Eleven teams representing the top 10 surf clubs in the country will be in action on the Cape West Coast this weekend in the Inaugural Billabong SA Interclub Championships.
The tournament is presented by Surfing South Africa and hosted by the West Coast Boardriders Club (WCB), who earned this right after winning the Western Cape Interclub championships a year ago. The hosts plan to use a mobile format on both days so that the visiting teams get to sample the best surf that the West Coast can offer.
Due to WCB’s victory at the Strand and as the event will be held at one of their “weskus stadiums” they have been allowed to enter two teams into the contest.
Eastern Cape Interclub champions, CYOH Surf Club of Port Elizabeth, are determined to show that their dominance in the Eastern Cape region can be matched at national level. The CYOH crew will be hoping to take the Team trophy back to Billabong territory on Sunday while the KZN Regional Interclub champions Warner Boyz Surf club have sent a small but strong team to make their mark in the Cape.
JBay Boardriders are the only surf club from the legendary Jeffrey’s Bay area who qualified to participate and they will be keen to fly the flag for this famous venue while Natural Energy Surf Club of the Strand, and the hosts of the Western Cape Interclub last year, have entered a strong team of surfers who will be dedicating their participation to founder member Taryn Pratt who sadly passed away in December.
The University of Stellenbosch are known for producing some great rugby players but they also boast some pretty good surfers and, as the only university club represented this weekend, the Maties will be out to do their best.
Also in action is Sunset Surf Club, the oldest surf club in the country having formed in Port Elizabeth some 24 years ago. Sunset Surf Club will be bringing some of their founder members to the West Coast to compete and the team, who plan to drive to Cape Town and back, will be warmly welcomed at this year’s tournament.
In addition to the eight clubs that qualified to surf this weekend, Surfing South Africa have invited two wildcard teams to compete. These clubs are the Llandudno Boardriders from Llandudno in the Western Cape and the Wave Wizards Surf Club from KZN. Top international surfer Jordy Smith is a member of the Llandudno club but he will not be able to represent them in this event as international rules prevent a world tour surfer from competing in non World Tour contests.
Wave Wizards have jumped at the chance of competing and have entered a team made up of six surfers who have all represented South Africa sometime in the last five years.
The Billabong SA Interclub Championships will use the Aloha Cup format which sees teams of four men and one woman competing against each in a 45 minute heat, where all the points scored by the surfers count towards the team score.
In addition each team has nominated a “power surfer” who is someone they regard as their best surfer and he or she will compete in individual heats against the other power surfers until there is a winner.
The contest should get underway at approximately 8.30am and team members should be ready for an early start each day. A social function for all teams and friends will be held at Ou Skip Chalets from about 6pm on Saturday evening.
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