Champions to defend titles in Billabong Girls Get Out There surf festival
All the champions from the inaugural event in the 2006 Billabong ‘Girls Get Out There’ Surf Series will be back to defend their titles when the second all girls festival of surf is staged in the holiday paradise of Margate, South Africa on Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 & 6 December.
Sarah Maritz from Warner Beach, who took home the biggest chunk of the R12 500 at stake in the Open women’s event in Durban in September, Capetonian Tarryn Chudleigh, who wrapped up the Pro Junior (U20) title in Durban and in Margate last year, and rising star Alice McGregor from East London in the U15 division, are all determined to stamp their authority on proceedings again.
While Caryn MacNicol’s victory in the Novice’s division in Durban means she can no longer compete in that division, the Toti teenager will be challenging for higher honours in the U15’s, where there is R2 500 up for grabs.
And with holiday-makers outnumbering locals on the beautiful Hibiscus Coast of Southern Natal, this festival of female surfing offers fun-in-the-sun for everyone. Free ‘Learn To Surf’ lessons with all equipment and qualified coaches provided, Yoga lessons, impromptu beach volleyball games and a unique creative art project that will benefit turtle research are just some of the activities offered.
“This summer is all about salty sun bleached hair, juice on your chin and sand between your toes,” explains Jeannie Castle, Billabong’s Girls marketing manager. “Girls, their families and friends are invited to get down to Margate beach to see the country’s best surfers in action, learn to surf themselves or have a bash at competition and enjoy all the other activities on offer.”
Nearly 60 top surfers from every corner of the coastline are already registered in the lucrative Open and Pro Junior events. The likes of multiple SA champion Tamarys de Maroussem (Westbrook), Stacey Guy (Melkbosstrand) and Jessica Matthews (Cape St Francis) will be amongst the top contenders for Sarah Maritz’s Open title.
National junior team members Nikita Robb (East London) and Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbos), Tammy-Lee Smith (Salt Rock) and youngsters Heidi Palmboom (Bluff) and Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) are capable of capitalizing on any slip up by Tarryn Chudleigh in the Pro Juniors. And along with most of the U20’s, they will be out to make their presence felt in the Open category too.
Alice McGregor faces tough challenges from Durban runner-up Holly Armstrong, fellow Kommetjie resident Tanika Hoffman and Puvashnee Nydoo (Umhlatuzana) in the U15 section where future stars like the False Bay trio of Alex Morris, Anna Notten and Sabrina Scott will be testing their skills at national level.
And the Novices event sees a host of U18 girls trying their hand at surfing competition, many for the first time, while Durban finalists Annie de Vries (Umhlanga), Nikita Kekana (Glenwood) and Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach) will be aiming for the winners circle this time.
Entries are still open for the U15 and Novices events and entry forms can be downloaded from www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za. The Open and Pro Junior events are seeded according to the ASP Africa Pro Surf Tour ratings and the points earned in these events count towards the 2006 PST crowns. Every entrant gets a goodies bag containing a free series T-shirt and many valuable youth orientated products.
And both girls and boys can participate in the art project by making their mark on marine themed canvases set up on easels on the beach using the brushes and paint provided. This environmental collaboration between Billabong and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife will see the completed works auctioned at the event with proceeds donated to the Turtle fund where they will be used to purchase satellite tracking devices.
Regional marine ecologist, Cloverley Lawrence, will be there to raise awareness of environmental issues and the participants applying themselves to creating the most beautiful artwork will be rewarded with Billabong products and be given a hands-on marine excursion such as dolphin viewing.
So mark Tuesday and Wednesday on your calendars as the days to be at Margate beach where there will be top class surfing action and loads of activities to participate in. All the action is recorded by Silver Bullet Productions and broadcast on SuperSport.
The Billabong ‘Girls Get Out There’ Summer Surf Series is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa and proudly supported by Soft Lips, Liqui Fruit, First National Bank (FNB), Von Zipper, Kustom, Silver Bullet and Interstage and is presented by Nashua Mobile.
The series started in Durban in September and after Margate continues with a Fun Day in Jeffreys Bay on 17 December before concluding in Cape Town on the weekend 3 & 4 February 2007.