NSRI Pink Buoy to the rescue

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BayNSRI Pink BuoyAn NSRI pink rescue buoy has successfully been used in a surf rescue in Jeffreys Bay bringing the NSRI pink rescue buoys total successful deployments to date to 51.

On Friday afternoon, 29 November, an NSRI rescue swimmer deployed into the surf at Magnas Beach, a popular surf spot, with the NSRI pink rescue buoy stationed at Magnas Beach, where a male aged approximately 7 and a male aged 15 were seen in difficulty in the surfline.

The NSRI rescue swimmer reached the child and the teenager and with the aid of the NSRI pink rescue buoy floatation device the child was assisted to the shore while the 15 year old, a good swimmer, was able to swim with them back to the shore.

Once safely ashore no further assistance was required.


Tough Conditions Force Short Day at Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships

JINZUN HARBOUR, TAITUNG / TPE (Monday, December 2, 2019) – The 2019 Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships has continued today with a short day of competition seeing the final four heats of Men’s Round 2 completed. Increasing swell and blustery winds forced WSL Event Directors to call competition off due to deteriorating conditions.

Peruvian Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) overcame Australian Jack Entwistle (AUS) in heat 6 of Round 2 at the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships this morning at Jinzun Harbour. – Credit: © WSL / Tim Hain

Peruvian competitor Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) is in the hunt for his best finish at the Taiwan Open as he booked himself a spot into Round 3 after taking down Aussie hopeful Jack Entwistle (AUS). Both surfers struggled to find a decent wave in the solid and bumpy conditions, but it was Garrido Lecca who managed to pull together a heat total of 9.06 to claim the win. Garrido Lecca will now shift his focus to Round 3 where he will take on reigning World Longboard Champion Steven Sawyer.
“That was so tough out there,” Garrido Lecca said. “I feel bad for Jack because those were not the waves we were hoping for, but there is nothing you can do about the conditions, that’s just surfing. I’m stoked to make it into Round 3 and have the opportunity to get my best result here in Taiwan. It looks like we will continue to get solid conditions so I will try to be ready for anything.”
Former World Longboard Champion Josh Constable (AUS) found himself in the unexpected position of trying to avoid a last-place finish in Round 2 when he came up against fellow Aussie Clinton Guest (AUS) in Heat 7. On a board he shaped himself, Constable made light work of the windy right-handers, riding the nose through the chop and slicing turns back into the pocket to take the win, much to the excitement of his family who watched on from the beach.
“Obviously you get beautiful perfect days with light wind here in Taiwan, but you also expect a few windy solid days like this,” Constable said. “You have to be ready for everything here so I shaped a few boards that can handle this, and they definitely worked for me which is good. I came last year and saw all of the different conditions this place can throw at you so was definitely prepared this year. I brought my family with me this year which has been awesome. This is such a beautiful place and I knew they’d love it here plus it’s a nice end of year holiday for the kids after they’ve done so well at school this year so we’re having a great time.”
Kevin Skvarna and Taka Inoue were the other two competitors to progress through Round 2 with Jack Entwistle (AUS), Clinton Guest (AUS), Wenderson Biludo (BRA), and Kaimana Takayama (HAW) were all unfortunately eliminated.
With conditions continuing to deteriorate at Jinzun Harbour, WSL Event Directors decided to put the event on standby after the final heat of Round 2. With conditions expected to stay below average for the next 24 hours, the event has been called off tomorrow, December 3 and WSL Event Directors will reconvene at Jinzun Harbour on Thursday, December 4 at 6:15 a.m. to make a call on competition recommencing.

The Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship runs from December 1 – 7. For more information and to watch all of the action from the Taiwan Open of Surfing, head to www.worldsurfleauge.com or download the free WSL App.

