SA Team jets into Panama for Word Surfing Games

The SA Surfing Team competiting in the 2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games in Panama has arrived in their lodgings at Playa Venao on the Pacific Ocean coast of Panama.

The team comprising four male and two female shortboard riders plus two longboard riders and three officials were pleased to check into their air-conditioned accommodation just a 10-minute walk from the contest site after a long journey that took them from the beaches of SA via Johannesburg and Sao Paulo to Panama City.

According to Team Manager Isaac February everyone is loving the tropical weather and warm water while Coach Etienne Venter reports that everyone is surfing really well after a session in good 1.3 to 2.0 metre (4-6 foot) waves in front of their accommodation. Team captain Llewellyn Whittaker posted a Facebook message saying that the team was working together well and that there was a great vibe among the group who will spend the next couple of days free surfing and training until the event gets under way with the Parade of Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony on Saturday.

The contest starts on Sunday when Team SA will be up against 200 surfers from 28 countries who will be vying for team and individual gold, silver, bronze and copper medals. Team SA claimed the bronze medal for finishing third overall in the last edition of the event held in Peru last October, matching the country’s best result in foreign waters.

All the action from the 2011 Billabong ISA World Surfing Games will be webcast live at starting on Saturday. Panama time is seven hours behind South Africa, e.g. 8am in Panama is 3pm in SA. Sufing South Africa will post photographs on and on Facebook and the website and there will be a daily Press Release posted on both these platforms once the event gets underway.

The preparation, training and travel costs for the South African team were made possible by a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA). Skullcandy and Power Balance added their support to the team. Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) and the International Surfing Association (ISA) as the governing body for the sport in South Africa. The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and is the governing body for World Surfing. 2011 South African Surfing Team Men Gavin Roberts (Southern KZN) Llewellyn Whittaker (Southern Cape) Matthew Bromley (Western Province) Klee Strachan (Southern KZN) Women Nikita Robb (Border) Tanika Hoffman (Western Province) Longboarders Justin Bing (Western Province) Matthew Moir (Western Province) Team Manager Isaac February Team Coaches David Malherbe Etienne Venter