After a huge day of competition, today 21 July, legendary Greg Minnaar was crowned the 2017 Oakley X-Over Champion.
After a win at the Mountain Bike Race and a third placing at this morning’s Surf Contest, Minaar scored enough points at the St Francis Links Golf Tournament in St Francis Bay to edge Butch James into second place.
This morning started at Kitchen Windows where the waves were more orderly and well-formed than at Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay.
Raynard Tissink was a standout in the early surf heats. Commenting ahead of the surfing leg he said: “I think the obvious danger person here is our Australian wildcard Tom Whitaker. I’m not that good a surfer, but it’s great fun. I had a shorter board than last year so I was able to do some nice turns out there.”
And, indeed Whitaker who took the win in the surf with a fine display of innovative surfing in the clean three-foot waves. Whitaker, a former full time professional Championship Tour surfer, put on a display of innovative surfing for the judges, including air moves, barrel rides and big carves on the waves of Kitchen Windows.
Dale Steyn was runner-up in the surfing, ahead of Greg Minnaar and Butch James.
Commenting Minaar said it was the best surfing he had had so in Oakley X Over contests. “It was unreal,” he said. “The conditions were great and it was so much fun being out there. I wish I could get surf like that more often.”
After the surfing it was off to the Links for the final X-Over leg, the Golf Tournament. In an exciting finish, Ruan De Smidt won this from Butch James, and an on-form Garreth McLellan.
When the final tally was all added up, the eventual winner of the 2017 Oakley X-Over was Downhill Mountain Bike World Champ , Greg Minnaar (see photo). Butch James was runner up, with John Smit in third position (see photo), and the Australian Tom Whitaker in fourth.
“It was an amazing event and we’re all very happy with how it all worked out,” Oakley South Africa Sports Marketing and Events Manager Seth Hulley, said . “It was a little bit of a challenge to change venues for the surfing this morning, but all went smoothly. Big congratulations to Greg Minnaar for winning his first Oakley X Over.”
The Oakley X Over will be coming back next year for a bigger and better event. “We will definitely be returning next year, and plan to put on another great tournament,” Hulley said “The Oakley X Over has gained tremendous momentum over the last few years and we at Oakley are proud of what we have in this event.”
Photos by Bev Mortimer