A huge number of competitors participated in today’s Discovery Surfers Challenge event, making it the biggest event in its 40-year history. The event has grown significantly in size and stature over the years, from a handful of 26 competitors in 1975 to over 4400 competitors today.
“The ambience was wonderful, with many supporters thronging the East London route, cheering all competitors on from the start at Kwelera Beach to the finish at Nahoon Beach,” says Jody Foster, Head of Discovery Sponsorships. “This event is such a wonderful way to get the East London community together and encourage them to get active and fit in outdoors sports and achieve their health and fitness goals,” she said. “The event gives us an opportunity to take our core purpose of making people healthier, enhancing and protecting their lives to much more people, making a positive impact on their lives.”
Neville Wilkins, the event’s convenor says, “Forty years is an amazing milestone for any event, and any person. It signifies growth, and we see a great deal of potential for the event to grow even further in the years ahead. This year, we honoured all our participants who have participated in the challenge over the years, and some of the competitors have been doing this event for 30 or more years!” One of these long-time competitors, who are constantly drawn back to the event, is Doug Kunhardt, who has participated in the event each year since it first started.
“Competitors had a tough, challenging terrain to cover, crossing over sand, rocks, through water and on narrow paths,” says Wilkins. “Brendon Thompson who competing in the paddling category emerged as the overall champion and we were thrilled to see great sportsmen and women like Comrades legends, Bruce Fordyce and Shaun Meiklejohn, Hanlie Botha and Myrette Filmalter participate in the event.”
Discovery and the event organisers would like to thank all the competitors and the City of East London for their participation and support. Wilkins says, “without you, this event would not be possible without your enthusiasm and heartfelt support. We hope you, your friends and family had a memorable experience, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s event.”