Para Surfers
Newcomer Asande Sibisi beating mentor and friend Sabelo Ngema in the visually impaired men’s division to win his first National title. (Photo credit: Scott Mitchell)

50 para surfers ventured to Durban to compete at the SA Para Surfing Champs 2022, and despite facing some cold weather, the event was a big success.

 

Durban, South Africa (11 August 2022) – Non-profit organisation Made for More, working to grow the para surfing sporting code in South Africa, hosted the TyreLife Solutions SA Para Surfing Champs 2022 in Durban recently, and the event was a huge success!

Although the forecast looked grim, the weather held up nicely, and contestants were blessed with a beautiful day 1 of competition on Saturday and a chilly day 2 of competition- with the rain holding off for most of the morning on Sunday.

“It is our biggest joy and privilege to host the country’s best adaptive surfers and to witness the sport growing year by year. Each year, the vibe on the beach grows, the smiles get bigger and the passion, skill and dedication of the athletes more palpable. For us, it’s so much more than just surfing- its access, its inclusion, its opportunity and mostly its belonging- we really are a close-knit community”. – Julia Van Zyl, Made for More Founder

Fifty surfers (34 men and 16 women) competed from four provinces around the country, including Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. In the end, it was the home province KwaZulu-Natal who took top honours, with Western Cape in second and Eastern Cape and Gauteng in third and fourth, respectively.

Julia made a special mention and thank you to Surfing South Africa for the beautiful medals, expert contest personnel and for being the National Federation of Para Surfing in the country.

From this national event, the South African Team will be selected by Surfing South Africa to go to the ISA World Para Surfing Championships in Pismo Beach, California, USA, in December.

This is how the contestants faired.

The Prone Assist division is always the biggest and most hotly contested division at Nationals, and this year was no different, with many new development surfers coming up the ranks from grassroots programmes in both Cape Town and Durban.

All throughout the contest, the women’s division saw changes in leadership, with Natashia Siebert and Alulutho Tshoba hot on each other’s heels and Noluthando Makalima not far behind. In the end, it was Alulutho Tshoba who took the gold with huge off the tops and some carves. Silver went to Natashia Siebert, bronze Noluthando Makalima and copper to Zubeida Bux.

In the men’s prone assist, two more experienced campaigners went all out against three new contestants to the sport. It was incredible to see the bar being raised as each heat went on and the development athletes grew in confidence and skill. Special mention to Raemondo Lessing, who was awarded the best wave of the contest and surfed his way to an excellent score. In the end, there was a clear winner, with veteran Oliver Sinclair finishing a solid 11.9 points above his competitors. Raemondo jumped from 4th position to second to claim the silver medal, while Diego Saal, James Sinclair and Mark Charlesworth finished 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively.

“I can honestly say that this weekend was the highlight of my year and our monthly Made for More Surf sessions are at the top of my list – definitely when my heart is happiest. The heart, passion, organisation and time Made for More put into last weekend showed and the leadership is a great example of service and love. I am blessed to be a part of it all.” – Wendy Heslop, coach and water assistant

Julia shared that the feeling and incredible vibe on the beach was genuinely humbling, emotional, inspiring and full of joy. That witnessing the adaptive surfing community both in and out of the water was incredible.

She went on to thank the investment and partnership of Tyrelife Solutions, who made the event possible by covering the running costs as well as the prizemoney, and who continue to journey with the county’s best Para Surfers.

You can find out more about Made for More and future events here.


Sources: Made for More – Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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