Barrels of laughs, sheer stoke and the human spirit
No ugly scenes ... just comrades with or without arms and legs
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.
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.
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.