March 10, 2008 : – – Excellent waves and strong, powerful surfing was the order of the day for the second day of the Quiksilver King Of The Groms surfing event in Cape Town. Witsands provided the goods with two to three-foot right-handers pouring over the sandbar all day, allowing for some high scoring rides throughout. Earlier standouts in the event were Casey Grant from Scottburgh in the U20 division and Diran Zakarian in the U16 grom division.
In the afternoon the wind turned slight offshore and the waves improved even more, with wave scores getting higher and higher. The first U20 semi-final was between Brendon Gibbens (Kommetjie) and Dale Staples from Cape St. Francis, with the Kommetjie local getting the nod from the judges. The second semi was between Seal Point’s Nick Godfrey up against the on-form Casey Grant, with Godfrey winning the close heat.
The U20 final between Brendon Gibbens and Nicky Godfrey was a tight one. Gibbens had it in the bag until Nick Godfrey paddled into a thick wave that hit the sandbar perfectly. The wave threw a long and clean barrel over the natural-footer for the first and only 10-point ride of the event, and victory for Godfrey in the U20 division.
The first U16 grom division semi-final was between the dynamic Beyrick De Fries from Umhlanga and the polished Mikey February from Kommetjie. February turned on the heat, catching every good wave and leaving De Vries in the dust and needing a combination of scores for a win. The second semi was a close affair between Devin Lane from Umhlanga and Dane Staples from Cape St Francis, with Lane taking the win in the last minutes of the heat.
It was a relatively low-scoring U16 grom final, with Devin getting two scores in the 4-point region (out of a possible 10) straight off the bat, and Mikey needing a 4.5 to take victory.
The ocean didn’t play ball for the second half of the heat for the Kommetjie surfer. Mikey managed to scratch into one last wave at the end of the heat, but it didn’t have the scoring potential that he needed. Despite the fact that he surfed the wave well, he only managed a score of 3.5, and Lane had a crown placed on his head. “I’m really happy to win this event,” said the newly-crowned King. “It has been a great event with good waves, so thanks to everyone.”
The Virgin Mobile Expression Session saw surfers having a no-holds-barred session of boosts, grab-rail airs and futuristic surfing. Kyle Lane won the $1,000 prize for the Best Air for successfully pulling off a huge forehand three sixty air, and Davey Brand won the MP3 player for the Best Wave award.
The following event is on the 14 and 15 June in Mossel Bay and the third event is on the 16 and 17 August at Scottburgh. The winner of the series in the U20 division wins a return trip to Hawaii, while the winner of the U16 ‘Grom’ division wins an all expenses paid trip to the King Of The Groms grand final in France along with his coach.
Surfing South Africa sanctions the Quiksilver King Of The Groms, and the U20 division is part of the South African Pro Surf Tour. The events are going to be covered on Boardriders TV, which is set for extensive broadcast time on Supersport.
Final results: U20
1. Nick Godfrey
2. Brendon Gibbens
3. Dale Staples
3. Casey Grant
U16 Grom Division
1. Devin Lane
2. Mikey February
3. Beyrick De Vries
3. Dane Staples