The Billabong Madibaz squad are fired up to regain the University Sport South Africa surfing title when the three-day event gets under way in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The Nelson Mandela University team won the competition in Victoria Bay in 2015 and are looking forward to competing in PE waters for the first time.
Although the club have hosted the event previously at Jeffreys Bay, this will be the first time the USSA tournament comes to Nelson Mandela Bay, where the action is expected to take place at the Pipe on Pollok Beach.
Madibaz Surfing Club chairman Lee Allers said they had several new faces in this year’s squad, but he was confident they would make a big impact on the competition.
Although the team was in transition, he felt they had the ability to do well.
“I think the vibe will start to build as they return to PE this week, which will be crucial for our mental planning,” he added.
“We have had good preparation because the team was selected in May and we have been running competitions throughout the year.”
While they had a good understanding of local conditions, the Madibaz squad also included surfers from all over the country, he added.
“The forecast will get more accurate closer to the event, but I feel we will be able to cope with any conditions Mother Nature throws at us.”
Madibaz surfing manager Melinda Goosen said they were hoping for strong local support during the tournament.
“Jean du Plessis, Dane van Greunen and Keegan Wright will be strong contenders in the men’s division, with Britney Linder leading the charge for the women,” she said.
Madibaz will be up against Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Rhodes and Varsity College from Friday to Sunday.