On 11 August 2017, a day that will long be remembered, the 18th Vintners’ Surf Classic was held in huge surf on Stilbaai point, testing the competitors’ courage and strength. It was a day of excitement and high drama – but happily concluded with everyone safe, just drained of every ounce of energy…
This ever-growing competition saw over 75 surfers battling it out, which meant that the first heat took to the water at dawn in 6 degree air temperatures. While the sea felt warm in comparison, it was far from welcoming… indeed the surfers who actually made it out to the backline and caught one wave often won their heat outright, so hard going was it fighting the surging surf. In addition, the ever-strengthening current later saw one heat of four surfers swept from the top of the point right down to the lighthouse without even getting a wave!
Meanwhile, on land, a drizzle set in that lasted all day and turned the spectator zone into a mud-pit – adding to the gritty drama of the event – but no-one dared leave, so riveting was the drama that was playing out in the ocean. Huge take-offs, big wipe-outs and some long rides kept everyone entertained, even if the wives were more than a little nervous…
The awards event later that night was in turn a huge celebration, with great stories to tell and superb wine to share them over. Along with fun spot prizes, over R15,000 was raised for the Surf4Life charity in an auction. Fellow waterman and wine-lover, Allan Mullins, was also presented with his very own custom surfboard, which allows him to surf even though wheelchair-bound. “I haven’t words to express the emotions and gratitude that whipped through me when I was handed my personalised surfboard… I cannot tell you how much it meant and how it lifted me to yet another plane,” Allan said afterwards. “Let me just say thank you from my heart!”
And so another fantastic Vintners’Surf Classic was concluded – and to the victors’ went the superb prizes, courtesy of the very generous sponsors (see below).
JT vd Westhuizen
Nicky de Villiers
Anthony de Jager
The organisers would like to thank the generous headline sponsors RR Wine Technologies and Reef South Africa – as well as the contributions of Thales Wine Services; Winetech; Consol Glass; Anthony Lane Design; WinPak; Cool Dandy; Cult Premium Bottling; Vineyard Connection; Rolling Wood/WAWA; Country Digital; Thys Lombard Photography; The Best Tile Company; Spec Systems; Stance Socks and M.A.T Surfboards.
Also a huge thanks to the Stillbaai community to allowing the event to be held on their shores!