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Remaining Men’s Round 2 Results:
HEAT 1: Cole Robbins (USA) 10.10 DEF. Chung Hua Cheng (TWN) 6.14
HEAT 2: Ben Skinner (GBR) 15.00 DEF. Max Weston (AUS) 9.26
HEAT 3: Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 10.87 DEF. Nicholas Brewer (AUS) 8.37
HEAT 4: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 10.87 DEF. Gabriel Nascimento (BRA) 8.57
HEAT 5: Taka Inoue (JPN) 9.84 DEF. Kaimana Takayama (USA) 8.17
HEAT 6: Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) 9.06 DEF. Jack Entwistle (AUS) 7.90
HEAT 7: Josh Constable (AUS) 11.83 DEF. Clinton Guest (AUS) 8.43
HEAT 8: Kevin Skvarna (USA) 9.90 DEF.  Wenderson Biludo (BRA) 6.96

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Round 3 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Cole Robbins (USA) vs. Harrison Roach (AUS)
HEAT 2: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Taka Inoue (JPN)
HEAT 3: Kaniela Stewart (HAW) vs. Ben Skinner (GBR)
HEAT 4: Steven Sawyer (ZAF) vs. Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER)
HEAT 5: Kai Sallas (HAW)
HEAT 6: Edouard Delpero (FRA) vs. Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA)
HEAT 7: Justin Quintal (USA) vs. Josh Constable (AUS)
HEAT 8: Tony Silvagni (USA) vs. Phil Rajzman (BRA)  

Steven Sawyer through in huge surf at 2019 Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship

JINZUN HARBOUR, TAITUNG / TPE (Sunday, December 1, 2019) – The 2019 Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships is underway at Jinzun Harbour with the opening day of the event window seeing a massive day of competition. Competitors battled huge clean surf in the six-foot range to see the completion of Men’s and Women’s Round 1 along with four heats of Men’s Round 2.

2015 World Longboard Champion Rachael Tilly (USA) reveled in the big surf on Day 1 of the 2019 Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships at Jinzun Harbour. – Credit: © WSL / Matt Dunbar

Current WSL Longboard Tour rankings leader Justin Quintal (USA) has come to Taiwan with a strong chance of clinching his maiden World Title. With a hungry pack of competitors nipping at his heels, Quintal needs to give himself every opportunity to take the win and on Day 1 he started off on the right foot, winning his opening Round matchup with Aussie duo Jack Entwistle (AUS) and Nicholas Brewer (AUS). He will now progress into Round 3 and one step closer to taking the trophy.
“That felt good to put myself in the best position possible finishing that heat,” Quintal said. “It’s a little frustrating that this event has more weighting than the other events because it leaves the door open for a lot of other guys. I’m definitely in a good position but there is still a lot of work to be done to win the World Title which is obviously the goal. That was probably one of the hardest heats I’ve ever surfed. The waves look really good when you’re watching but once you’re out there, there is a lot of water moving, there are huge clean-up sets — it’s a lot of work for sure. This is my first time in Taiwan, and it’s been great. I’m really stoked to be where — the waves are so fun and the people are awesome.”
Reigning World Longboard Champion Steven Sawyer (ZAF)  had the tough task of taking on his good friend and travel partner Kevin Skvarna in Round 1 of the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship. It was the first time the pair have matched up in a WSL heat and it didn’t disappoint with the two stylish goofy footers going wave-for-wave on the long lefts of Jinzun Harbour, carving with speed and showing grace on the nose. In the end, it was Sawyer who took the win, leaving his opponents Skvarna and Taiwanese wildcard Chung Hua Cheng (TWN) to battle it out in elimination Round 2.
“Kevin and I have never had a heat against each other,” Sawyer said. “Every event we joke with each other that we’ll match-up and it finally happened, and I got him – this time. Staying with buddies and surfing against them is fun. There are no hard feelings – out there we’re surfing against a coloured jersey and on land, we’re best buddies. It’s nice to get that first heat out of the way and shake the nerves off, I’ve been here for almost a week now and I’ve been scoring great waves – I love it here in Taiwan.”
Fresh off a recent trip to Alaska, Harrison Roach (AUS) is happy to be back in boardshorts and enjoying a more tropical climate. On his first trip to Taiwan, Roach is settling in well which was reflected in his surfing. The Noosa local looked comfortable in the solid and shifting peaks, posting the highest single-wave score of Men’s Round 1, a 6.67 (out of a possible 10) for a long right with a beautiful closeout re-direct to punctuate the wave.
“I just got back from shortboard a trip to the Aleutian Islands, so it feels good to be back in warm water,” Roach said. “This is my first trip here and I’m really loving it so far – we’ve been scoring great waves up and down the coast. This has been a really interesting year for me competing at all of these WSL events and it’s been good to see traditional or real longboarding getting rewarded and I’m glad to be a part of it. There’s a chance I could see one of my friends be crowned World Champion this week which is really cool. I might be in with a chance, but I’ll need a lot to go my way so I’m not counting on it.”
After Men’s Round 1 was completed, the world’s top female longboarders hit the lineup at Jinzun Harbour and impressively tackled the huge long period swells. It was no surprise that the winner of Heat 1 was defending Taiwan Open winner and reigning World Longboard Champion Soleil Errico (USA). The heat win didn’t come easy for Errico with only 0.30 points separating her from her opponents Sally Cohen and Haley Otto. The work done was enough to see Errico progress into Round 3.
“It’s so good to be back in this place where I had the best day of my life last year,” Errico said. “It’s pretty solid this year so that heat was such hard work. Not a lot has changed in my life since becoming World Champion, I’m just trying to be humble and continue to enjoy my surfing. I’ve been competing a lot this year but recently there hasn’t been many waves at home so I’ve just been training a lot and working out. It’s good to finally have some decent waves though.”
Brasilian sensation Chloe Calmon (BRA) is still searching for her maiden World Title and has come to Taiwan in the strongest position of her career. Calmon believes the new look Longboard Tour has allowed her to stress less at competitions and focus on being consistent across the year. Calmon has proved her theory in 2019, taking out two events of the Longboard Tour and arriving in Taiwan with her best shot yet at taking the championship.
“This is such an amazing year to be a part of longboarding and see it’s growth. For the first time in years, we have multiple events to decide our champions and WSL is giving us such a great platform to perform on. It’s been fun competing in several events this year and I think it takes the nerves away having multiple events. At the end of the year, we will have a champion who has been the most consistent surfer. It’s been a great opportunity to visit new places and surf in all sorts of different conditions. There has been a lot of talk about the title but I don’t want to think too much about it just yet because there is still a lot of great surfers I need to get past during this event.”
The Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship runs from December 1 – 7. For more information and to watch all of the action from the Taiwan Open of Surfing, head to www.worldsurfleauge.com or download the free WSL App.

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Men’s Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) 11.17 DEF. Taka Inoue (JPN) 8.33, Gabriel Nascimento (BRA) 6.97
HEAT 2: Justin Quintal (USA) 8.10 DEF. Jack Entwistle (AUS) 8.00, Nicholas Brewer (AUS) 4.94
HEAT 3: Kai Sallas (HAW) 9.90 DEF. Josh Constable (AUS) 9.30, Max Weston (AUS) 8.50
HEAT 4: Steven Sawyer (ZAF) 10.46 DEF. Kevin Skvarna (USA) 8.83, Chung Hua Cheng (TWN) 5.97
HEAT 5: Harrison Roach (AUS) 12.00 DEF. Cole Robbins (USA) 8.04, Kaimana Takayama (USA) 7.30
HEAT 6: Tony Silvagni (USA) 10.77 DEF. Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER) 8.93, Phil Rajzman (BRA) 8.80
HEAT 7: Edouard Delpero (FRA) 13.04 DEF. Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 10.83, Clinton Guest (AUS) 7.16
HEAT 8: Kaniela Stewart (HAW) 10.93 DEF. Ben Skinner (GBR) 8.93, Wenderson Biludo (BRA) 1.27

