The Madibaz surfing team want to build on the experience they gained after ending third in the University Sport South Africa contest at Victoria Bay near George this month.
“I feel like our performance overall was incredible,” said the 22-year-old who grew up in Knysna but now lives in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth. “In total we had eight new surfers in the team.
“For many of them it was their first time competing in a serious contest and every single one of them stepped up to the plate.
“I’m a very proud team captain and we’ll definitely build on this in preparation for next year.”
Cuthbert said there was no doubt that the level of competition at USSA was rising each year.
“This is my third year surfing this contest and every year the standard of surfing has got higher.”
After what he described as an average year in terms of his personal results, he said it was “an awesome feeling just to make the final”.
“I think that I surfed very well this time compared to last year,” he said. “I came into the contest to have fun and to give it my all.
“At the beginning of the contest my game-plan was to get a good ride at the start of each heat, which I did, and then wait out the back for an even better wave to come through.”
Cuthbert added that the final was fairly slow in terms of the number of waves that came through.
“It was a 25-minute final with four surfers having qualified. In terms of my performance I think I surfed my best heat in the final but ended up coming fourth.
“Surfing is a tough sport when you have to rely on mother nature to bring you a good wave and the other competitors managed to get the slightly better waves in the final, which gave them the edge.”
The overall individual title went to Sean Joubert from Stellenbosch.