The results are in and, according to judges at the 2010 South African Surfing Awards, Jordan Michael Smith is SA Surfer of the Year! The awards were presented by Zigzag and Surfing South Africa in association with Paarl Media and Carling Black Label.
Smith, the tall natural-footer from Durban, holds the world number two position, with Kelly Slater ranked number one and Taj Burrow in third place. But it’s not only Smith’s charge for the title that cracked him the prestigious nod. His groundbreaking freesurfing performances over the past year are widely acclaimed to be some of the most innovative ever.
The ceremony, held on 04 July 2010, saw a number of South Africa’s top surfers and pioneers recognised for their achievements, including Cape Town’s big wave rider Chris Bertish who took the ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ title, and three more SA legends who were inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame, namely Peers Pittard, Christine Petrucci and Hugh Roe.
The Surf Photographer of the Year award was won by Greg Ewing, and the Blowing Up Performer Award, awarded to the country’s most exciting junior surfer under the age of 20, went to Beyrick de Vries who has wreaked havoc on the local contest scene, captained the SA team, and set the benchmark with his freesurfing.
Cecil Solomon (Cape Town) was given the Agent of Change award for his work as founder of the country’s first non-racial surf club, and growing through the ranks of the unified sporting body to become president of Surfing South Africa.
Association of Surfing Professionals Africa awards:
Royden Bryson – Cape Town (Men’s Division)
Chad du Toit – Durban (Pro Junior Men)
Sarah Baum – Durban (Pro Junior Women)
Surfing South Africa Pro Surf Tour awards:
Bianca Buitendag – George (Pro Junior Girls)
Chris Leppan – Umhlanga Rocks (Pro Junior Boys)
Chantal Rautenbach – Melkbos Strand (Women)
Gary van Wieringen – Warner Beach (Men)