What do you do when you become the first South African to win a World Tour event? Well, after you get your emotions in check and have a couple cold beers with the rest of the competitors, you hire out a restaurant, clear the tables, and invite the whole town of Jeffreys Bay to come along and tear the place down. You also put down your sponsor’s credit card and tell everyone to forget their wallets at home.The following short conversation took place the following afternoon, when the dust had settled.
How are you feeling today?
I wasn’t feeling so bad this morning, and went for a surf, but at about midday it kicked in. Last night was mad. Mad fun. Good times. We went to a local restaurant here, The Mexican, and pretty much danced around on the tables with Mick and everyone and went nuts. It was so good to have my friends there and my family. It was cool to have my mom and dad there. Ya, a R35,000 bar tab later…it was a good night.
Tell me what it was like to be out there in the water being the first South African to win a World Tour event.
It kinda hasn’t even hit me yet. I was getting so emotional as the countdown was coming up. Even after I got my last wave and I got my second big score things just started rushing. When I was kid I used to come to this event and get autographs and could only dream of one day surfing in the event, let alone winning it. When I turned and faced the beach I just saw the whole crowd erupt and I couldn’t help myself. I kinda felt like a bit of baby crying and all that, but I guess that’s a part of winning. Especially in front of your home crowd.
How special was the win, being that it was in front of the home crowd and friends and family?
It’s everything. I never ever thought the first win of my career would come at J-Bay. Obviously that’s what everyone wanted, but most of the time that sort of thing never happens. And for it to actually happen was mind-blowing. I’ve had a great year and this made everything that much better.
Is this win going to change things for the rest of the year?
It’s going to change things. It will probably give me a little bit of inspiration to go and do better now. I’m going to try not get anything less than a quarters. But I’m still going to be doing the exact same thing and keep surfing the way I’m surfing. Try to just keep having fun and stay relaxed.