What is the Vintners Surf Classic?
The Vintners Classic is an annual surf contest held at Stilbaai or Jongensfontein, South Africa. This must attend surf competition is presented by Reef South Africa and all the contestants are from the local wine industry. It is an amazingly unique and very South African surf event, where a huge group of the coolest, young wine makers in the western cape get together to celebrate, to surf and to enjoy each others wine and good company.
South African winemakers in search of the perfect wave – when not working on their perfect blends!
Situated in the Garden Route, the quint town Stilbaai is known for its beautiful beaches and great waves. It is a popular holiday destination where visitors can take part in all kinds of watersport including, surfing, sailing, kite surfing and windsurfing. Despite its popularity, Stilbaai remains a clean and safe spot.
The Vintners Surf Classic was started in 2000 by a group of about 12 winemakers who loved to surf and hated Golf!
“Every year winemakers are invited by various suppliers in the wine industry to play a round of Golf,” explains Sebastien Beaumont of Beaumont wines.
“But there were a few of us that were frustrated by this. Why should they get a day off to play golf and we only get the weekends to surf?”
And so this core group of Western Cape based winemakers came up with the idea of taking one Friday off a year to do what they love to do most.
The first Vintners Surf Classic was held in epic conditions at Onrus Beach, 12 contestants participated and it was such fun that it has grown pretty organically every year.
“It is such a great day to hang out with fellow winemakers and share new ideas, catch up, or just shoot the breeze out on the waves,” concludes Sebastien. “See you there.”
From its origins at Onrus beach, the event moved to Stilbaai which has a more consistent point break. The Vintners Surf Classic is now held every August in Stillbaai where eager contestants gather with their families to enjoy a great day of surf and fun.
The actual surf event is properly organised and run with surfers being divided into 3 main categories, Junior, Senior and Ballies. The top four surfers of each category go into a final show down. The day ends with a get together in the evening where all competitors gather for a prize giving.
In quite a remarkable show of gees, the biggest prizes, usually surf boards or wetsuits, go into a lucky draw for all to have a fair chance of winning something. There really is a remarkable spirit with this event.
Who can enter?
Winemakers, viticulturists and marketers working for a winery are allowed to enter the Vintners Surf Classic as long as they surf or kneeboard.
Catch up on the latest news
The 2016 Vintners Surf Classic seniors division was once again won by Gunter Schultz. The hotly contested title, which evaded Gunter in 2015, was won in pristine conditions at Kak-Gat in Stilbaai earlier today. The final contestants Pieter Walser, JT and Brad Gold had an epic last surf whilst the swell peaked in the late […]