Near gale-force South East winds, known as the Cape Doctor because they clear all traces of air pollution, forced organisers to abandon the planned attempts to break Guinness World Records for surfing and touch rugby at the sixth edition of the BOS Earthwave Beach Festival over the weekend.
The popular annual celebration of Cape Town’s beach culture got off to a great start under cloudless skies and a gentle onshore breeze on Saturday with outreach, schools, longboard and tandem surfing contests, SUP races, skateboarding and an adaptive surfing demonstration alongside displays of innovative surfing equipment and environmental and sustainable life products and services.
But the wind continued to strengthen with gusts reaching nearly 60 Kmh on Sunday churning the waves at Muizenberg into a foamy mess making it impossible to attempt to improve on the record of 110 surfers riding the same wave set at Earthwave in 2009. The attempt to break the record of 27 hours for the longest touch rugby game was replaced at short notice by the People’s Post Touch Rugby Challenge featuring eight of the Peninsula’s top professional teams.
“It’s a pity the attempts to break the Guinness World Records for surfing and touch rugby could not be staged but outdoor events are always at the mercy of Mother Nature,” commented veteran watersports promoter Paul Botha from festival organisers Kahuna Promotions. “Everybody had a great time on Saturday and we congratulate those disciplines that did complete their events on Sunday. We’ll be back for a bigger and better festival in 2014.”
The second annual Similasan Tandem Surfing Championships again demonstrated that this form of surfing, where two surfers ride the same board while completing lifts and other technical manoeuvres, has a great future. Big wave standout James Taylor and fiancé Cristina Fernandez del Valle employed a series moves, including their patented ‘Koala’ lift, to snatch a narrow victory over defending champions, father and daughter duo Paul and Pippa Jones, whose trademark ‘shoulder ride’ was also impressive.
The Western Cape Inter-schools Surfing Tournament presented by Billabong battled through the Sunday winds before crowning Reddam as the champions with an outstanding effort from Van Riebeekstrand Primary seeing the pre-teens finishing second ahead of established surfing schools such as SACS and Wynberg.
The Muizenberg Outreach Tag Team contest was won by the Surf Shack A team followed by Muizenberg Beach Club B, Isiqalo A and Surf Shack B with Dreams to Reality, the fourth surfing outreach project in the area, eliminated in the semi-finals of the event which was supported by the Dept of Sport & Recreation SA and Surfing South Africa as part of their transformation projects.
Dylan Frick is the 2013 Battle of the Bay presented by Xpression of the Beach champion after winning both the In & Out racing at Muizenberg on Saturday and the downwind dash from Millers Point to Fish Hoek that replaced the planned out and back race to Kalk Bay on the Sunday. Bridget van Aswegan won the overall Women’s title and Peter Peterson is the Legends champion
The Living Legends team successfully defended their People’s Post Touch Rugby title from last year when they outscored reigning Stilbaai champions Warrior Nomads in a hard fought final played in near sand storm conditions on the beach.
Dozens of youngsters reveled in the eco-friendly ramps and halfpipes erected by Pipeline Skate Ramps for both days of the festival for the first time. Travis Parce and Sam Button grabbed the glory and prizes for the best performers in the Advanced and Intermediate Pipe comps while Ethan and Pierre Burke were the respective champions in the Street event and Kai-Sea Button was the top Girl.
The two-day Xpression WP Longboard Classic was also completed on the Sunday but results were not available at time of going to print
Spectators were treated to a display of courage and positive thinking when Dries Millard, a T8 paraplegic who runs an adventure company for those with disabilities, gave a demonstration of adaptive surfing accompanied by all round watersports legend Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker.
Kids had plenty of fun finding prizes in the BOS Dig for Gold treasure hunt and Tuffy Bags beach cleanups while there were displays and talks on the environment, oceans and sharks from the Shark Spotters, Shark-safe, AfriOceans, Greenpop, WWF SASSI, the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Dept. and the Glass Recycling Company.
There was also free testing for cholesterol and glucose levels at the Diabecinn First Aid tent and for Surfer’s Ear by renowned ear, nose & throat expert Dr John Steer thanks to an initiative from Wavescape.