Exciting brand relaunch and line-up of top SA surfers planned for first-ever Cutty Sark Pro

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South Africa’s surfing fraternity, from groms to pros, will be heading to Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast for the inaugural Cutty Sark Pro surfing contest taking place on 10 and 11 June in front of Premier Resort Cutty Sark. The event, which is presented by SMTH Shapes, forms part of the exciting Ocean Festival programme – in celebration of World Ocean Day (8 June) – running from 8 to 11 June. Entries are now open for all surfers with R10 000 in prize money up for grabs!

The contest has already attracted some big-name surfers, with the likes of the top-rated SA Grand Masters champ, Gary van Wieringen, joining the fold. Event organisers are also excited to welcome top local surfers, including the very accomplished Lepront siblings, Luc and Louise aka Lulu. Luc, who competed at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Championships last year, has an amazing surfing career ahead of him. Sister, Lulu, recently won the Ladies Open division at the SA Champs with both multiple award-winners at last year’s Sea Harvest SA Surfing Champs in Jeffreys Bay.

Durban-based NPO, Made for More, will also form an important part of the Cutty Sark Pro programme, with adaptive surfers competing in several heats. Made for More aims to include, empower, and equip people with disabilities through sport. Through their adaptive surf programme, many individuals have been instructed in water safety, life skills, and adaptive ways to bodyboard and surf. Some of these competitors will be taking to the waves on 10 and 11 June.

Commenting on the contest, Gavin Roberts, Cutty Sark Pro Contest Director, and winner of the recent SA Masters title said: “We’re hoping to attract surfers from all over to the inaugural Cutty Sark Pro. Surfers are committed to ocean conservation, doing what we can to keep the ocean clean and healthy so we can get out there and do what we love! I’d like to extend a big thanks to Russel for making people aware of the need to protect our oceans. The host venue, Premier Resort Cutty Sark is a great place to hang out, relax, and enjoy the event while enjoying some of the great facilities. This is just the first year for the Cutty Sark Pro, but hopefully we can grow it from here and make ocean conservation awareness even bigger!”

Relaunch of world-famous Instinct surfwear brand

The venue for the Cutty Sark Pro is also a revival of the famous Cutty1000, a surf contest that was held annually on the KZN South Coast. But this isn’t the only blast from the past on the Cutty Sark Pro agenda – after a 30-year hiatus, the event is set to be the relaunch for popular Durban-based surfwear brand, Instinct!

Established in 1979 by World Surfing Champion and South Africa’s own Shaun Tomson, Instinct was one of the most recognised surf brands in the 1980s, pioneering the industry with unique advertising and original style. While Instinct has been off the market for three decades, the brand has just made a major comeback with the release of its first  Legacy launch range – with the Cutty Sark Pro its entry point!

The range draws inspiration from Instinct’s iconic surf-bleached styles and bold print graphics from the 1980s, with a focus on homegrown and home-sewn. Having relaunched the brand under a license agreement in Australia, Tomson shifted focus to his homeland and partnered with Oh Two Clothing – a vertically integrated manufacturer that cuts, sews, prints, and produces apparel at their state-of-the-art factory in Durban.

The majority of products are manufactured in Surf City, Durban using responsibly sourced cotton from the African continent, which not only contributes to local employment, but also helps reduce carbon emissions. Furthermore, Instinct will be contributing 1% of all product sales to the 9Miles Foundation, a non-profit organisation that empowers underprivileged youth through surfing. 

“Relaunching Instinct in my home town where I started it, and incorporating revenue from every sale to empower underprivileged students is a dream come true,” noted Tomson. “Business can solve big social problems, but if I can just help with one small problem, the life trajectory of a student, then my mission will be fulfilled.

“I’m excited to be partnering with Oh Two Clothing and the 9Miles Project to improve the lives of kids through the life lessons of surfing. Over the last 17 years, I have dedicated my life to helping uplift organisations, schools, and universities through inspirational programmes and I’m excited to be incorporating Instinct into my programme of self-empowerment.”

