UPDATE: Huge swells and strong wind test surfers at SA Champs

SURFERS at the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SA Championships had to deal with 6 to 8 foot surf, strong winds and an energy-sapping paddle on day two of this six day event at Nahoon Reef.  And according to predictions conditions are set to become more testing over the next two days.

Despite the difficult conditions there was some outstanding performances with defending SA Open men’s champion Greg Emslie raising the bar. The Buffalo City Surfriders team member was outstanding all day and in one heat was rewarded with a massive 9.9 wave score out of a possible 10 points. Emslie has looked solid in every heat he has competed in so far and must be a favourite for the title in this division.

STORMING ON: Tough conditions greeted surfers on day two of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SA Surfing Championships on Wednesday (August 23) Picture: IAN THURTELL

Other surfers who impressed in the open men’s rounds on “tough Wednesday”,  and are through to the quarterfinals, are  Llewellyn Whittaker and Dillon Marshall (both Eden), Devin Lane, Chris Frolich and Avuyle Ndamase  (all eThekweni), Justin Sykes (iLembe), Justin Maisch and Cody Coetsee (both Ugu),Tyrell Johnson ( Buffalo City),Brandon Benjamin (Cape Town) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands).

In the women’s division 14-year-Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City), the youngest surfer in the contest, was a standout and qualified for the quarterfinals where she is joined by her Buffalo City teammates Danica Stockigt, Tayla de Coning and Dayni Loots.

Others to qualify for the quarters are eight-time SA champion Heather Clark (Ugu), Maya Shefer Boswell and Cliodhna Keene O’ Connell (Cape Town), Samelikiswe Cele, Lynn Mackey and Olivia Brand ( eThekweni), Danielle Johnson (Cape Winelands), Tasha Mentasti (Eden) as well as Britney Linder and Rebecca Anderson ( Nelson Mandela Bay).

The Over 35 men’s division got their first chance to surf at this year’s event on day two and after two rounds of hard fought competition, 16 of them will contest the quarterfinals. The top 16 are Ian Duff, Sean Van Oettingen and Jonathan Trenor (All iLembe), Jaco Kapp, Roland Suttie and Rene Terblanche (all eThekweni), Etienne Potgieter and Paul Allan (Nelson Mandela Bay),Tyrell  and Orrin  and Stuart Fowles ( Buffalo City), Neil Zietsman and Ryan Halkett (both Cape Town) Llewellyn Whittaker (Eden), Jon Caswell (Cape Winelands) and Calvin Moore (Ugu).

With a huge 15-foot swell predicted to hit Nahoon Reef on day three and four (Thursday and Friday, August 24 and 25) of the premier Surfing South Africa event, contest organisers might be forced to move to Nahoon Corner which is more protected.

The Mercedes-Benz SA Surfing Championships is hosted by the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation and the National Lotteries Commission.

All the heats results and photos are updated daily and posted to www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za.

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