some of the World’s best surfers from over 40 countries at the 2017 ISA World Surfing Games which gets under way at Biarritz in France this Saturday May 20th.

The team is captained by the stylish and powerful World Tour surfer Bianca Buitendag,who hails from Victoria Bay near George and who bases herself in France while competing internationally. Buitendag is at the top of her game at present after a quarter final in the beach break conditions of Rio Brazil last week and will be hoping to add a gold medal to the silver she won at the ISA World Junior Championships in Peru in 2011.

Sea Point based Tanika Hoffman,an experienced international campaigner and accomplished member of the South African Team set up, is the other woman in the team. Hoffman has been representing South Africa at ISA events since 2007 and in 2013 was a member of the South African Team that won gold at the ISA World Games in Panama. Last year she won the Cape Town Pro at Big Bay Bloubergstrand to secure her first ever World Surf League victory.

Top seed in the Men’s group is Jeffrey’s Bay surfer and team vice captain Dylan Lightfoot.Lightfoot is a tough competitor who is hard to beat in any conditions. He is also campaigning hard on the World Qualifying Series and just a month ago boosted his profile when he finished as runner up in the Nelson Mandela Pro in port Elizabeth.

Also in the side is Salt Rock star Shane Sykes whose natural talent saw him included in the 2016 SA Team that competed in the ISA World Games in Costa Rica, Sykes has posted some solid results in his junior career and is due to make his mark at senior level. With a little bit of luck added to his huge talent,France could be where it happens.

When Durban surfer Davey Van Zyl was last included in a South African Team,at the 2013 World Games, he came home with a team gold medal. Since then he has broken his leg,recovered and become the 2015 South African Champion. His solid powerbase and flow earns him big scores in competitions and he is ready for another visit to the podium.

The fourth member of the 2017 South African Men’s team is new cap Brandon Benjamin who hails from Steenberg in the Western Cape. Benjamin was the runner up to five time SA Champion and current World Masters Champion Greg Emslie at the South African Championships at Long Beach Kommetjie last year. The 21 year old has a strong repertoire of innovative moves and is schooled in beach break conditions so Biarritz should suit him.

East London legend, Greg Emslie, a former World Tour campaigner is the coach of the South African team. Emslie placed second to current World Champion in the Quiksilver Pro in France in 2007 and knows the French conditions like the back of his hand. His experience and skill will add immense value to the members of the South African team.

The experienced Isaac February is the Team Manager and his connections in Biarritz and positive outlook will be of enormous benefit to the team. Isaac is the father of Kommetjie based Mikey February who is currently lying 17th of the World Qualifying series after some impressive results in the recent City Surf Series events in Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban. Mikey was not available for SA Team selection as he is competing in a World Surf League QS6000 event in Japan next week.

The South African team is supported by Mercedes Benz South Africa, Buffalo City Municipality, the National Lotteries Commission and Sport and Recreation South Africa.

Travel arrangements were made by All Aboard Travel.

JBU Supertrial

Another Four Surfers Announced For JBU Supertrial

With the waiting period for the JBU Supertrial powered by Monster Energy just around the corner, the contest organisers have released the names of four more invited surfers. These surfers will join the other eight surfers that have already been announced.

Jordy Maree is a young goofy-footer who has impressed many with his powerful and fast backhand approach to Supers. His inclusion last year was late but well – deserved, and this year he was a definite entry. Jordy has a strong backhand hook, and is a mature competitor, so this year could be his break-out year.

Shane Sykes is another young surfer who has impressed the contest organisers over the last few years, and is a worthy inclusion in the 2017 edition of this event. His lightning-fast rail surfing on his forehand and solid tube-riding skills sees him enter as a contender for this year’s title and the coveted wild card.

Dale Staples from St Francis Bay needs no introduction, and is a solid competitor and perennial Supertubes stand-out. His powerful forehand hacks and clean, drawn-out carves makes Ducky one of the most pleasing surfers to watch on any given day out at Supers. He has an excellent competitive track record at Supertubes and his second place last year to Steve Sawyer can only improve one place.

Adin Masencamp from The Strand has the Big Match Temperament needed to succeed at Supers when the pressure is on. He is a seasoned competitor already, and thrives on competition. This natural-footer has a fast and aggressive forehand attack, perfectly suited to the speed walls of Supertubes. If Adin gets his waves and finds his rhythm he could easily rise to the top and find himself on the podium this year.

These four surfers join the other eight invited surfers. They are Cape Town’s Matt Bromley, defending champion Steven Sawyer, local surfer Joshe Faulkner, Durban charger Davey Van Zyl, WQS competitor Mikey February, local surfer Matt McGillivray, Beyrick de Vries from Durban’s North Coast and former event champion Dylan Lightfoot from JBay.

Matt McGillivray in action

Local invitee Matt McGillivray in action at last year’s event. ©Van Gysen

The contest format is going to be something fresh and different. “We have something quite special about this event already, being a small, invite-only contest at one of the best waves in the world,” said contest organiser Koffie Jacobs. “Following through with this, the format will also be something unique.”

The JBU Supertrial presented by Monster Energy is an exclusive invite-only tournament, with first prize being the coveted Wild Card entry into the World Surf League Championship Tour Corona Open JBay. The Supertrial has a waiting period from 1st – 11th June, and historically always enjoyed excellent surf conditions at Supertubes. The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest

Hashtags #JBUsupertrial  #JBayWinterfest

The JBU Supertrial is co-sponsored by RVCA. is the media partner. 


The JBU Supertrial is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa, the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa.

Cell C Goodwave

Local surfers invites to Cell C Goodwave Surfing Event

Known as one of the best beach-breaks in the world, the New Pier in Durban is set to host the exciting Cell C Goodwave surfing event during the next good swell.

Cell C Goodwave surfing event

Rated as a World Surf League Specialty Event, the contest has a one year waiting period, costs one Rand to enter, and has a massive first prize of R100k, the largest domestic prize for the sport in South Africa. Contestants need to have a 1 Rand coin to enter on the day, no change will be given, and no entry fee paid means no surfing.

It is a one-day event with four man heats and sudden death elimination. The competition consists of fifteen heats of high performance surfing, with the event being give a Green Light For Go on the advice of surf forecasting guru Spike from

Contest organizers are looking for a solid and consistent swell that will provide between 10 and 12 waves every 30 minutes for 8 hours, in order to run the event to completion. It’s a very specific kind of swell, and Spike knows exactly what it looks like on the maps.

Right now we have a blip on the radar, and Spike has given the contest organisers an early heads up for a possible Cell C Goodwave swell for next week Monday 15 May, or possibly Tuesday 16 May. While that swell is still far off and many things could change between now and then, all invited surfers are reminded to be on alert and watch the Cell C Goodwave website and Facebook page for updates.

“Winter is starting to show some muscle with a series of big swells hitting the Cape,” said Spike of the upcoming conditions. “For Durban, two storms form east of the country, both producing some swell. The first arrives Monday and Tuesday 15 and 16th, and the second next Friday 19th. With two days of surf next Monday and Tuesday and offshore winds, we are looking closely at the orginating storm, which at this stage is facing slightly the wrong way for proper 6-8′ surf in Durban. However, it could be clean 4-6′ building Monday and running Tuesday, which looks the best conditions and swell direction.”

The Cell C Goodwave has invited 32 surfers to compete in the event. Should some of these surfers not make it to the New Pier in Durban on the day, their slots will be filled up with the alternate surfers. Should there still be open slots, the contest director will choose walk-up entries.

“We are all very excited to be running this unique event again,” said South African Surfing Legends Executive Advisor Barry Wolins. “There aren’t too many specialty events that take place these days and we have our one at New Pier, one of the finest, barreling beach breaks on the planet.”

• The Cell C Goodwave is a South African Surfing Legends event, with Jason Ribbink the contest director.

• California Dreaming, overlooking New Pier on the beachfront, will host the competition on the day. Oakley and Sun International are both supporting sponsors.

• The four World Surf League Specialty Events for 2017 can be found here

Invited surfers, in no order:

Brandon Jackson, Matt McGillivray, Dale Staples, Shane Sykes, Mikey February, Josh Redman, Damien Fahrenfort, Dan Redman, Mike Frew, Simon Nicholson, Gavin Roberts, Frankie Oberholzer, Matt Bromley, Davey Weare, Grant Baker, Chris Leppan, Sean Holmes, Ricky Basnett, Jason Ribbink, Beyrick de Vries, Gary van Wieringen, Dylan Lightfoot, Chad du Toit, Brendan O’Connor, Warwick Wright, Noel Rahme, Shane Thorne, Paul Canning, Richard Kidd, Davey van Zyl, Robbie Schofield, Greg Emslie.

