Home Events Arrival of the famous Sardine Run concludes Scottburgh’s Ocean Festival programme

Arrival of the famous Sardine Run concludes Scottburgh’s Ocean Festival programme

For the second year running, the globally renowned Sardine Run arrived on the final day of the Ocean Festival on the KZN South Coast’s Scottburgh. This is a fitting gesture for the festival, which commemorates World Oceans Day (8 June) while encouraging ocean conservation through its themes ‘Engagement, Education, and Economics’. The dynamic event programme, which ran from 6 to 9 June, provided all ages and interests with a variety of ways to celebrate the ocean in commemoration of World Ocean Day (8 June).

“We were delighted with the arrival of the Sardine Run, an important ocean event that signifies the need for what we’re doing to conserve the ocean and its inhabitants,” said Russel Symcox, Ocean Festival Founder. “The ocean is alive and we were fortunate to have some fantastic marine wildlife encounters over the weekend as we worked towards conserving this space.”

Symcox said they were grateful for all the support, with the beach clean-up removing 350kgs of litter from Scottburgh beaches: “We all need to pull together for collective change and create engaging events that educate and boost the global economy through conservation efforts. We’re very proud of our international partners in Iceland, England, Portugal, the UAE, and Malaysia, who also adopted the Ocean Festival, and look forward to next year’s event from 6 to 8 June 2025.”

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Those with a love for all things visual were treated to a live art creation by renowned local muralist, Giffy Duminy, sponsored by Apex Environmental. Throughout the festival, visitors got a rare viewing of Giffy in action, creating an ocean-inspired mural on Scottburgh Beach’s Nipper Clubhouse. Those who missed it can see his work there anytime!

Film lovers were also treated to an exclusive film screening at Premier Hotel Cutty Sark of X Trillion, a tale of 14 ladies who sailed the world to investigate the impact of microplastics in the ocean. Place of Thorns: The Story of Puerto Escondido also captivated audiences with the story of one of Mexico’s most famous surfing waves. Keeping it festive was the Live Music at Premier Hotel Cutty Sark with the crowds entertained with great performances by Tatum Holder and Gavin Welsh during this fun evening of cocktails and music.

Health and Wellness

A healthy ocean means a healthy world and this was celebrated on the mornings of 8 and 9 June with health and wellness sessions on the Scottburgh Main Beach Lawn. First was the Sunrise Yoga with Laura Koenig and Lauren Lewin which encouraged starting the day with meditation and mindfulness. Local Nia instructor and wellness expert, Liz Cunningham, then gave a Wellness Movement & Nia class infused with fun, laughter, and dance.

Ocean Education

Minds of all ages were inspired by a series of talks and workshops centred on ocean conservation. Umdoni Christian Academy schoolchildren listened to talks by marine biologists and ocean education facilitators from SAAMBR on about reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics. Widenham Retirement Village residents got to learn about migratory habits of turtles from scientist, Natalie dos Santos, while Dr Ryan Daly spoke on the secret lives of Zambezi sharks.


Dedicated community members and volunteers committed to cleaning the ocean through various clean-up initiatives. The Aliwal Shoal Reef Clean saw the team from Scubaco Diving and local diving operators clean up this Marine Protected Area, while a community beach clean-up saw more than 350kg of litter collected in total from Scottburgh beaches.

Ocean Sports

Sports enthusiasts were kept busy at Scottburgh Main Beach with the inaugural Ocean Carnival which showcased the skills of young lifesavers, while also being a fundraiser for the upcoming World Lifesaving Games in Australia. The Ocean Festival Surf Pro, won by Michael Venter in the Men’s Open and Nina Dirkze Van Schalkwyk in the Women’s Open, saw competitors enjoying the best right-hand point breaks on the KZN South Coast, while the Made for More Para Surf Session showed just what these inspirational athletes can do. The festival concluded with the epic Leatherback Rum Surfski Challenge which saw Luke Nisbet (Durban) and Brent Chiazzari (Salt Rock) in first place with the ladies’ race won by Saskia Hockly (uMdloti) and Christie Mackenzie (uMdloti).

If you missed this year’s epic event, don’t get caught out next year – 6 to 8 June 2025! Follow @theoceanfestival on Instagram and Facebook to keep updated on all ocean conservation happenings. Keep updated by visiting www.oceanfestival.global.

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