South Africa’s top surfing talent were honoured on Saturday night at the annual South African Surfing Awards which took place in Durban.
Jordy Smith was once again the star of the evening as he claimed two prominent awards: ‘Moment of the Year’ and the coveted ‘SA Surfer of the Year’.
Bianca Buitendag (George) deservedly claimed the female ‘Breakthrough Performer Award’ having won a host of local and international events over the last year.
The 70’s themed awards evening was hosted by South Africa’s longest running surf magazine, Zigzag, and is supported by Surfing South Africa and ASP Africa.
“I speak on behalf of Zigzag to say that we are honoured to be the custodian of this evening” said Zigzag Surfing Magazine editor Will Bendix. “The South African Surfing Awards are made possible by the collaboration between many different organisations, businesses and individuals who all have surfing’s best interests at heart.”
Jordy Smith’s ‘Moment of the Year’ award came about with his first win on the WCT (World Championship Tour) at the 2010 Billabong Pro – the first South African to win a top tier ASP men’s event since the elite tour was introduced two decades ago.
The win, which was achieved in front of a rowdy local crowd at Jeffreys Bay, catapulted Smith to the sharp end of the world rankings. Smith eventually finished the year as the world no 2 ranked surfer, pipped at the post by 10 x world surfing champion Kelly Slater.
As he continues to push South African surfing back to the top echelon of world surfing, there was little doubt about who was going to win the ‘SA Surfer of the Year Award’.
The male ‘Breakthrough Performer of the Year’ award has excelled at both contest and free surfing, and is no stranger to the podium either. In the year gone by, Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) has made his mark by placing second at one of the biggest pro junior events in the world, the Oakley World Pro Junior Bali, whilst forging a name for himself at intimidating breaks like Teahupoo.
Staples was one heat away from claiming the ASP World Junior title, finishing a third on the year end rankings. Having consistently proved his mettle in the air, on the rail and in the tube, Dale Staples has earned the title of ‘Breakthrough Performer’ for the year gone by.
82 year old Graham Hynes, “the coach who keeps on coaching”, was recognised with the ‘Contribution to Surfing accolade’, as just about every top surfer in South Africa over the last few decades has benefited from Graham’s input into the sport.
The full list of awards was as follows:
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR (male) – Dale Staples
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR (female) – Bianca Buitendag
CONTRIBUTION TO SURFING – Graham Hynes
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR – Alan van Gysen
SURFER OF THE YEAR (male) – Jordy Smith
SURFER OF THE YEAR (female) – Bianca Buitendag
PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES – JP Veaudry and Heather Clark
BEST USE OF ELECTRONIC/SOCIAL MEDIA – Warwick Wright
TEAM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – Border at SA Champs
MOMENT OF THE YEAR – Jordy Smith winning the Billabong Pro 2010