The Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African Surfing Team ready for the 2018 ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African Surf Team, which is made up of three Men and three Women, a Coach and a Manager, will arrive in Tahara, Japan for the 2018 ISA World Surfing Games on September 13th.

The event gets under way with the Parade of Nations and the Sands of the World Ceremony on Saturday September 15th and ends on Saturday September 22nd.

Over 40 nations are expected to participate in this year’s ISA World Surfing Games which crowns the World Men’s and Women’s individual Champions and determines the team that wins the coveted Team trophy.

Captaining the team for the second year in a row is world ranked Bianca Buitendag of Victoria Bay near George. The other two women in the side are new caps Nicole Pallet of La Lucia in KZN and Zoe Steyn of East London in Buffalo City.

Buitendag, who reached the finals of the World Games in France last year, and Pallet will both be joining the team directly from Europe while Steyn will travel from South Africa on September 11th.

Heading up a strong men’s squad is the experienced Beyrick de Vries of Umhlanga. He is joined by the talented Adin Masencamp of the Strand, Western Cape and another experienced surfer, David Van Zyl of Glenashley, KZN.

De Vries and Masencamp will be flying directly to Japan from Europe while Van Zyl will travel with Steyn and the Team officials from South Africa on September 11th.

All six of the surfers selected to represent South Africa at this prestigious event have impressive pedigrees.

Buitendag is an acknowledged WSL Championship Tour campaigner who has not only made a name for herself as a fearsome competitor in the water but is also a role model with a heart of gold.

Pallet earned her call up after an impressive set of results in the 2018 City Surf Series which saw her move up the rankings on the WSL Qualifying Series and this resulted in a wild card slot at the J Bay Open in July. 14 year old Zoe Steyn underlined her selection when she won the 2018 South African Women’s Championship a month ago at the Mercedes-Benz SA Championships hosted by Buffalo City. She had already been selected for the team based on her City Surf Series form but securing the 2018 South African Women’s Title just proved how talented she is. At 14 years old, Steyn becomes the youngest women in history to represent a South African Senior team.

Although this is a first World Games for de Vries, his many years of contest experience and solid ranking on the WSL Qualifying Series tour earned him a call up to the side. 19 year old Masencamp has won five caps for the South African Junior Team and had a really strong City Surf Series so he was an easy selection into the 2018 side while David Van Zyl’s experience and great contest acumen made his inclusion in the team easy for the selectors.

Surfing South Africa Coaching Director, five time SA Champion and former Championship Tour competitor, Greg Emslie of East London, Buffalo City, is the Coach. The extremely experienced Isaac February of Kommetjie, Western Cape, is the Team Manager.

For the second year in a row Mercedes-Benz and Buffalo City have supported the South African Surfing Team’s preparation for and participation in the ISA World Surfing Games.

Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). Surfing South Africa is recognised and supported by the National Department of Sport and Recreation.

All South African surfing teams that participate in international events are chosen by the National Selectors and in terms of the SSA Constitution are ratified by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa.