Young up-and-coming Durban surfer, 8 year old, James Ribbink has picked up a major corporate sponsor after a recent excellent run of results recently in South African surfing. James won the U10 division of the Billabong Grom Games held in Port Elizabeth and was awarded the surfer of the event at the same contest. Already sponsored by RVCA, Oakley, Skullcandy, Xcel Wetsuits and riding Channel Islands Surfboards, James can now add Richmark Holdings to his impressive sponsor list.
Richmark is a company that was founded in 2000 to help talented South African entrepreneurs build companies focussed on innovation, continuity and long-term growth. Richmark’s dream is to help grow the South African economy by creating jobs that empower people.
Richmark Executive Chairman Gavin Varejes speaks glowingly of young James Ribbink, and on why he decided to embark on a sponsorship deal for the junior surfer. “It is not too often that you find a young man who is not only an outstanding athlete but has a wonderful and refreshing attitude as well. James is one of the most humble, respectful youngsters that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting,” said Gavin of James.
“At 8 years old, a South African Champion in surfing as well as surf lifesaving, we are privileged to say that he brings credibility to our brand, Richmark Holdings.”
Gavin has a long-term connection to the surf industry in South Africa. In the mid 80′s Gavin had the agency for Yashica & Contax cameras in South Africa. For about 5 years he ran the Yashica/Contax surfing championship in Durban with the tournament director Barry Wolins.
“It was interesting and wonderful times then,” said Gavin of his days with the Yashica event. “It is obvious that good genetics play a meaningful role, as James’s Dad Jason was a successful competitor at that event on more than one occasion.”
James spends his time surfing and training at The New Pier in Durban and is coached by Graeme Hynes.
Surfing South Africa general manager Robin De Kock has also recognised Jame’s underlying talent. “James has enormous potential. This year he has already won two national titles and for an eight year old he is a remarkable young surfer. His dad, Jason, was a champion in every division he competed in and it looks like James is a chip off the old block!”