Mid-winter madness

Mid-Winter madness in St Francis Canals

Mid-winter madness

Ready to swm (note OB on table to numb the pain)

Coinciding with the shortest days (longest nights) of the year we also experienced what were certainly the coldest days of the year thus far. With temperatures dropping into single digits and the wind chill factor further lowering the temperature, most of us sought refuge indoors around fires and heaters warmly wrapped and sipping either hot chocolate or red wine.

But there were a group of ’22 crazies’ who decided to test their fortitude by ignoring the freezing temperatures and icy waters of the St Francis Bay Canals for the St Francis Open Water swimmers, Winter Solstice mid-winter swim. Sensibly most donned wetsuits, well 20 of them did whilst two young swimmers (Abrielle and Taya) decided that their speedos would suffice in keeping the cold at bay (oh to be young).

Start of mid-winter madness

Ready to start the mid-winter swim (note the lass on the right with out a wetsuit)

It is reported that all those participating completed the one kilometer course required to receive a Mid-Winter Madness certificate presented by Kouga Print although two swimmers, Haydn Holmes and Amica de Jager decided an extra one kilometer lap might warm them up. There were also reports that a few of the oldies cheated by consuming glasses of Old Brown before the swim. Whether this was to warm them up or numb the senses is uncertain but after the swim Richard Arderne (Pam Golding Properties) provided gluhwein to those who required assistance in thawing out.

If you are a little crazy and would like more information or want to join this brave, even if a little crazy group, visit the St Francis Open Water swimming Facebook page.

Mid-Winter madness participants

Some of those who competed along with the certificates presented by Kouga Print.

Mid-Winter madness swim times

Photos supplied aby Garth Perry


Final Results Jordy Smith Cape Town

Alex Ribeiro (BRA) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) clinched back-to-back titles in South Africa when they won the men’s and women’s events at the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill in front of a packed beachfront at Melkbosstrand in Cape Town on Sunday.

Event sponsor and current world No. 3, Jordy Smith, with Zoe McDougall (Hawaii) and Alex Ribeiro (Brazil), winners of the women’s and men’s events at the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill at Melkbosstrand on Sunday – Photo: WSL / Thurtell

Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) was the only South African winner at the event, successfully defending the junior men’s crown he won last year, while Sophia Fulton (AUS) grabbed her second victory in the past three weeks by dominating the junior women’s final

Ribeiro added this week’s World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 win to his victory in the QS3,000 Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing in Durban last weekend, which sees the former Championship Tour (CT) surfer jump three places to No. 2 on the QS rankings.

Up against close friend and travelling companion Marcos Correa (BRA) in the final, Ribeiro shot into a commanding lead as a growing swell pushed the wave heights up to two metres. Finding the only high scoring left breaking wave of the event, an 8.67, Ribeiro had his opponent in a combination situation within 10 minutes and Correa still needed 15.68 points when the 25 minute heat ended.

McDougall, who has already won four events in South Africa this year, overcame an uncharacteristically sluggish performance in the junior women’s final to dominate the women’s final, racking up scores of 7.83 and 6.67 for a 14.50 heat total that her opponents, Camilla Kemp (PRT), Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) and Reiki Noro (JPN) were unable to match.

Joshe Faulkner was ecstatic to return to the winners circle at the junior men’s event he won last year. The lanky Jeffreys Bay teenager stayed very busy throughout the final, riding a total of 13 waves in the 25 minutes, and took the lead from Liam O’Brien (AUS) with a high-risk aerial that netted him an excellent 8.87.

With Joao Chianca (BRA) threatening the lead, Faulkner posted a 7.0 on his twelfth ride to seal the victory ahead of Chianca, O’Brien and his brother Angelo.

The junior women’s final was the first to run as the swell started filling in and became a nail-biting contest as the top three were separated by less than half a point. It was Fulton’s opening ride of 7.33 that prevailed when the last rides of both fellow Australian Pacha Luque-Light and McDougall fell agonizingly short of overhauling the leader. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) struggled to find waves with scoring potential in the final and finished fourth.

The presence of event sponsor and current world No. 3, Jordy Smith, drew throngs of spectators to the event and he put his signature on everything from surfboards to T-Shirts and posters before presiding at the awards ceremony.

The outreach programmes conducted by Surfing South Africa (SSA) at the each of the five events in the City Surf Series formed an important part of the activities, enabling young surfers from various backgrounds to participate in the international events. Comprising beach activities, water coaching, a tag team contest and beach relays the initiatives were presented by the Surfers With Original Talent (SWOT) organisation headed by Danielle Johnson.

Full results, news, photos and videos will be available at www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App, which is a free download.

The Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro is proudly supported by O’Neill, City of Cape Town, Tsogo Sun, Skullcandy, El Jimador, Yesman, Red Bull, World Surf League, Surfing South Africa and Accelerate Sport.

Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres. by O’Neill

Men’s Final Results

  1. Alex Ribeiro (Brazil) 15.67                                 R12,000            1,000 pts
  2. Marcos Correa (Brazil) 10.43                             R   6,000              750 pts

Women’s Final Results

  1. Zoe McDougall (Hawaii) 14.05                         R8,000            1,000 pts
  2. Camilla Kemp (Portugal) 8.37                           R4,000               750 pts
  3. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 8.13                             R2,500               560 pts
  4. Reiki Noro (Japan) 7.33                                     R2,000               525 pts

Junior Men’s JQS1,000 Final Results

  1. Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) 15.83               R8,000           1,000 pts
  2. Joao Chianca (Brazil) 14.27                              R4,000              750 pts
  3. Liam O’Brien (Australia) 11.53                          R2,500              560 pts
  4. Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) 9.27               R2,000              525 pts

Junior Women’s JQS1,000 Final Results

  1. Sophia Fulton (Australia) 10.10                                    R4,000           1,000 pts
  2. Pacha Luque-Light (Australia) 10.00               R2,000              750 pts
  3. Zoe McDougall (Hawaii) 9.70                            R1,110              560 pts
  4. Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) 3.64                            R    900             525 pts

Men’s Semifinal Results (2nd = 3rd place; R3,000; 560 pts)

SF1: Marcos Correa (BRA) 16.17 def. Alonso Correa (PER) 15.50

SF2: Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 10.16 def. Robson Santos (BRA) 4.03