April 04, 2018 Matt Gennrich
The Volkswagen Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Pro, presented by Billabong was hosted at Pollok Beach over the long weekend in Volkswagen’s home city of Port Elizabeth. The action kicked off on Saturday, 31 March, as South Africa’s top surfers took to the waves for their heats. The three day event ended with a thrilling final on Monday, 2 April with Kai Woolf taking both the women’s and junior women’s titles, David van Zyl from Glenashley taking home the men’s title and Dillon Hendricks from Muizenberg winning the junior men’s crown.
Headline sponor Volkswagen South Africa was out in full support to cheer on the surfers, and to also give spectators a little more to focus on inbetween the sets. The Volkswagen Display activities kept families busy, while also landing a salient educational message on the health of SA’s oceans and plastic waste recycling.
Guests rode and posed for pictures on the Volkswagen Bottle Wave – handcrafted from recycled plastic bottles and waste. Together with their long standing partners in ocean marine life protection, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT), Volkswagen South Africa created the bottle wave photo set to highlight the Ocean’s plastic waste crisis and to encourage spectators to think differently about plastic pollution and recycling practices. The partnership with DICT falls under the company’s Volkswagen for Good initiatives.
While parents explored the great specifications of the various Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on display – such as the California Beach camper van, Caravelle and Transporter Crew Bus – younger spectators were given insightful lessons on how to make better use of plastic trash. For a small donation to the DICT, children could play, craft and take home plastic ocean creatures recycled out of the very plastic that threatens the ocean’s well-being.
To drive the message home, Volkswagen and DICT also joined spectators and participants in a group Clean-the-Beach initiative to help ensure the beach was cleared of any trash caused by the event. They also held an ocean awareness talk with the local children who participated in Surfing South Africa’s CSI surf classes on the final day of the event.
In addition to the Volkswagen for Good initiatives showcased at the event, the People’s Car supports the City Surf Series first and foremost to help drive local surfing and surfers forward. “Volkswagen are backing the City Surf Series for the second year in a row due to the opportunity the series presents to local Surfers; giving them the chance to score accredited World Surfing League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) points, the log that leads to a spot on the WSL’s Championship Tour,“ said Matt Genrich, General Manager of Group Communications at Volkswagen.