After a delayed and windy start to the final day of the Roxy Wahine Cup presented by Peugeot and Samsung, the conditions steadily improved and the weather got warmer by the hour to make way for a blistering finish to the biggest stand alone female surfing event in the country. The morning’s easterly wind and average surf made way for a day devoid of wind and some great waves on the outside banks as well as some good waves on the inside shore break. The beach at Suncoast Casino was full to capacity, with spectators and sun worshippers sprawled over all available space on the grass banks as well as on the beach.
The Novice Division was the first final to hit the water, and with a year-long Roxy sponsorship as first prize, it was tooth and nail out there. It was young Durban surfer Jessica Swart, daughter of former pro surfer Greg Swart, who got some good waves under her belt early in the final. She staved off fierce competition from a determined Courtney Green to maintain her lead, and place first. As she is already sponsored by Roxy the sponsorship was given to second placed Courtney Green.
Holly Armstrong from Kommetjie in Cape Town, who had been turning heads over the last three days with her snappy surfing at Casino Beach, fought a hard battle against the experienced trio of Sarah Baum, Heidi Palmboom and Bianca Buitendag to win the U14 division. Sarah was also looking good, but was a little unlucky in her wave selection to place second.
The U16 division final chose to battle it out primarily in the shorebreak, as the outside banks were no longer providing high scoring opportunities for the girls. Tarryn Chudleigh who had been training hard for this event over the last couple of weeks, showed her expertise to take victory from her talented opponents. Tarryn racked up a good 7.0 ride early in the heat, and backed it up with a 3.5 to win the final. Chantelle Rautenbach came in a close second, Alice McGregor from East London placed third and Danielle Johnson from the Cape came fourth.
After blasting through her earlier heats with some good 8-point rides, it was looking like a Nikita Robb win in the U18 division from the start. Without wishing to detract from the other competitors, Nikita was on-form, blasting the lefts, and was looking strong. She hooked into a rare right-hander in the final, and did a tight hook in the pocket before launching into and pulling off a critical backhand floater over a big closeout section to score a 9. She backed up this score with a 5 and smoked the final. Bianca Buitendag fought hard but didn’t have enough to beat Nikita. Danielle Le Roux and Holly Armstrong took the minor spots.
The Open Final was a scintillating twenty-five minutes of South Africa’s top female surfers digging in for victory. With last year’s winner Rosy Hodge competing in Hawaii and not able to defend her title, there was always going to be a new winner this year, and it was Nikita Robb who took the double. Nikita was picking up the best waves in the final and doing some big turns and tight snaps in the pocket to secure first place, and the Ten Thousand Rand first prize cheque that went with it. Nikita scored a 6 and a 5.75 to push Sarah Maritz from Warner Beach into second place. Tarryn Chudleigh and Sarah Baum finished third and fourth.
“So stoked!” said an elated Nikita after the prize giving. “It has been a great event. Next year I’m doing the WQS full time, so the prizemoney is going straight towards that.”
When asked about the open final, Nikita reckoned it was a close and tactical final. “Ja, the open final was a close one and I had to sit on Sarah for, like, 7 minutes at the end because she only needed a low score. The waves were good though. I was looking for the really good ones, either lefts or rights, and I think I had my higher scores off the rights. Whew! Very stoked!”
The Zigzag Blowing Up Award of a hand-grenade trophy and a thousand Rand was awarded to Sarah Baum.
- 1. Jessica Swart (DBN)
- 2. Courtney Green (DBN)
- 3. Traci-Lee Philliips (DBN)
- 4. Kirstin Biffen (DBN)
- 1. Holly Armstrong (CT)
- 2. Sarah Baum (DBN)
- 3. Heidi Palmboom (BLUFF)
- 4. Bianca Buitendag (George)
- 1. Tarryn Chudleigh (CT)
- 2. Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbos)
- 3. Alice McGregor (EL)
- 4. Danielle Johnson (CT)
- 1. Nikita Robb (EL)
- 2. Bianca Buitendag (George)
- 3. Danielle Le Roux (DBN)
- 4. Holly Armstrong (CT)
- 1. Nikita Robb (EL)
- 2. Sarah Maritz (Warner Beach)
- 3. Tarryn Chudleigh (CT)
- 4. Sarah Baum (DBN)