Alternate surfers, in no order:

Secret International VIP, Alan Johns, Josh Smit, Jordy Maree, Adin Jeenes, Simon Fish, Joshe Faulkner, Matt Pallet, Stever Sawyer, Dylan Stewart, Lee Bisset, Scott Venter, Billy Payne, Scott Hamilton, Ryan Payne, Sam Christianson, Derek Footit, Ben Dancaster, Bevan Willis, Koby Oberholzer, Antonio Bortoletto, Manfred Adrio, Wes O’Driscoll, Elton Cuthbert, Andrew Lange, Blane Wood, Chris Frolich, Wade Simkiss, Rene Terblanche, Frank Solomon, Mikhael ‘MK’ Vawda, Casey Grant, Andrew Banks.

The Cell C Goodwave – in loving memory of Lee Wolins.

For more information contact –


Better late than never

Better late than never – King of the Kromme results

Greg Louw, the “Bay Bullet”, in a time 1hr 44min is the 2017 “KING OF THE KROMME”, winning R1500, plus 12 months bragging rights, and his name engraved on the beautiful trophy … again! This is the first time in 11 years that we have a two-time winner! Local up-and-coming Phil Smith took second place, narrowly beating East London’s super-fit veteran Hennie Roos, both 4min behind Louw. Another local, 14 year-old Graydon Mitchley, was the first junior, performing exceptionally well for his age, and was not far behind in 5th place, just behind experienced Josie Williams, who hadn’t been well. Another top paddler, Richard Von Wildemann, didn’t fire on all cylinders this time, and was well back.

There was also a 12km short course, plus a 1km under 10 and under 12 guppy race. Entry fee of R75 included a sumptuous Quaysyde meal. As usual, Carbonology supplied a paddle valued at R2500 as a lucky-draw and another one for the juniors, thanks Jason Goedhals and Hein Van Rooyen!

This annual race started and finished at Quaysyde on the Canals at 10am on Easter Monday 17 April 2017, and wound up the beautiful Kromme and Geelhout Rivers.

Thanks Sacha Park for the photos and videos. Thanks also to Dave and Marie Louw, Ingrid Staples, Gail Brooker, Alicia Vorster (registration/time-keeping), Pete King (turn buoy and safety boat), Phil Niven (safety boat skipper), and Catherine Mitchley (safety boat vice-captain).

King of the Kromme results


JBU Supertrial

Four More Invitees Announced For The JBU Supertrial

JBU Supertrial

The waiting period for the 2017 edition of the JBU Supertrial powered by Monster Energy is coming up fast, so without any further ado here are the next four invited surfers into this prominent event.

Local surfer Steve Sawyer won the event last year, and has had numerous good results in JBay over the years. The young goofy-footer also won the recent Buffalo City Surf Pro in East London, proving his versatility. Coming into the JBU Supertrial event as a defending champion, he will be determined for another big result this year.

Matt Bromley from Cape Town is another surfer who will no doubt be out to impress. A gifted big wave surfer and all-round charger, Matt is a likeable guy but has a strong Big Match Temperament. Matt is a tenacious competitor and can often be found up in the JBay area practicing his barrel riding at Supertubes.

Another goofy-footed surfer in the mix is young local surfer Joshe Faulkner. Growing up surfing Supertubes makes Joshe a shoo-in as an invitee, and he has a solid and exciting backhand approach to surfing Supertubes. Joshe is also strong in the tube and could easily cause an upset at this event.

Davey Van Zyl is a powerful natural-footer who excels in the beach break barrels of Durban, but translates that skill set to virtuoso performances out at Supertubes as well. Van Zyl is also confident when the surf starts getting a little bit bigger, and when other surfers might be feeling a little uncomfortable in the big stuff he revels in it. Should we get a solid swell for the event he could come out on top.

These four surfers join Mikey February, Matt McGillivray, Beyrick De Vries and Dylan Lightfoot who have already been invited to compete in the event. There will be an announcement shortly regarding the rest of the invited surfers.

The JBU Supertrial presented by Monster Energy is an exclusive invite-only tournament, with first prize being the coveted Wild Card entry into the World Surf League Championship Tour Corona Open JBay. The Supertrial has a waiting period from 1st – 11th June, and always scores great surf at Supertubes. The Corona Open JBay has a waiting period from 12th – 23rd July, and is part of the JBay Winterfest

The JBU Supertrial is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa, the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa.