Tena­cious Tissink tames tough X Over field

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - CRAIG JARVIS

TRIATH­LETE Ray­nard Tissink proved sec­ond place wasn’t good enough when he upped his game to take top hon­ours in this year’s highly con­tested Oak­ley X Over in Jef­freys Bay this week.

This “cross- over” event, which com­prises moun­tain bik­ing, golf and surf­ing, has be­come one of the big at­trac­tions at the JBay Win­ter­fest, with com­peti­tors in­clud­ing some of the coun­try’s sports celebrities.

On the fi­nal day on Thurs­day, a warm north­west­erly breeze ruf­fled the waves at Lower Point in JBay ever so slightly, but the con­di­tions were very con­testable for the last day of surf­ing.

With per­fect two to three­foot waves reel­ing down the point and a packed Lower Point beach, the celebrities took to the wa­ter to con­test for a place in the fi­nal.

Tom Whi­taker showed why he is a for­mer world tour surf­ing com­peti­tor by dom­i­nat­ing the right hand walls of Lower Point. The waves peaked for the 30-minute fi­nal with sets pour­ing through – and Whi­taker, us­ing his knowl­edge of the break, was on all the best waves and dropped two scores in the ex­cel­lent range.

If the fi­nal was a Whi­taker show, how­ever, a de­ter­mined Tissink did enough to fin­ish sec­ond in the surf­ing tour­na­ment, win­ning the over­all Oak­ley X Over 2016 ti­tle.

It was a well-de­served win for the Oak­ley X Over vet­eran who has com­peted in all three of the events and placed sec­ond in the in­au­gu­ral com­pe­ti­tion in 2014.

“I’m ab­so­lutely chuffed with the win,” he said af­ter the surf fi­nal.

“It’s been a hard three years of try­ing to win this thing. Since I’ve re­tired from pro­fes­sional sport this is my an­nual sport­ing goal,” Tissink added.

“This event has ac­tu­ally changed my life. My first surf was at the first X Over and now I love the sport. My life now con­sists of surf­ing and golf and I very oc­ca­sion­ally ride a moun­tain bike.”

The over­all fi­nal re­sults were Tissink, fol­lowed by Whi­taker, pro­fes­sional down­hill moun­tain biker Greg Min­naar and for­mer Spring­bok fly­half Butch James.

Af­ter re­tir­ing from com­pe­ti­tion, Tissink claims the Oak­ley X Over as the high­light of his year. This year he took home the spec­tac­u­lar win­ner’s tro­phy.

Gar­rett ‘Soldier­boy’ McLel­lan is a ded­i­cated Oak­ley X Over com­peti­tor and this year he upped his game in ev­ery event.

A vastly im­proved surfer, John Smit made it all the way to the semi­fi­nals.

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