Five years after the last Vic Bay Quad was held at Victoria Bay and thirty-six years after Southern Cape's first chairman and surfing icon John Pfaff created the very first Vic Bay Quad, surfers from the five Cape provincial associations were back in action at this fantastic point break again.
The 2012 Reef Wetsuits Vic Bay Quad in memory of John Pfaff is now firmly back on the Surfing South Africa calendar and, true to form, Victoria Bay provided the type of surf associated with this great event. For three days powerful 6 to 8 foot waves pushed around the Vic Bay point and only quietened down as the contest ended on Sunday afternoon.
Traditionally, the Vic Bay Quad has involved the five Cape based provincial surfing associations: hosts Southern Cape, neighbours Boland and Western Province and Eastern Cape cousins Border and Eastern Province.
Surfers competed in Men's and Women's Open plus Men's Over 30, Over 40 and Over 50 Divisions and at the end of the contest all the scores were added up to determine the team champions.
There is no prize money at stake and the champions took home a medal and a trophy, but the Vic Bay Quad always was a special event and this year it was no different.
Tributes were paid to founder John Pfaff by the surfers who competed for their provinces and the individuals who committed their time and support to the contest. Emotional words were spoken at a social function held at the end of day one which set the tone for the event.
On the final day, just before the Men's final was held, Pfaff's son David, Sean Holmes and his best friends, Tortie Cloete, Rob Wiese and Leonard Giles spent 20 minutes surfing a few waves in memory of him.
Another of John's friends, Stephen Hair created a magnificent team trophy made out of olive wood and each of the provinces had a trophy created in their name which were presented to the individual champions.
Hosts Southern Cape, who in the early 80s won five Vic Bay Quads, came really close this year but were pipped by the defending champions Border.
The Men's title went to local hero Sean Homes who posted 17 points out of a possible 20 to win the final. Lu Whittaker, another Southern Cape favourite, came second with Kyle Galloway of Border taking third and talented 19-year-old Steven Sawyer of Eastern Province finishing fourth.
Current SA Champion, Nikita Robb of Border, dominated the Women's heats and the final. Tarryn Chudleigh of Western Province was second, Emma Smith of Eastern Province came third and Tasha Mentasti of Boland was fourth.
Being called up at the last minute to surf for Western Province seemed to energise Steven Gadd who managed to edge out Shane Pratt of Boland to win the Over 30 title. This was Gadd's first national title and he won it by 0.30 points from Pratt. Eastern Province surfers Shane Pittard and Michael Hill were third and fourth respectively.
One of the best performances throughout the event came from Wayne Monk of Border. His early round scores were all impressive and he put the seal on his event by winning the Over 40 title from Andrew Preen of Western Province. Monk's Border team-mates Andre Malherbe and Gareth Sepp were third and fourth respectively.
Apart from Sean Holmes' victory in the Men's final, the best performance of the contest came from Stephen Hair in the Over 50 final. Hair, a lifelong friend of John Pfaff's and the creator of the team trophy, posted the highest wave score of the contest in the "Veterans" final, a huge 9.5 out of a possible 10. His heat score of 16.40 was the highest of the contest until Holmes posted a 17 in the Men's final. Vic Bay legend Leonard Giles came second here with Andre Venter of Eastern Province taking third ahead of Border's Dave Fish.
When all the points were tallied Border's depth across the divisions gave them a small edge over Southern Cape and the defending champions will take the trophy back to East London. Boland were third, Eastern Province came fourth and Western Province were fifth.
Full results are available on the surfing South Africa website www.surfingsdouthafrica.co.za.
The 2012 Reef Wetsuits Vic Bay Quad was presented by Surfing South African and hosted by Southern Cape Boardriders Association.