Dune Barker. (Fat Guy Photography)
Quintin van Jaarsveld
The Southern KwaZulu-Natal Bodyboarding Association (SKZNBA) will bank on exuberance in the 2016 South African Championships set to take place in Hermanus from 3-7 October.
The SKZNBA team consists of 16 bodyboarders based between Port Edward and the Bluff – who impressed on the national circuit and in local contests and team trials – and one judge in Michelle Imeson.
Notably absent this year are pro riders Wesley Coetzee, Emile van Vollenhoven, Bradley Moys and 2013 national men’s champion Dane Klusener.
With change comes opportunity, and a number of exciting rising stars will be eager to take their careers to new heights.
The dynamic duo of Codi Butterworth and Sean Wilson will look to make a splash as they move up from the junior to the pro division, as will fellow new pro representative JC Johnson.
Former South African champion Storm Prestwich and South Coast Classic winner Rory Fellows-Smith headline the team’s pro contingent and are both strong title contenders.
Margate’s Dune Barker was SKZNBA’s standout performer last year – when the side finished fifth – and will aim to retain his national men’s and dropknee titles.
He’s the sole men’s division rider in the side, and is joined in the dropknee division by Prestwich and Fellows-Smith.
Skye Bothma reached the ladies final last year despite being at less than 100% and will be determined to add national championship gold to her 2015 South African tour title as the team’s only women’s rider.
There are changes aplenty in the masters, junior and boys divisions. Scott Getkate and Heino Nel are the new masters riders, Butterworth and 2015 teammate Martin Grobler (pro reserve) are joined in the junior ranks by new trio Jonathan Sequeira, Rohan Nel and Quintin Pretorius, while new caps Troy Smith and James Commarmond join Jason Sequeira in the boys division.
Southern KwaZulu-Natal bodyboarding team:
Martin Grobler (reserve)