Making waves and teaching conservation

Nigel Savel, 9Miles Project founder, receiving the donation on Saturday.

Strandfontein NPO The 9Miles Project was one of the beneficiaries of The Wavescape Surf and Ocean Festival, which started last week and runs for a full month.

The festival is hosting an extended line-up of 15 events – with the screening of more than 30 surf and ocean films – at 10 venues.

Extra emphasis in 2019 has been placed on conservation awareness, ocean activism and community upliftment.

Wavescape are working with partners to host beach clean-ups, an ocean filmmaker’s master class, oceanic panel discussions and talks, themed conservation evenings and film screenings.

The festival includes 10 days of film screenings and the exhibition of 11 surfboards for the Artboard Project, with the Artboard charity auction set for Wednesday November 27.

All proceeds from the event are donated to beneficiaries including the NSRI, Shark Spotters, the 9 Miles Project, Ocean Pledge, Beach Co-op, South African Adaptive Surfing and Sentinel Ocean Alliance. Last year’s art auction raised R782 000. The highest priced board – by Andrew Sutherland – went for R105 000, closely followed by Kirsten Beet’s board for R102 000.

The 9Miles Project received a R20 000 donation from VANS at the opening of the festival on Saturday November 9. “We are so grateful for the support which will help us to further our work with vulnerable youth and impoverished communities,” said Nigel Savel, 9Miles Project founder.

A Seaside Scavenge was held on Saturday November 16 at Strandfontein beach as part of the festival events. Volunteers cleaned the beach and traded the trash for pre-loved clothes and food to name a few and learned about marine pollution. Captain Fanplastic helped the youth engage in the clean up and kept them entertained.