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Sawyer’s sweet Tigers Milk Winter Classic triumph

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In one of the best 25 minutes of contest surfing seen at Muizenberg in many years, Steven Sawyer of Jeffrey’s Bay produced two nine-plus point rides in the final of this weekend’s WSL speciality men’s longboard division at the 2018 Tigers Milk Winter Classic to take the title.

Two-time Tigers Milk champion Matthew Moir posted a 9.65 ride in the epic final, the highest score of the contest, but needed a strong backup ride to take his third title.

When the siren sounded, Moir had to settle for second ahead of Michael Hill, who also scored a plus nine-point ride in the final. Local longboarder Nobel de Castro, a finalist last year, placed fourth.

Sawyer’s win and the R6,000 prize money came at just the right time as he left for the USA on Monday where he’ll be competing in a number of WSL Longboard events over the next few weeks.

In the WSL speciality women’s final, talented Seal Point longboarder Crystal Hulett beat defending champion, Simone Robb, to take gold and the R6,000 winner’s purse. Taryn King was third and 2018 national longboard team member Christy Gilmour took fourth place.

Christy’s father, Grant, took the Over-40 Longboard title ahead of Chris Heath who fought hard but had to settle for second place. Chris Poseman came third and Whaldo de Kock placed fourth.

Young Manoa Robb showed that talent runs in the family with his victory in the U23 longboard final. Local Muizenberg longboarders took the other three spots in the final with Simamkele Moolman securing the runners-up spot ahead of third-placed Mbuso Zozi and Theo van Schoor, who was fourth.

Caroline Brown successfully defended her 2017 U23 longboard title, beating newcomer Enya van Niekerk into second place. Sarah Ingram took third spot ahead of Caroline Brouckaert.

Ballito-based Richard Kidd pushed talented Adin Masencamp into second place in an exciting men’s surfing final. Jordy Maree, a former winner of this division, took third and Joshe Faulkner was fourth. Local surfer Craig Johnson won a custom-made Stubby surfboard as the best community surfer in the shortboard division. Johnson, who recently won the Vic Bay Quad at Victoria Bay, was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Tigers Milk contest.

South Africa’s top-ranked women surfer, Nicole Pallet, had a ding-dong battle with multiple South African team member Tanika Hoffman in their shortboard final but in the end, honours and the R4,500 prize money went to Pallet. Kerri Bjergveldt took third place and 2017 finalist Tarryn Chudleigh did it again with a fourth place this year.

The third and final day of competition in this fourth edition of the Tigers Milk winter Classic was held in bright sunshine and three- to four-foot onshore surf. Despite the tough surfing conditions, there were some outstanding performances across the divisions.

Photo: Champions Hulett and Sawyer, by Erin de Swardt/SSA


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