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Women’s Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Soleil Errico (USA) 8.36 DEF. Sally Cohen (HAW) 8.20, Haley Otto (HAW) 8.00
HEAT 2: Rachael Tilly (USA) 12.83 DEF. Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 9.70, Minami Koyama (JPN) 8.03
HEAT 3: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 10.43 DEF. Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 4.34, Kirra Molnar (AUS) 4.20
HEAT 4: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 13.97 DEF. Mahina Akaka (USA) 5.20, Pan Mei-Hsin (TWN) 1.90
HEAT 5: Ophelie Ah-Kouen (REU) 12.10 DEF. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 9.93, Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) 7.47
HEAT 6: Alice Lemoigne (FRA)  12.26 DEF.  Kathryn Hughes (AUS) 7.47 Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 4.10
HEAT 7: Tully White (AUS) 8.84 DEF. Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA)  7.40 Emily Lethbridge (AUS) 5.97
HEAT 8: Kirra Seale (HAW) 6.84 DEF. Mason Schremmer (USA) 6.33 Avalon Gall (USA) 5.94

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Men’s Round 2 Results:
HEAT 1: Cole Robbins (USA) 10.10 DEF. Chung Hua Cheng (TWN) 6.14
HEAT 2: Ben Skinner (GBR) 15.00 DEF. Max Weston (AUS) 9.26
HEAT 3: Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA) 10.87 DEF. Nicholas Brewer (AUS) 8.37
HEAT 4: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 10.87 DEF. Gabriel Nascimento (BRA) 8.57

Taiwan Open World Longboard Championships Men’s Remaining Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 5: Taka Inoue (JPN) vs. Kaimana Takayama (USA)
HEAT 6: Jack Entwistle (AUS) vs. Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER)
HEAT 7: Josh Constable (AUS) vs. Clinton Guest (AUS)
HEAT 8: Kevin Skvarna (USA) vs. Wenderson Biludo (BRA)

St Francis & JBay NSRI in action again

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following a request for medical assistance from the skipper of a Cape Town stern trawler requiring a crewman, suffering a medical complaint that needs to be seen to by a doctor, to be patient evacuated off the trawler to hospital.

MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), Telkom Maritime Radio Services, TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority), NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and a Government Health EMS duty doctor assisted with the logistics and coordination of the patient evacuation to hospital for the crewman.

Private Care ambulance services were placed on alert.

We launched our sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and rendezvoused with the fishing trawler 14 nautical miles off-shore of St Francis Bay.

The patient, a local man, aged 29, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and he was medically assessed by our NSRI medics and in a stable condition we transported him to our sea rescue station where Private Care ambulance services paramedics took the patient into their care.

The patient has been transported by Private Care ambulance to hospital in a stable condition.

The operation was completed at 07h54.


Ernie Schmidt, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty controller, said:

At 17h02, Wednesday, 27th November, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a surfer appearing to be in difficulty behind the back breakers at Magnas (a popular beach and surfing spot).

We launched the sea rescue Waverunner and NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene.

On arrival on the scene an NSRI rescue swimmer found a male on a surfboard seeming to be stuck in rip currents behind the back breakers and a member of the public had launched his surfboard to go to assist.

Our NSRI rescue swimmer grabbed the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy that is stationed on a pole at Magnas and he deployed into the surf and reached the casualty and swam the casualty out of the rip current and safely back to shore reaching the shoreline as our sea rescue Waverunner arrived on-scene.

NSRI medics assessed the local man and he required no further assistance, he was not injured, and he confirmed that he was not able to paddle his surfboard back to the beach after getting caught in rip currents.

This brings to 50 the number of persons assisted using an NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy.


Blacker than Black

With all the hype over Black Friday the following  paragraph posted on musician (singer, songwriter & producer) Don Clarke’s Facebook page explains the truth about Black Friday rather succinctly 

Black Friday is a great name! I’ll tell you why. The only thing black about it is the cynicism behind a concept which says…we have ripped you off with excessive profits for years, but today we throw you a bone. For today only we cut our cruel profits so much that we force you to buy things you don’t need, and ultimately leave you poorer. Because, to tell you the truth, we’re really just teasing you into our stores to expose you to the products which are not discounted.
Go ahead. Like starving slaves released from a wooden ship you can rush at the doors of our kitchen and beat yourselves senseless for a morsel. We, the Captains of Retail love that.

As Greta Thunberg says…how dare you?!

Don Clarke – The Drakonteur.