Strong winds and difficult Nahoon Reef conditions force a move to Nahoon Corner on Day Two of SA Surfing Championships

A strong westerly wind combined with a difficult rip forced organisers of the 2018 Mercedes – Benz South African Surfing Championships hosted by the Buffalo City Municipality had to move the event away from Nahoon Reef to nearby Nahoon Corner on Day Two of this six day event.

Situated in the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve, Nahoon Corner offers more protection to the competitors and officials and produces some excellent waves especially.

 Day two saw surfers in the Over 35, Over 50 and Over 55 Divisions competing in their first round heats. Despite the strong winds and difficult paddle there were some fine performances by South Africa’s more mature surfers.

Defending Over 35 Champion Tyrell Johnson of Buffalo City Surfriders, Cape Town Surfriders captain Neil Zietsman and Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders team mates Kelvin Zehmke and Etienne Potgieter all won their heats and advanced to Round Three. Dean Knox, Orrin Johnson and Ulf Von Delft of Buffalo City as well as Alan Johns of Ilembe all came second and also advanced to Round Three.

In the Over 45 Division defending champion Wayne Monk and Buffalo City won his heat to advance to Round Three as did Charles Reitz of Eden Surfriders, Rob Moore Boyle and Ryan Ribbink of eThekweni Surfriders and Steven Gadd of Cape Town Surfriders.

Kevin O Brien and fellow Buffalo City surfers Don Emslie and Allen Harris,Jacques Terblanche of Ethekweni and Pieter Ben Van Rhijn of Nelson Mandela Bay all came second in their Round One heats to advance directly to Round Three

Making their way through to Round Three in the Over 50 Division were defending SA Champion Gareth Sepp and Buffalo City Surfriders team mates and first round heat winners David and Andre Malherbe and Brian Docherty of Ilembe. Also going through to Round Three were Patrick Cuthbert of Eden Surfriders, Sean Jerram of Cape Town Surfriders, Steve Quinn of Ilembe and Mervyn Goddard of Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders.

With the Women in this year’s Mercedes – Benz SA Surfing Championships hosted by Buffalo City set to take on the Nahoon surf on Women’s day tomorrow, organisers will be hoping to move back to the Main Podium at Nahoon Reef. Conditions will be assessed by Contest Director Ann Wright early tomorrow morning before a decision is taken on the final venue.

The Mercedes – Benz SA Surfing Championships is hosted by the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Surfers representing eight districts drawn from three provinces have made their way to East London to compete for nine individual national titles as well as coveted Team Championships at the 53rd edition of the SA Surfing Championships.

The event runs until Sunday when the semi finals and finals will be held. The final two days of competition will be streamed live on www.vodacom.co.za/viewplus by streamit360.tv

All today’s heats results and photos will be  updated daily and posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

Kelvin Zehmke of Nelson Mandela Bay at Nahoon Corner. Photo Ian Thurtell