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Ocean Freedom provides sun protection for athletes at the 2023 Rolling Retro

Rolling Retro is the biggest retro style surf event in the world.

Rolling Retro 2023 – Post event Press Release

The 2023 Rolling Retro ushered in a return to the early days prior to Covid. Magnificent weather, fun to slightly heavy surf, a packed field of surfers and a crowded beach of spectators.

The new Team format worked really well and the heats were stacked with surfers from around the Cape Peninsula. Some of the teams were even sponsored by local companies, while others were just friends from surf areas around the Cape.

With the Team format, there were no craft divisions or male and female, everyone surfed together and the teams were scored out of 50. Teams paddled out with surfboards, bodysurf handguns, kneeboards and bodyboards.

The waves were not on the light side, but amongst the heavier water, there were absolute gems to be found. This combined with almost no wind the entire day, meant that surfers across the heats could find those nuggets. Some of the early stand outs in the morning heats were, Team Scarbarbarians (Manoah Robb especially and World Kneeboard Champ, Tom Gray), Team Pit Viper (Who were also an event sponsor) and local Lifeguard team, Murray owes a Naked Surf, who know the spot like the back of their hands.

As the day progressed and the beach just got more busy, the crowd volume went up and the man y big wipeouts were getting ooohs and aahs up and down the beach. Sweet River Brewery had ice cold beer flowing and the Lifesaving Club sold over 500 meals to be sold out at 3pm.

The surfing kept getting better and after all the heats were surfed, it was, Team Bomax up against the hosts, Team Vudu in the first semifinal. The Bomax team was fully loaded with Dale Staples, Ryan Payne, former best surfers, Ike Forsythe and Josh Brodie, along with team captain, Dion Walters. Team Vudu came out blazing, with event organizer, Robby MacDonald getting 2 tubes, but the Bomax guys muscled their way into the finals.

In the second semifinal it was the young guns of, Team Jeets PM, loaded with top QS surfers, Luke Thompson, Luke Slijpen, Connor Slijpen, Eli Beukes and Noah Khan, the top qualifiers, dropping hammers in a hard-fought battle with the Scarbarbarians. The deep south surfers went down swinging, but it was the Jeets going to the final.

By now the beach was heaving, the music was pumping and a real festival atmosphere had gripped the beach. The finals got under way and the waves kept pouring in. Eli Beukes pulled into one of the craziest tubes of the day, eagerly egged on by the loud crowd, only to get clipped by the foam ball and go down hard (He would win best wipeout). The older gents of Team Bomax took a while to get going and they never really were able to catch up to the new guard, as the Jeets PM took the first ever Rolling Retro, team title.

A jovial prize giving ensued and this was followed by 3 hours of good music, with DJ Big D (Dion Walters) before the sun set on another fantastic Rolling Retro. The event once again proving that it is the best beach day of the year and one of the best surf events in the world.

A huge thanks to the sponsors: Sweet River Brewery, Vudu Surf, Skullcandy, Red Bull, Traeger Grills, Hurricane Surf, Pixme, Zigzag, Captain Kai, Pit Viper and Ocean Freedom.

Photo Credit: @tasmin_lea & Ian Thurtell

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