Bar­rels of laughs, sheer stoke and the hu­man spirit

No ugly scenes ... just com­rades with or with­out arms and legs

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

op­ing be­tween some teams, and other odi­ous ex­am­ples of the hu­man dark side.

But here there were no spoiled acts of self- en­ti­tle­ment. No one shouted ex­ple­tives at any­one. There was only re­spect for el­ders and com­rades in arms, or with­out arms or legs, or the abil­i­ties that many of us take so much for granted.

Com­ing down to help at adap­tive surfing events should be com­pul­sory for all those overzeal­ous grom­mets and their par­ents jostling on the side­lines like the ob­nox­ious stereo­type that Hol­ly­wood spoofs so well.

It was also heart­en­ing to see the many peo­ple who gave up their Sun­day to be part of his­tory. There were surf in­struc­tors, surf shop staff, surfing ad­min­is­tra­tors, par­ents, for­mer and fu­ture pros, pho­tog­ra­phers, me­dia, and some­times just cu­ri­ous passersby.

There were five heats rep­re­sented five di­vi­sions: Standup 1, Standup 2, Prone, As­sist, and Blind. Each heat was re­peated. The com­bined re­sults were tal­lied to find the South African cham­pion.

There was also a clinic that saw peo­ple who had never surfed be­fore get a tan­ta­lis­ing taste of that salty stoke us surf vets know so well. Judg­ing by the out­break of spon­ta­neous grin­ning, they’re hooked on surfing for­ever.

The blind surfers had min­ders who helped them into the wa­ter, but they had to ride the waves them­selves. Just think about that. Ev­ery­one watched the blind heats with awe.

Noth­ing was stop­ping the two par­tic­i­pants, both from KwaZulu- Natal, Er­ryn Ged­die of Glen­wood and Dan­ito Mond­lane of Dur­ban. Ged­die took the ti­tle.

Other stand­out per­form- ers were Dries Mil­lard of Sal­danha Bay, who won the Prone, and Antony Smyth of Hout Bay, who took Standup 1. Shark bite sur­vivor Caleb Swanepoel of Ron­de­bosch won Standup 2 and took the Surfer of the Con­test tro­phy.

Les­lie Lee of Port El­iz­a­beth, the only woman in the event, came sec­ond to Swanepoel but also won the Stoked Surfer of the Con­test award. Not bad for some­one who has not surfed be­fore. This is what surfing should be about.

Por­tuguese Roll

WORLD No 4 Jordy Smith looked on top form in Round 1 of the MEO Rip Curl Pro at fa­mous Su­per­tu­bos in Peniche, Por­tu­gal this week.

The big South African skips the knock­out Round 2 to surf in Round 3 against hot young Aussie star Kai Ot­ton. In a huge up­set this week, Matt Wilkin­son’s world ti­tle as­pi­ra­tions were dashed when he was knocked out in Round 2.

Af­ter his in­cred­i­ble backto-back wins in the first two events, Wilko has steadily slipped, with a bad run of 13th or 25th po­si­tions.

Weather Tip

TO­DAY, the surf looks a bit big­ger with 3-5’ sets and fun at dawn be­fore the fresh SSE wind starts to pick up. Muizen­berg looks a fun 2’ if not 3’ early be­fore the on­shore comes.

To­mor­row looks re­ally good for surfing. Early in the morn­ing, it has that berg wind hazy warmth to it in light E off­shore, and con­sis­tent 4’ lines. Fun 2’ in Muizen­berg as a light NE then light NW then mod­er­ate west­erly picks up. Surf slowly wan­ing.

SURF JOY: Para­plegic par­tic­i­pants ex­pe­ri­enced the thrill of rid­ing a wave at South Africa’s first adap­tive surfing cham­pi­onships re­cently.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.