Quintin van Jaarsveld
Derek Horlock beat some of the biggest names in South African surfing to be crowned the winner of the 2017 Striped Horse Challenge presented by Zigzag in association with Hurricane Surf at the Striped Horse in Muizenberg on Friday night.
The competition saw surfers from across the country submit videos of their waves of the winter.
The criteria was six-foot plus waves; crucially, however, size wasn’t everything, as in previous years, with judges Paul Canning, Jonathan Paarman, Ettiene Buys, Greg Emslie and Alan van Gysen also looking for skill and style.
Monthly winners were crowned from August to December, with Umtentweni-based Horlock drawing first blood thanks to a scorcher of a ride (watch below) filmed by his father Peter at a secret spot on the South Coast.
As the August winner, Horlock received R1000 worth of Hurricane accessories, a case of beers from Striped Horse and became the first surfer in the running for the grand prize at the end of competition.
Commenting on Horlock’s spicy pit, Emslie said, “It was thick, scary, not easy, very deep, and when that one section came over I thought he wouldn’t make it. The other tubes were nice and clean, but much easier and predictable. Derek’s tube was wow!”
Horlock told eHowzit: “I had a wave just before that and it closed out, so I pulled through. As I was paddling out, I was little closer in than normal and checked this wave start to double up…I was in the perfect spot.
“The take was relatively easy but bumpy getting down the face. As I started to stall, I hit a few wobbles which pushed me right down the face of the wave. I managed to pump once or twice to get into a better position and held on for dear life.
“The next section put me to deep and I was preparing to bail but fortunately the wave provided enough oomph to push me out. As I saw this was happening, I started to claim it as I knew this was the best wave I’ve had in a few seasons out there.”
Horlock faced stiff competition in the legendary Grant “Twig” Baker, superstar Michael February, Josh Redman and Davey van Zyl (the other monthly winners and grand finalists), but got the nod from the esteemed judging panel on Friday.
An elated Horlock came away with a return flight to Hawaii courtesy of Zigzag, R30 000 cash from Striped Horse and R30 000 worth of accessories and surfboards from Hurricane Surf, while R10 000 went to his dad for capturing the ride.
“I’m so stoked and frothing so hard,” said Horlock. “Thanks to Striped Horse, Zigzag and Hurricane Surf for changing the format and putting up such an event.
“I’m stoked that my ballie did hours sitting on the beach and managed to film the wave…I’m so stoked! Backdoor, I’m coming for you!”
Redman didn’t go home empty handed as he won the Season’s Beatings prize of R5 000 for the biggest wipeout.