Border take the South African Masters Cup title for the sixth year in a row as they power to victory at the SA Masters Surfing Championships at New Pier

Greg Emslie on his way to winning the Masters Title : Photo Karen Wilson

The highly motivated and well organised Border Masters surfing team dominated proceedings at the 2012 South African Masters Championships which ended in ideal 4 foot surf at Durban’s New Pier yesterday ( Sunday July 29).

Not only did they comprehensively win the interprovincial SA Masters Cup for the sixth consecutive year but they provided eleven of the 28 finalists and won two individual titles.

The two surfers from East London to take home gold were Greg Emslie, who moved up from the Over 30 Division which he won in 2011 to the Over 35 Masters group, and Tyrell Johnson who grabbed the Over 30 Seniors crown.

Emslie edged out defending champion Gary Van Wieringen of Southern KZN with Justin Maisch (SKZN) taking third and Mike Frew of Zululand finishing fourth.

Johnson was pushed hard by KZN surfer Lyle Bottcher but held on to win his first ever national title. Third was Tyrell’s brother Jethro (Border) with Neil Zietsman (Western Province) taking the fourth slot.
Although Border won the team title hosts KZN Central made up for their dismal last place in 2011 by finishing second overall and producing three individual champions.

Chris Knutsen defended his Grandkahunas (over 50) title in fine style and remains one of South Africa’s most consistent and evergreen champions. Knutsen has four South African Open titles to his name plus a number of age group titles and in recent years has added to World Championship gold medals to his name.

KZN team mate Judge Olivier was second, Dave Fish of Border came third and Fred le Roux (Zululand) was fourth.

Another surfer with a fantastic legacy is the newly crowned Kahunas (Over 45) champion, Marc Wright, a former South African Open Champion, a multiple age group national champion and a World Champion at the ISA World Masters Championships in 2009.

Wright beat defending champion David Malherbe (Border) into second place with another famous surfer of the 70’s and 80’s Mike Burness (KZNC) taking third. Richard Heath (Boland) came fourth in his first ever national final.

The third KZN Central gold medallist in this year’s SA Masters is Warren Dixon. Dixon came from behind in his Grandmasters (Over 40)) final against three Border surfers to snatch the title in the dying minutes of the heat.

This was Dixon’s first final in a National tournament. Andre Malherbe of Border led the heat from the outset but Dixon, who only caught his first wave nine minutes into the heat, posted a huge score in the dying minutes to take the honours. Malherbe came second, Andrew Fiebiger was third and Wayne Monk, who posted a 18.3 out of 20 heat score in his semi final, had to settle for fourth place in the final.

One of the loudest cheers at the Award ceremony was reserved for Leonard Giles of Southern Cape who won the Veterans (over 55) division with a backhand attack that he honed at Victoria Bay some three decades ago. Giles beat first time finalist Calla Esterhuysen (Zululand) into second spot with Border surfers Brian Heathcote and Gordon Harmer ending third and fourth respectively.

Tasha Mentasti, the winner of the Women’s Division represented Boland at this event but grew up surfing New Pier. Despite winning numerous provincial championships, featuring in many event finals and being capped for her country three times she had never won a South African title up until yesterday.

Despite being ill the day before the finals she managed to dominate the final and overcame the threat of defending champion and two time World Champion Heather Clark of Southern KZN with ease.

Bianca Bosman (Border) was third and first time finalist Julia Rutherford (Zululand) was fourth.

The 2012 SA Masters Championships was presented by Surfing South African and hosted by KZN Central Surfriders Association.
Surfing South Africa is recognized by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) as the governing body for the sport in South Africa. Surfing South Africa is a member of the International Surfing Association (ISA).
2012 SA Masters Surfing Championships
New Pier, Durban

RESULTS

SA Masters Cup
1. Border 34110
2. KZN Central 30863
3. Zululand 24638
4. Western Province 23586
5. Southern KZN 20796
6. Boland 20488
7. Eastern Province 17254
8. Southern Cape 9856

Women (Over 30)
1. Tasha Mentasti (Boland)
2. Heather Clark (SKZN)
3. Bianca Bosman (Border)
4. Julia Rutherford (Zululand)

Senior Men (Over 30)
1. Tyrell Johnson (Border)
2. Lyle Bottcher (KZNC)
3. Neil Zietsman (WP)
4. Jethro Johnson (Border)

Masters (Over 35)

1. Greg Emslie (Border)
2. Gary Van Wieringen (SKZN)
3. Justin Maisch (SKZN)
4. Mike Frew (Zululand)

Grand Masters (Over 40)
1. Warren Dixon (KZNC)
2. Andre Malherbe (Border)
3. Andrew Fiebiger (Border)
4. Wayne Monk (Border)

Kahunas (Over 45)
1. Marc Wright (KZNC)
2. David Malherbe (Border)
3. Colin Buitendag (SC)
4. Richard Heath (Boland)

Grand Kahunas (Over 50)
1. Chris Knutsen (KZNC)
2. Judge Olivier (KZNC)
3. Dave Fish (Border)
4. Fred Le Roux (Zululand)

Veterans (Over 55)
1. Leonard Giles (Southern Cape)
2. Calla Esterhuysen (Zululand)
3. Brian Heathcote (Border)
4. Gordon Harmer (Border)