The annual Vintners Surf Classic, held for the 18th time this year and taking place on Friday (11 August) at Stilbaai Point, was one for the books.
Looking back, this is what they had to say – from www.vintners.co.za: “On 11 August 2017, a day that will long be remembered, the 18th Vintners’ Surf Classic was held in huge surf on Stilbaai point, testing the competitors’ courage and strength. It was a day of excitement and high drama – but happily concluded with everyone safe, just drained of every ounce of energy…
This ever-growing competition saw over 75 surfers battling it out, which meant that the first heat took to the water at dawn in 6 degree air temperatures. While the sea felt warm in comparison, it was far from welcoming… indeed the surfers who actually made it out to the backline and caught one wave often won their heat outright, so hard going was it fighting the surging surf. In addition, the ever-strengthening current later saw one heat of four surfers swept from the top of the point right down to the lighthouse without even getting a wave!
Meanwhile, on land, a drizzle set in that lasted all day and turned the spectator zone into a mud-pit – adding to the gritty drama of the event – but no-one dared leave, so riveting was the drama that was playing out in the ocean. Huge take-offs, big wipe-outs and some long rides kept everyone entertained, even if the wives were more than a little nervous…The awards event later that night was in turn a huge celebration, with great stories to tell and superb wine to share them over. Along with fun spot prizes, over R15,000 was raised for the Surf4Life charity in an auction. Fellow waterman and wine-lover, Allan Mullins, was also presented with his very own custom surfboard, which allows him to surf even though wheelchair-bound. “I haven’t words to express the emotions and gratitude that whipped through me when I was handed my personalised surfboard… I cannot tell you how much it meant and how it lifted me to yet another plane,” Allan said afterwards. “Let me just say thank you from my heart!”
And so another fantastic Vintners’Surf Classic was concluded – and to the victors’ went the superb prizes, courtesy of the very generous sponsors.
1. JT vd Westhuizen / 2. Jan Solms / 3. Markus Sadie / 4. Brad Gold
1. Nicky de Villiers / 2. Duncan Savage / 3. Gunter Schultz / 4. François Hanekom
1. Trizanne Barnard / 2. Nadia Barnard
1. Miles Mossop / 2. Cobus Joubert / 3. Anthony de Jager / 4. Steve Rogers
Sponsors: Ross Lindsay / Mat Marias / Micky Lindsay / Johan Rademan
The organisers would like to thank the generous headline sponsors RR Wine Technologies and Reef South Africa as well as the contributions of Thales Wine Services; Winetech; Consol Glass; Anthony Lane Design; WinPak; Cool Dandy; Cult Premium Bottling; Vineyard Connection; Rolling Wood/WAWA; Country Digital; Thys Lombard Photography; The Best Tile Company; Spec Systems; Stance Socks and M.A.T Surfboards.
Also a huge thanks to the Stillbaai community to allowing the event to be held on their shores!”
Surfing for a good cause: The Vintner’s Surf Classic also supports a good cause – Surf4Life that was founded in honour of the late Taryn Pratt to help continue her legacy of assisting people in the community through surfing and fundraising events. So, every year, all the Vintner’s Surf Classic winemakers supply delicious red wines and these are crafted into a collector’s wine called BIG RED, always bottled in magnums. Some of these bottles are auctioned to raise money for the Surf4Life Campaign and others will soon be commercially available for sale. – The Vintner’s Surf Classic
Here is another great write-up about the 2017 event by SPIKE on www.wavescape.co.za / Visit Vintner’s Surf Classic on Facebook
Photographer Thys Lombard took some awesome photos! View more photos on his Facebook page HERE
Visit www.vintners.co.za to read more about the BIG RED and how this cool initiative have started. See you all again next year!