Two-time world champion Antony Smyth from Cape Town won the Build for Better Adaptive South African Surfing Championship held at New Pier in Durban over the weekend.
In the final, Smyth, who won gold at the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship in 2016 and 2018, took on long-time rival and friend Jean-Paul Veaudry from East London in 2-4 foot surf and freshening onshores.
Six champions were crowned at the Championship in various classifications from prone assist (AS5) prone (AS4), sit (AS3) kneel (AS2), stand (AS1) and visually impaired (ASVI) divisions.
Organiser Julia van Zyl, the founder of the Made for More non-profit organisation in Durban, said that that they had 36 entries who had travelled to Durban from around South Africa. “Darian Haynes came all the way from Hawaii to be with us,” said Van Zyl.
An emotional Haynes, 19, was named winner of the Women’s AS-2 division, defeating Cape Town’s Grace Anderson, who won a silver medal at the World Champs in San Diego last year. Haynes has Erb’s Palsy after suffering nerve damage to her left shoulder at birth when she was pulled by her arm too forcefully out of the womb.
The championship came after a difficult time for Durban in recent weeks, with flooding causing widespread damage and 51 deaths three weeks ago, followed by a sewage pump failure 10 days ago that led to millions of litres of sewage gushing into the Port of Durban.
Fortunately for the adaptive surfing championship, improving e-coli test results at New Pier in the days leading to the event resulted in a green light for the contest, unlike the weekend before, when the Zigzag Surf Pro had to be called off.
“It’s an incredible privilege for us to run this event. So much goes into preparing for an adaptive surfing event of this magnitude, from beach and vehicle permits, to contest infrastructure, coordinating volunteers and personnel, and then there are the logistics around acquiring the specialised equipment,” Van Zyl said.
“We need to organise and set up access mats for accessibility for wheelchair users on the soft sand as well as water chairs to assist them in and out of the water. We also require specific surfboards that are generally thicker and wider for surfers who lie prone and are assisted onto waves.”
A team of 20 volunteers had their hands full in the shorebreak at New Pier assisting the prone surfers. Hoots of enjoyment could be heard, particularly from young Lwazi Matanga, a young Cape Town surfer from Delft township, who was shot in the head a few years ago, which caused right-side paralysis (hemiplegia).
“The atmosphere and support on the beach was the best, biggest and warmest we’ve ever had. We are so proud and in awe of the bravery, courage, commitment and talent of all the surfers and competitors in both the contest and the expression session.”
The expression session was held for first time and beginner surfers not ready for competition, Van Zyl explained.
“When the expression session began, the crowd erupted and literally ran down to the water’s edge in celebration and support of these brave young men and women. The inexpressible and glorious joy experienced in the expression session was not of this world and something that will sit and resonate in people’s hearts for a very long time.”
ASVI Men (Blind and Visually Impaired)
1. Jared Sacks (Kommetjie, Western Cape)
2. Danito Mondlane (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
3. Sabelo Ngema (Glenwood, KwaZulu-Natal)
4. Erynn Geddie (Glenwood, KwaZulu-Natal)
AS5 Men (Prone assist)
1. Albert Rust (Middelburg, Mpumalanga)
2. Lwazi Matanga (Delft, Cape Town, Western Cape)
AS5 Women (Prone assist)
1. Noluthando Makalima (Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Western Cape)
AS4 Men (Prone)
1. Daniel Nel (Cape Town, Western Cape)
AS4 Women (Prone)
1. Tracy Mckay (Bluff, KwaZulu-Natal)
2. Alulutho “Lulu” Tshoba (Clernaville, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
AS3 Men (Sit)
1. Douglas Hendrikz (Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal)
AS2 Men (Kneel)
1. Anton Wiersma (Port Alfred, Eastern Cape)
2. Donovan Kanes (Simon’s Town, Western Cape)
3. Tyler Pike (Cape Town, Western Cape)
4. Derick Sigwebela (Chatsworth, KwaZulu-Natal)
AS1 Women (Stand)
1. Darian Haynes (Hawaii)
2. Grace Anderson (Somerset West, Western Cape)
AS1 Men (Stand)
1. Antony Smyth (Cape Town, Western Cape)
2. Jean-Paul Veaudry (East London, Eastern Cape)
EXPRESSION SESSION RESULTS
Derrick Mboyisa (Muizenberg, Cape Town) – Best Wave
Thandi Muir (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)- Most Waves
Hayley Raman (New Germany, KwaZulu-Natal)- Longest Ride
Amuri Mwanza (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal) -Biggest Wipeout
Mfundo Blose (New Germany, KwaZulu-Natal -Most Stoked
Peter Glass (Amamzintoti, KwaZulu-Natal)
David Nhlapo (Pretoria, Gauteng)
Kayden Eksteen (Newlands East, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
Dean Hart (Durban North, KwaZulu-Natal)
Rayaan Moodley (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
Guy (Oliver) Sinclair (Winston park, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
Krishiv Katuwaro (Howick, KwaZulu-Natal)
James Sinclair (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
Nelisiwe Sibiya (Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal)
Daniel Deghaye (Glenwood, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
Sibobgile Shosha (Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Western Cape)
Chloe Malcomess (Durban, KwaZulu-Natal)
THE ADAPTIVE SURFING FAMILY
This event would not have been possible without the many sponsors, volunteers and friends of Made for More that came on board to love, encourage and support.
Thanks to Surfing South Africa’s contest director, Anne Wright, head judge Bongani Xulu and the judging panel for a fair and well-run contest.
A massive thank to official sponsors and partners: SBS Tanks, Made For More, Triggerfish Animation, Surfing SA, Sports and Recreation South Africa, Jumping Kids and Community Build Durban.
Associate sponsors and friends: Hurley, Afro’s, Mr Price Sport, Hurricane Surf, aQuellé, Gooderson Tropicana Hotel, Zigzag Surfing Magazine, Ocean Ventures, City Celebration and Ignition Group.
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