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.
Here’s the official press release:
Seal Point to host the 2016 Billabong South African Interclub Championships this weekend
Eighteen teams representing twelve surf clubs from all parts of South Africa will be in action at Seal Point in Cape St Francis this weekend at the fifth annual Billabong SA Interclub Championships and this year history will be made when a club based in Gauteng competes in the tournament for the very first time.
The Joburg Boardriders Club is the brainchild of Braamfontein pastor Nathan Gernetzky and he is excited to be creating surfing history. The team’s number one seed is Fourways-based plumber Shane Warren who spent eight years on the WSL World Qualifying Series Tour and was a top provincial surfer who represented KZN in a number of National Championships. Lifelong friends Kevin Trevaskis and Byron Loker—who learned to surf together in the waters of Muizenberg—fellow Capetonian Dominic Barnardt and SA Masters Champion Tasha Mentasti make up the balance of the team.
The Billabong SA Interclub Championships a national Surfing South Africa tournament which is supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and hosted for the first time by the Seal Point Boardriders Surf Club who won the tournament at Kitchen Windows in Jeffreys Bay last February.
In winning the 2015 Interclub the Seal Point Boardriders earned the right to not only chose their “stadium” for this year contest but were also entitled to enter two teams into the two day clash.
The Eastern Cape is well represented by a total of nine surf clubs. These are made up of 2016 hosts Seal Point Boardriders, last year’s hosts the JBU, the J Bay Boardriders, the 2013 champions, the J Bay Surf Club, the powerful CYOH Surf Club and fellow Port Elizabeth clubs Sunset, the oldest surf club in South Africa, Gravitas Surf Club and the Madibaz Surf Club from NMMU. The Kowie Boardriders Club from Port Alfred will be joining their Eastern Cape counterparts at the event.
2012 hosts, the well organized West Coast Boardriders Club will be joined by fellow Western Cape surf clubs SWOT, Share the Stoke, 9 Miles Surf Club and Maties from Stellenbosch University. The recently established Sisonke Surf Club will make the long journey to Seal Point to compete in the Interclub for the first time
The 2016 Billabong SA Interclub Championships will use the Aloha Cup “tag” format which sees teams of four men and one woman competing against each in a 50 minute heat. All the points scored by each of the surfers count towards the final team score.
Although competition will be fierce in the water, the annual Interclub Championships is an extremely social affair once the heats are over. With this in mind clubs will get together for an informal opening function at Stix in Cape St Francis at 7pm on Friday night. All participants at the event are welcome to enjoy the Billabong sponsored snacks and the live band at this popular venue
Grant Beck, the Billabong Team & Events Manager is looking forward to the tournament. “We are amped to support the 2016 Billabong Interclub Championships. This event offers surf clubs from all parts of South Africa the opportunity to get together with fellow competitors, friends and family. It is great to partner with Surfing South Africa and the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and we look forward to staying involved in club surfing well into the future.”
Teams will meet at Seal Point at 7.45 am on Saturday for the official briefing and the contest will start at 8.30am.
The heats and the format are available on the Surfing South Africa website www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za.
The 2016 Billabong SA Interclub Championships will be fueled by Red Bull.
Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). SSA is the recognized governing body for all surf riding in South Africa and is recognized as such by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa.