Durban Summer Series 2014 – Wave Event Number 2 ~ Words by Justin Bing
This passed weekend was the 2nd wave event of the Durban Summer Series. It took place in front of the popular Afro Chickens restaurant on South Beach. For the passed couple of weeks there has been sand pumped out in front of the Xpression on the Beach shop making for some great banks. The sand has also formed a really fun right hander in front of Afros.
The Durban SUPing scene is on the up and after a great first event we were expecting there to be an even bigger crowd of Stand Up Paddleboarders. There were roughly 25 entrants with 3 divisions being open men, open ladies and juniors. A brief talk was given to all new contestants, explaining the criteria and how contest surfing works. The judges consisted of a couple of the more experienced SUP surfers and a couple newbie’s, giving them the opportunity to understand how it all works.
Durban is known for its perfect early morning conditions and the contest was underway by 7am.
There was some great surfing from heat 1. The wind started to pick up throughout the day, making for some testing SUP conditions. Nevertheless the boys and girls were picking off some nuggets that were hitting the bank perfectly and running all the way to the beach.
Finalists for the open men’s final included 2013 SA Champ Brandon Ribbink who won all his heats leading up to the final with his smooth and consistent surfing. Tom Hewitt made his 2nd consecutive final with some quick snaps, managing to slide out the tail on almost every turn. Grant Roberts was stoked to be in the final after being knocked out in the first round of the first event. Justin Bing was also in the final after some good surfing on his Platinum Coreban! Brandon got off to a quick start, securing a couple good scoring waves straight off the bat. Tom and Grant kept busy, catching some great waves that hit the bank perfectly and sped off down the line. Justin hung wide and secured a set wave that went to the beach. This was enough to give him the win at the 2nd wave event of the Durban Summer Series.
In the Open Ladies division, Jackie De Billot secured top spot and has been going from strength to strength over the last few months, putting in some early morning training sessions with Brandon Read and the XOTB crew in the mornings. The hard work is definitely paying off! Shelley Bradfield who is known for her racing side of SUP and just off a win in China dusted off her wave board and worked hard to secure a close 2nd. Angela Whittle , competing in only her 2nd contest finished in 3rd. Its great to see the ladies SUPing in Durban starting to grow and these girls will be a force to be reckoned with next time the Capies come up for an event!
The boys didvision saw Ricardo taking the win and Kyle Chrystal 2nd. These boys did really well to stay standing on their boards, considering the tricky conditions.