SA surfers shine Down Under

24 March 2009

South African surfer Travis Logie and former Port Elizabeth schoolgirl Philippa Anderson captured the men’s and women’s titles respectively in the Mark Richards Pro and the Maitland Toyota Women’s Pro at Merewether Beach in Australia on Sunday.

On the comeback trail after failing to re-qualify for a fifth successive season on the ASP World Tour at the end of 2008, Logie secured a confidence-boosting victory over 2009 Dream Tour surfer Drew Courtney in the tightest men’s final at Newcastle for many years.

Logie, the International Surfing Association’s Open men’s champion in 2002, recorded two rides of 8.75 out of 10 to narrowly defeat Courtney, whose best ride scored 8.25, by 17.50 to 16.45 in the clean one-metre waves.

One of the very best small wave surfers

Considered by his peers to be one of the very best small wave surfers on the planet, Logie is recovering from a serious knee injury and said his win on Sunday ranks alongside his victory at a six-star event in Hossegor, France in 2004, in his estimation.

He believes his knee is now 100 percent and Sunday’s win was the confidence boost he had been looking for as he works at returning to the elite ASP Dream Tour.

“This is a huge confidence boost. I’ve been training so hard, so it’s good to see it pay off,” Logie said.

‘A very prestigious event’

“This is a very prestigious event and I always come here. I am stoked to win at Newcastle. Mark Richards is a true icon of the sport of surfing and to win a trophy named in his honour is unbelievable,” he added.

While the 500 ratings points earned in the two-star-rated event will probably not figure in his top seven results at the end of the year, the morale-boosting win over an ASP Dream Tour incumbent and the $5 000 winner’s cheque will benefit his objective of joining the world’s top-45-ranked surfers for a fifth season in 2009.

Three South Africans are contesting the elite ASP World Tour this year: Jordy Smith, David Weare, and Greg Emslie.

Port Elizabeth connection

Former Port Elizabeth schoolgirl Philippa Anderson moved to Newcastle five years ago. On Sunday she became the first ever local surfer to win a final at Newcastle’s 24th annual Surfest competition.

The 17-year-old smashed a 23-year-long hoodoo during which a local surfer had never won a main event at Newcastle when she edged out Australian Dimity Stoyle by 15.10 to 13.85 points to have her name etched on the Maitland Toyota Open trophy.

Anderson, who came through the junior ranks of the Hunter Water Stars of the Future program at the Newcastle contest, will put her $2 500 prize money towards buying a car, even though she is too young to drive unaccompanied.

“This is the biggest win for me ever and to top it off here at Merewether in front of my family is just so good,” Anderson said.

“It’s such a great honour to have my name on the winner’s board – it’s just so good.”

SAinfo reporter

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