Tenacious Tissink tames tough X Over field
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.