FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
22 May 2023
Finals day at the 2023 Tyrelife SA Para Surf Champs and Para Surf League Open Powered by Ocean Freedom proved to be an epic day of surfing at Muizenberg Beach, South Africa.
The weather turned sharply from the previous day, kicking off with strong onshore winds and a strong choppy current pushing to the west. Not to be deterred and knowing they must surf the waves they are given, athletes started the heats at 8:30 despite the conditions. By day’s end the clouds parted and Muizenberg provided a beautiful day for champions to be crowned. This contest not only saw the best of South Africa rise to the podium, but was also the first stop and the first of its kind Para Surfing Continental Zone Championships. Athletes competing in the contest earned points towards their global standing and will be eligible to take part in the Para Surf League Global Championships, being held later in the year in the United States.
ISA World Championships Silver Medalist JP Veaudry said “it has been both an honour and privilege to be part of this year’s SA Para Surfing Championships. Doubling up with the Para Surf league (PSL) meant that we had surfers from all over the globe visiting our beautiful country. I am thrilled to have defended my SA title at this year’s hugely successful event that was enjoyed by all the athletes. A big thank you to the event organizers, sponsors, supporters and spectators.”
Para Surfer Similo Dlamini added “the event was the first time an African country has been part of the Global Para Surf League. Competing with some of the best of the best on home surf breaks has been an absolute treat. Para Surfing is one of the most inclusive sports that differently abled people like me can achieve and reach major accolades. As a community we continue to push towards our goal of having Para Surfing included in the Para Olympics to be hosted in Los Angeles in 2028.”
“I will cherish this weekends Para Surfing Champs for many years to come. It was truly an incredible experience to participate in this world class event alongside my fellow South African athletes and many inspirational Para Surfers from all around the world. Personally it was an emotional moment when I was announced as the South African Champ in my division” shared Para Surfer Ray Lessing.
French Surf Judge Laurent Marouf expressed “I have competed all around the world for the past 8 years as a parasurfer and now traveling as a surf judge. The 2023 SA Para Surf Champs contest can only be described as completely mind blowing and it has certainly strengthened me in this vision of being a citizen of the world through several significant markers. Firstly an entire community focused on surfing and parasurfing with whom I connected with deeply. Secondly an incredible example of organizational skill at all levels and strong links between the stakeholders namely the South African Surfing Federation, Foundations, Sponsors and Clubs all driven by committed individuals such as Roxy Davis, Reza De Nicker and Dana Cumming’s only to mention a few of the many incredible people behind this community. Finally an ultra-motivated, ultra-positive and (very) young competitors happy to do what they were doing and able to give hope to the future of our sport. A team of very well organized and omnipresent volunteers throughout the event. A panel of judges in which I was welcomed in an incredible team building process in such a short time, under the leadership of the chief judge Bongani Xulu with whom I shared the same values. This has been a contest from which I come out a more complete and far happier person.”
As all the champions from the event return home with medals, they carry with them the hopes and dreams of Para Surf athletes around the world as they all strive to represent their nations in the Paralympics in 2028.
Final results will be released in due course.
Surfing South Africa is the recognised National governing body for the sport of surfing and its disciplines in South Africa. Para Surfing, along with longboarding, bodyboarding, kneeboarding and SUP Surfing are all disciplines within the organisation. All International and National events are sanctioned by SSA. Surfing South Africa is proud to be a member of the Olympic family, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).
All event images will be available here: https://oceanfreedom.com/discover/
For more information about the event please contact Roxy Davis on firstname.lastname@example.org