16-year-old Durban school girl, Christy Gilmour, was last night crowned South African Longboard “Surfers’ Surfer of the Year” after winning the Open Women’s championship title as well as the under 18 woman’s division in challenging surf conditions at Durban’s Bay of Plenty yesterday.
Christy Gilmour shall now represent South Africa at the next world longboarding championships alongside Thomas King, the winner of open men’s title.
Another Durban school girl also made her parents proud during the week-long surfing extravaganza. Brittany Gadd from Hillcrest High School was among winners of Roving Reporters 2017 Soul Surfer Awards in aid of marine conservation and education.
Click here to read Brittany Gadd’s Ocean Watch profile
Presented by Andries Botha, chairman of the Human Elephant Foundation, the awards aim to engage surfers as Ocean Watch ambassadors in educating people about critical issues affecting the health of our oceans.
“Personally, I believe that the ocean is sacred, in every aspect. It is beautiful, powerful, unrestrainable and home to thousands of creatures. It needs to be protected at all costs because without it life wouldn’t even be a possibility,” said Gadd in her motivation to become an Ocean Watch ambassador for Roving Reporters.
“The oceans contribute to our everyday lives, either directly or indirectly, not only for us ocean lovers but for everyone – even if you don’t realize it,” said Gadd, who was awarded whale watching tour by the World Cetacean Alliance.
The winner of Roving Reporters 2017 Soul Surfer Award, Diony Lalieu, said becoming an Ocean Watch ambassador for Roving Reporters was the highlight of her participation in this year’s SA Longboard champs.
Diony won a custom-made Spider Murphy longboard co-sponsored by SurfSure and R1000 from the Human Elephant Foundation to award a marine conservation cause of her choice.
Mia and Alfonso both won a Phemba Kahle limited edition turtle sculpture made by convicted turtle poacher turned environmental ambassador, Makotikoti Zikhali. Grant won a whale watching tour sponsored by the World Cetacean Alliance and Toby a weekend stay over for two at Shapes for Africa in Mount Morelands.
A special thanks are due to all those who supported the introduction of Roving Reporters 2017 Soul Surfers Awards at the SA Longboard Surfing championships, in particular Stanton Ashton, chairman of the KZN Longboard Surfing Association, David Macgregor, convenor of our judges panel, Wendy Gool of the World Cetacean Alliance, Ray and Wendy from Shapes for Africa and John Charter, CEO of the Human Elephant Foundation.