After months of preparation and planning the South African Longboard Team leaves for Riyue Bay in China today (Monday January 15th) to compete in the 2018 International Surfing Association World Championships.
The event gets under way with the Parade of Nations, Opening Ceremony and Sands of the World Celebration on Saturday January 20th and ends on Sunday January 28th.
Over 30 countries are expected to send teams to the event where South Africa is seeded second behind France.
The South African Team is made up of Roxy Davis (Cape Town), Christy Gilmour (Durban), Alfonzo Pieters (Cape Town) and Sam Christianson (Durban) and the Manager is Paul O’ Connell (Cape Town).
Roxy Davis makes history with her selection into the SA Longboard Team, becoming the first individual to represent South Africa as a Surfer, Stand Up Paddleboarder , Longboarder and a Coach.
Davis has been competing for over twenty years and has won numerous national Surfing, Longboarding and SUP titles. She has represented Western Province at the South African Surfing and South African Longboarding Championships and is an accredited ISA Level 2 Coach and ISA Course presenter.
Davis competed in the previous ISA World Longboard Championships, where she came 9th, and surfed in a World Surf League Longboard event in Riyue Bay a few years ago.Her experience and maturity adds enormous value to the 2018 SA Longboard Team and it is only fitting that she has been named as Captain of the Team.
Alfonzo will carry the South African Flag at the Opening Ceremony on Saturday.
After turning his back on a life on the streets, Muizenberg local Alfonzo Pieters took to riding the waves at Muizenberg and early in his career his talent saw him included in the SA Longboard Championships as a member of the WP Team. In 2016 he won the Tigers Milk Winter Classic at Surfers Corner in Muizenberg and in 2017 he competed in the WSL World Longboard Championships in Papua New Guinea. Alfonzo’s dreams of representing South Africa came true in November last year when he was named in the South African Team and last he was presented with his Protea Blazer and tie at a ceremony in Tigers Milk in Muizenberg.
Sam Christianson of Durban qualified for the South African Longboard Team when he won the South African Longboard Trials in Cape Town last year. This talented young longboarder has competed in a number of National Longboard Championships and his easy style and competitive nature will stand him in good stead in China.
Sam's fellow KZN Longboard team mate is Danville Park High schoolgirl Christy Gilmour. The 16 year old was selected for the team after winning the Open division at the SA Longboard Championships in Durban last year. Gilmour is a top swimmer and hockey player but longboarding is her favourite sport and representing South Africa at the ISA World Championships is the highlight of her sporting life so far.
Team Members Sam Christianson and Christy Gilmour
Team Manager Paul O Connell of Scarborough in Cape Town has worked hard to prepare the team for the trip and is stoked with his appointment as Manager. He has been a surfer for most of his life and has represented Western Province at the SA Surfing Championships as a junior and at a number of SA Longboard Championships.
The 2018 ISA World Longboard Championships will be streamed live from the Opening Ceremony on Saturday January 20th up to the Award Ceremony on Sunday January 28th. To access the live feed, see daily results, videos and photos, go to www.isaworlds.com
Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for all surfing, longboarding, bodyboarding, kneeboarding and Stand Up Paddleboarding. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).
All South African teams of each of these disciplines that participate in international events are chosen by the National Selectors in terms of the SSA Constitution. All national teams are ratified by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa prior to being forwarded to SASCOC for colours approval.
Compiled by: Robin de Kock, General Manager
Surfing South Africa, +72824541149 (mobile) firstname.lastname@example.org (email)