Shake and wake in the mother city

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Local hero Dylan Mitchell crowned SA’s top dog

The weekend of the 16-18th March 2012 saw Cape Town’s Milnerton Aquatic Club (by Rietvlei Dam) host the South African National Wakeboard Championships as well as the third stop of the South African Pro Wakeboard Tour.

Sponsors of the event included Angry Spider Wakeboards, Monster Energy, and Sports Unlimited; while competitors were towed by Boating International’s brand new wake machine, the Malibu MXZ. Sixty-five riders from all across the country arrived at Rietvlei Dam in Milnerton on the Friday and were greeted by miserable, wet and windy conditions. Despite the weather, all participants registered and put in their last practise runs before game-day.
Wakeboarding
The Pro Wakeskaters kicked off the event in style on Saturday morning. Local riders and brothers, Moritz and Felix Gruter, showed off their extensive array of tricks, including wake-to-wake Benni-hanah’s and Backside Bigspins; both securing spots in the final six.
Dylan Mitchell and Chris Rogers also banged out a clean pass, along with great wake-to-wake composition and intensity. Wakeskate LCQ’s was a stacked heat with names like Dale Nieuwstad, Bryan Loggenberg and Darren “2-Step” Turner riding against one other.
Dale and Darren ended up qualifying for the final, despite unfavourable weather conditions. Nevertheless, local rider and UCT student, Chris Rogers, managed to complete a well-composed pass which included both Toeside and Heelside 180’s, earning him a well-deserved third spot on the podium.The Pro Wakeskaters kicked off the event in style on Saturday morning. Local riders and brothers, Moritz and Felix Gruter, showed off their extensive array of tricks, including wake-to-wake Benni-hanah’s and Backside Bigspins; both securing spots in the final six.
Dylan Mitchell and Chris Rogers also banged out a clean pass, along with great wake-to-wake composition and intensity. Wakeskate LCQ’s was a stacked heat with names like Dale Nieuwstad, Bryan Loggenberg and Darren “2-Step” Turner riding against one other.
Dale and Darren ended up qualifying for the final, despite unfavourable weather conditions. Nevertheless, local rider and UCT student, Chris Rogers, managed to complete a well-composed pass which included both Toeside and Heelside 180’s, earning him a well-deserved third spot on the podium.
Dale Nieuwstad finished second with a run that included wake-to-wake, a few lip tricks and a Frontside Bigspin to top it off. Moritz Gruter, however, took top honours with a run that seemed undeterred by the windy conditions, landing various Shuv tricks and some impressive wake-to-wake grabs and spins.

Next up was the Junior Men’s division where the fierce Bloemfontein-Cape Town rivalry continued with both, tour leader Leighton Barnard, and local Milnerton Aquatic Club rider, Stuart Gutridge showing off with big and well-executed tricks. The finals saw Austin Stewart from Cape Town finish a clean and consistent pass, complete with a big Backroll, securing him third place. Leighton Barnard threw down a pass that boasted a Halfcab roll, big Tantrum as well as a Heelside 360 to earn him a solid second place. Local boy, Stuart Gutridge, laid it down with a pass that boasted a good blend of well-composed tricks including a sizeable Tantrum, earning him the South African title in the Junior Men division. The Boys division stepped up its game this year. Local Cape Town rider, Jeanu Du Plooy, finished third with excellent rail slides and a well poised run with 180 Heelside and Toeside. Keenan Pilley from Johannesburg took a well deserved second place, and apart from going down on his Backroll, had an inspired run crammed with Toeside and Heelside 180s. Namibian, Kai Brockman, claimed top spot with great intensity, firm execution, and faultless 180’s.

The Pro Men division, however, was the highlight of the day with the finals starting at 16h00 in the afternoon. Justin Mitri had a notable run, showing off immense grabbed inverts and spins including a Nuclear Tantrum and a grabbed Heelside 540. Young gun, Cameron Graham, completed a great pass that lacked technicality to some extent but nevertheless made for good entertainment value. Local rider, Andrew Bourne produced some of his best riding on the tour, sticking a Whirly, wrapped KGB and 5’s. An equipment malfunction in his second pass unfortunately prevented Andrew from competing further, but he still ended up with a solid third place. Ryan Durham, another Joh’burg boy, displayed incredible Heel and Toeside 5’s as well as a Batwing-to-Blind and good rail hits, obtaining a second place on the South African Champs podium. Dylan Mitchell claimed pole position becoming South Africa’s new Pro Men champion with a run that included a Moby Dick, Crow Mobe and Big worm, as well as a Batwing-to-Blind and impressive sliding. The final divisions hit the “Vlei” on Sunday in the most agreeable weather of the weekend and Novice Wakeskating were first off the dock with Kai Brockman from Namibia taking third place with 41 points, Jess Nieuwstad claiming a second place with 43.8 points, having completed a run that included an Ollie 180 and a Front side Shove. Brandon Stuart secured the top spot with a score of 44 points, landing a Backside 180 as well as a Backside Pop Shuv.

The Masters Division saw Jono Joseph from Johannesburg take the honours with a run which included a Whirly Bird, while Darryn Ridgeway finished second and Kosie Van Heerden third. The Open Men Division were up next with UCT wakeboarding Club member, Marc Van Cuyck, taking third spot, Nick Larsen claiming second and Craig Eygenberger ending up with a well deserved win with a run that included some banger hits on the rail, a Cab 5 as well as a huge Tantrum.
The weekend turned out a great success, producing first-rate riding and exhibiting the best skill the country has to offer. Dylan Mitchell would like to thank Darryn Ridgeway, Tich Mitchell, Laurence Gutridge and Mark Burton-Moore as well as Boating international, Angry Spider Wakeboards, Monster Energy Drinks and Sports Unlimited for putting together the event. Hope to see you all next year! For more information, please visit www.wakesa.co.za

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