Reef Royalty International Waveski Open Showcases Thrilling Surfing Action in East London
East London, June 4, 2023 – The vibrant coastal city of East London played host to the highly anticipated Reef Royalty International Waveski Open this past weekend. The event welcomed waveski surfers from all over the world, including renowned French champions Virgile Humbert and Oceane Lucas. The competition, held at Nahoon Reef, provided an exciting platform for athletes to showcase their skills and set the stage for the upcoming 2024 World Waveski Surfing Titles.
The Reef Royalty International Waveski Open began with a casual cocktail evening, where participants had the opportunity to register, receive event apparel, attend briefing, and witness the premiere of the Women’s Waveski documentary, “Making Waves,” presented by Waveski Adventurers, a philanthropic organization. This evening set the tone for an event filled with camaraderie, support, and unforgettable memories.
Nahoon Reef parking lot was transformed into a bustling village where competitors, officials, sponsors, and supporters gathered to witness and partake in the thrilling waveski action. As the host location for the 2024 World Waveski Surfing Titles, Nahoon Reef showcased its world-class waves, delighting both participants and spectators throughout the weekend.
The competition featured three major divisions: Open Men’s, Open Women’s, and Juniors, ensuring a high level of intensity and skill on display. Thanks to the World Waveski Surfing Association, the event was live-streamed via YouTube, allowing viewers from around the globe to experience the excitement from the comfort of their homes. The event marked the first time such comprehensive coverage was made available, further elevating the profile of sport.
Cally Taylor, the event’s commentator, played a crucial role in keeping everyone informed and engaged throughout the competition, providing real-time scores and updates to the eager audience.
Contest Director Tagan Smith made an excellent call by running all three heats of the Open Women’s division on Saturday, taking advantage of the anticipated increase in surf conditions by Sunday. Oceane Lucas stood out as a performer, showcasing her exceptional big wave riding skills and earning high scores for her powerful carves and precise maneuvers. Not only did she excel in her own performance, but she also displayed her bravery by rescuing fellow riders in need. Sandra Pienaar and Heleen Roussow secured second and third place respectively, with Jackie Dillon rounding off the top four. The challenging conditions tested the riders’ abilities, creating moments of both excitement and tension throughout the competition.
In the Juniors division, the Williams Brothers from Durban, Kai and Trent, alongside Western Province talent Jethro Keys, fought fiercely for the top spot. The final was an inspiring showcase of their courage, style, and maneuvers, exceeding expectations for their young age. Trent emerged as the winner, with Kai securing second place and Jethro taking third, leaving a lasting impression on the spectators.
The Open Men’s division showcased intense competition from the beginning, with each heat featuring talented riders who thrived in the testing conditions. Nahoon Reef provided a challenging yet exhilarating platform for the athletes to exhibit their skills. As the event progressed to the final four, the competition became even more unpredictable. Local rider Bruce Viaene, world champion Virgile Humbert, and formidable contenders Mike Wessels and Pierre Slabber battled for the top positions. In a thrilling man-on-man final, Bruce Viaene utilized his knowledge, experience, and surf savvy to secure a podium finish. Virgile Humbert displayed his versatility and athleticism, graciously accepting second place. The final was a testament to the exceptional talent present throughout the competition.
The success of the Reef Royalty International Waveski Open can be attributed to the dedicated efforts of Event Director Trystan Viaene and the support of the event’s crew, judges, lifeguards, food trucks, Buffalo City Tourism, Herotel, Twizza, Double Tree Hilton, athletes, and their families. The South African Waveski Surfing Association played a vital role in supporting and organizing the event, ensuring its success.
As the event concluded, anticipation grew for the upcoming 2024 World Waveski Surfing Titles, which will be hosted at Nahoon Reef. With the incredible performances witnessed at the Reef Royalty International Waveski Open, participants and spectators alike are eagerly looking forward to another extraordinary competition. The event served as a catalyst for growth, development, and preparation for the global stage.
For more information about the Reef Royalty International Waveski Open and future waveskiing events, visit the official website at www.sawaveski.co.za or follow the event on social media channels: Facebook and Instagram
Media Contact: Creativ Bloc – Reef Royalty International Waveski Open