Simon de Robillard, Instinct Brand Manager, commented: “We’re super excited to be involved in the Cutty Sark Pro. Having recently relaunched the brand in South Africa, this is the first event we’re getting behind and we really can’t wait to see all the amazing talent on display. As one of South Africa’s original homegrown heritage brands, it’s great to be back! Instinct is an iconic surf lifestyle brand that was founded by the legendary Shaun Tomson in Durban over 40 years ago, so it’s great to have him involved as well. The mission of the Ocean Festival; conservation and raising awareness for coastal communities, aligns perfectly with our mission of inspiring the next generation of ocean lovers and wave riders, so it’s great to be a part of such a meaningful event.”

Ocean Festival Founder, Russel Symcox, extended his thanks to sponsors of the Cutty Sark Pro for getting behind this important event: “The Ocean Festival is incredibly excited to have the Cutty Sark Pro surf contest be a part of the festival. The surfing community is integral to ocean users and having them as a part of the world ocean day celebration is awesome. Having Shaun Tomson’s iconic Instinct surf brand choose the Cutty Sark Pro as the entry point is very exciting and we’re thrilled to have them back in the fold. We’re also very excited about all the young Scottburgh talent doing such amazing things on the surf scene and we’re looking forward to watching the action during the ocean festival. To have the inclusion of the Made for More team, with their incredibly brave and talented adaptive surfers, will be such an inspirational programme addition.”

Special thanks have been extended to the Cutty Sark Pro sponsors SMTH Shapes, Premier Resort Cutty Sark, Halfway Toyota, and Instinct. This year’s beneficiaries will include Made for More, Skulls Surf Club, and Keep Scottburgh Beautiful.

The Ocean Festival at Scottburgh is one of several global festivals celebrating World Oceans Day on 8 June, themed Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing. This year’s event programme includes several great events and activities aimed at celebrating World Oceans Day while engaging with communities, educating them about the importance of conservation, and inspiring people to take action to protect the world’s oceans.

Cutty Sark Pro presented by SMTH Shapes details

When: Saturday, 10 and Sunday, 11 June

Where: Cutty Sark, Scottburgh, KZN South Coast

Divisions: Opens Mens and Ladies, Boys and Girls U18, Boys and Girls U14

Entry: R350

Contact: Gill at ugusurfing@gmail.com or 083 965 4344

Ocean Festival activities and events

Thursday 8 June (World Oceans Day)

Halfway Toyota Beach Clean-up at Scottburgh Main Beach from 2pm to 4pm

Mahlongwa River Clean-up from 4.30pm to 5.30pm

Friday 9 June 

Ocean Festival conservation talks at Cutty Sark Hotel from 12.30pm to 2pm

MTB ride from Cutty Sark Hotel / Renishaw Trails from 2pm to 4pm 

Saturday 10 June

Cutty Sark Pro presented by SMTH Shapes surf contest at Scottburgh Beach from 7.30am to 4pm

Beach Clean-Up Run/Walk at Scottburgh Main Beach from 10am to 12pm

Ocean Festival Event at Cutty Sark from 5pm to 9pm with live music by Qadasi & Maqhinga from 5pm to 7pm

Sunday 11 June

Cutty Sark Pro presented by SMTH Shapes at Scottburgh Beach from 7.30am to 4pm

Leatherback Surfski Challenge at Scottburgh Beach and Aliwal Shoal from 8am to 1pm – @aliwalshoalsurfski on Instagram and Leatherback Rum Aliwal Shoal Surfski Challenge on Facebook

Parking is limited at the Cutty Sark so members of the public are encouraged to park at Scottburgh Main Beach and enjoy the short, scenic walk north to the Cutty Sark beach area for the surfing event.

*Please note the programme is subject to change. Please check @theoceanfestival on Instagram and Facebook, and www.oceanfestival.co.za website for the most updated Ocean Festival programme details.