SANDTON, JOHANNESBURG: January 22, 2016 — Reflecting shades of the hit Disney movie “Cool Runnings” about a Jamaican bobsled team that made it to the Winter Olympics—for the first time in the history of the sport of surfing, the landlocked city of Johannesburg will “field” a team at the Billabong South African Inter-club Surfing Championships, to be held at Seal Point near Cape St. Francis on the 13th and 14th of February.
The team of four men, one woman and a judge will take to the beach and brine under the banner of the Joburg Boardriders Club, the brainchild of Braamfontein pastor Nathan Gernetzky, who describes himself on his Twitter profile as a “husband, father, friend, creative, pastor, hopeful woodsman, concrete shredder and wannabe big wave surfer.”
“Surfing is our common ground, it’s what connects us—we’re all different in some ways—but it’s amazing, we now get to fulfil this dream. We’re actually sending a team to surf in a national event!” says Gernetzky. Founded just under a year ago, Joburg Boardriders has built up a loyal following in the concrete jungle, recruiting mostly former coastal dwellers who have made the career move inland to “the big smoke”.
The team’s number one seed, Fourways-based plumber Shane Warren, spent eight years campaigning on the World Surf League Qualifying Series circuit and, of all the Joburg Boardriders, could be in contention for a victory. While he never cracked the prestigious Championship Tour, he was a stand-out professional surfer who will show that the Joburg Boardriders mean business on the waves. As a KZN champion, Warren won the prestigious Rip Curl Tubemasters competition in 2002, ahead of Travis Logie, so far one of SA’s most successful world tour pros.
Friends since high school, team members Kevin Trevaskis and Byron Loker—who learned to surf together in the waters of Muizenberg, Cape Town, and work together as project managers for Design Partnership, a leading interior design agency in the retail and hospitality space, based in Sandton—are excited to have made the grade.
For Trevaskis, an accomplished surfer, such an outing has been an ambition of his ever since he “washed-up” to Johannesburg from Durban six years ago and found a new career path. As a former head judge of the World Surf League’s South African chapter, Trevaskis is pleased to be back in competition. “I just want to ride under the curl of the wave and get a long tube ride, my bru,” he says. Byron Loker has been in Johannesburg for the past two years, broadening his horizons and is the author of a surfing-themed collection of short stories, “New Swell“, now prescribed literature in the Ninth Grade in Gauteng and Western Cape. The team is rounded out by Dominic Barnardt, another Cape Town transplant who has established himself as a freelance commercial photographer in Jozi.
The club is bringing current SA Masters women’s champion Tasha Mentasi to St. Francis and she will no doubt prove to be a force to be reckoned with in the ladies division.
Joburg Boardriders has found support from mainstream surf industry brands such as Nixon watches, Carver skateboards, Rip Curl SA clothing, Xcel wetsuits and Spider Surfboards, while “blue collar” supporters in the shape of Imperial Electrical & Plumbing, Bothma Branding Solutions and Fulcrum Flooring have also stumped up sponsorship to get the team to the beach.
Follow #joburgboardriders on all social media, hopefully all the way to the final event! The winning team will host 2017′s championships, which could potentially see a national surfing event held at The Lost City’s Valley of the Waves—another historic first.
The team is available for interviews and photographs. For more information, please contact Nathan Gernetzky, team manager on 083 798 8999 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs available from Dominic Barnardt on 083 212 3479.
SIDEWALK SURFERS: Braamfontein pastor Nathan Gernetzky (front) is leading a team of Johannesburg-based surfers to a national event for the first time ever in the history of the sport. Photo by Dominic Barnardt.
CITY SLICKERS: “Surfing is our common ground, it’s what connects us—we’re all different in some ways—but it’s amazing, we now get to fulfil this dream [of sending a Joburg-based team to a national surfing event].” The Joburg Boardriders L to R: Dominic Barnardt, Nathan Gernetzky, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Shane Warren. Photo by Dominic Barnardt.
DAY JOB: Joburg Boardrider Byron Loker drops in to shoot a curl and hang a ten while on assignment for Design Partnership at an Eastern Cape surf break. Don’t tell the boss. Photo by Clemance Val.
FIGHT CLUB: #joburgboardriders & Design Partnership project managers Kevin Trevaskis & Byron Loker limber up for the Billabong SA Inter-club Champs under the training of Jamie Windell of Wellfit Lifestyle at The Bull Ring Fight & Fitness Club.
Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated. To cut to the chase: I am crowd-funding the production of my first short film as director, working title ‘Irregardless’. It was written by American screenwriter John Porter (writer of the feature ‘Lost Mother‘), in whom I have found a kindred spirit and hope to collaborate with on many a film project in the future.
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I wanted to rate Daniel Craig’s performance as cold and detached, until I saw it for what it is: brilliant and efficient.
I think Spectre it is a perfect film. (You don’t have to read on, this is the age of Twitter, after all). All I can is I feel very proud of the storytelling industry at the moment. Ok, that’s not all I’ll say then:
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HEAVY WATER: The hardest thing I have ever done in my life happened during that winter, and it was to get out of bed just a handful of times and walk down the Main Road to the Dalebrook tidal pool, dive into the ice-cold water and swim a few lengths and then sit for a time with Hans and talk to him about the fight for my life.
Click here for Death in Venice part I
For Hans Soltau: 05 05 1945 — 09 09 2015.
“You are fighting for your life,” Hans reminded me, “And my job is to corrupt your thinking. Let me tell me you something that might surprise you—do what is evil. You don’t have to do what you think you have to do, or what you think other people want you to do. Do what is evil.”
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A man estimated to be in his early twenties was killed on Sunday at approximately three PM on Malibongwe Drive in Muldersdrift, just north of Johannesburg. According to an eye-witness, the man was struck by a silver Hyundai containing four occupants while attempting to cross the busy road—popular with motorists making weekend trips to resorts in the Hartbeesport Dam area.
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SUNSET INDUSTRY: Scarborough-based Pierre de Villiers is known for his eclectic but thoroughly big-wave tested surfboard shapes. Photo BYRON LOKER
Published in The Times newspaper, Oct 7, 2015
As a surfer of limited means (which many of us tend to be for some reason), I have always had a rather fraught relationship with the tools of the trade, so to speak. When it comes to the acquisition of “new” surfboards, I usually scour the second-hand surf-shops and Cash Converters of the neighbourhood where I happen to find myself resident and fetch up the cheapest, most serviceable-looking shape I can find—beggars can’t be choosers, as they say. » read more
Then there was the time while I was living in the English Professor’s home in Kalk Bay and wondering what to do with my life, that I got Depression really badly and nearly died. I had stopped taking the medication a year previously because I thought I was fine and cured and would be OK, but, as it turns out, I wasn’t.
At the worst time of it I couldn’t get out of bed for four days, except to take a piss. Eventually, I knew I had to get up and go outside and try to do something to stay alive when I couldn’t even get up to take a piss anymore. I still had the job then where I would work on the Internet all day copying and pasting things, so I could work from home most days of the week and not get out of bed on those days, and not manage to eat anything. » read more
Still getting to travel to coastal regions and maintain some sort of status as a surfer. PHOTO: DANIEL GREBE/INSTAGRAM
One of the perks of my new so-called career as a project manager based in Hell, aka Johannesburg, is that I am still getting to travel to coastal regions and maintain some sort of status as a surfer. (Some of the other perks being the colourful assortment of ulcers, cancers and nervous conditions I am accumulating in the soft tissues of my body.) » read more
So I’m thinking about having a go at creating a Saffrican surperhero TV or Web series, and thought it might be fun to share some ideas here. Below is a draft of a pilot. It’s very much genre formulaic, modelled off a screenplay that I found on Inktip.com, optioned from American writer James Thornton and added a little local flavour. I’d very much welcome feedback, suggestions, storyline ideas, a million dollars to make the pilot, what have you. Anybody reckon I could give Mr. Blomkamp a run for the big bucks?
DOWNLOAD (PDF) –> Shadowman (working title) a screenplay by JE Thornton & Byron Loker
If, on your travels through your nearest shopping mall, you happen to meet the eye (wide open, bloodshot, murderous gleam) of an individual—five day stubble, unkempt hair, clothes apparently slept-in for a week—clutching a claw-hammer and swearing violently into an iPhone held together by sticky tape, you would get very good odds with the nearest bookie that somewhere nearby a chain store is being built or renovated and the person you avoided further eye contact with is a project manager.
Project management is not all bad as a career choice, though. For one thing, it’s a wonderful way to get to travel on a corporate expense account. In the first year of my relocated-to-Johannesburg, rookie project management career, I have gotten to go surfing in Angola, Jeffrey’s Bay, Vic Bay, False Bay, Elands Bay and Swakopmund, Namibia. Adventures all in their own right, but for now I’ll focus on the last of these destinations. » read more