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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
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Tue, 26 September 2017

Things are slipping for Team SA in Japan, with only Adin Masencamp (Strand) in the main event out of 12 South Africans competing at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.


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FLYING SOLO: Adin Masencamp is the only South African still in the main event. Photo ISA / Evans


At the start of Day 3 in the early hours today ZA time, Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) were looking good, having moved into Round 2 of the U18 and U16 Girls respectively. Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) of the U16 boys was also still in the game.

However, in crumbly 2' bumps and onshore breezes at Okuragahama Beach this morning, all were relegated to the repecharge rounds, where they face elimination if they finish outside the top two in any heat. Everyone in the team, barring Masencamp, face the same fate. They will have to fight hard.

Earlier, lone survivor Masencamp tied his U18 Boys Round 2 heat with winner Bouaouda Aboubakr (MAR) on 14,50 points - the highest score by a South African so far. He has scored it twice. He won his Round 1 heat with it. He is now the only South Africa to reach Round 3. Slim pickings.

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SPRINGS ETERNAL: Team SA leaders filled with hope at the opening ceremony. Photo WSL / Evans


McGillivray joins Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) in U18 Repecharge 2. They face a gruelling seven rounds of elimination before two survivors join two from the main event in the finals. Makhubu joins Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) in the corresponding heat of the U16 girls Repecharge. Slijpen joins Eli Beukes and Max Elkington (both Kommetjie) and Dillen Hendriks (Jeffreys Bay) in the U16 Boys Repecharge.

The U16 and U18 girls opened their campaigns at the World Champs yesterday. McGillivray posted two six point rides in a tussle with New Zealander Raiha Ensor, but settled for second and a berth in Round 2, where she came unstuck with the lowest score of the heat: 3,34. Makhubu got through her U16 Round 1 heat ahead of opponents from Guam and the Channel Islands but behind heat winner Saffi Vette, another New Zealander. However, Makhubu also fell in Round 2 with a lowest heat score of 4,70. Slijpen suffered the same fate, a fourth in his Boys U16 Round 2 heat with a 9,17 score.

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LEMON TWIST: When life gives you ... you have to turn it into juice. Photo ISA / Reed


All other six South Africans in action yesterday were relegated to the Repecharge rounds, with only Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) able to muster a double figure heat total (12.57).

In the U18 boys Main Round 2, experienced international campaigner Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) recorded two three point rides to finish fourth behind Japan’s Hirowa Miwa, who only needed one of his waves to advance. He scores were 7.33 and 8.03. Ethan Fletcher’s (Kommetjie) 7.47 heat total left him in 4th and 6.50 points shy of advancing in from Round 2. Oberholzer’s total was only good enough for third place in his clash.

In the U16 boys Main Round 2, Hendricks inexplicably suffered the same fate, with a 6.73 total score and third, when first and second places scored over 13 points.

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BIG STAGE: Team SA must fight their way through the repecharge. Photo ISA / Evans


The 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship runs until Sunday 1 October when the top four in each individual division, plus the top four national teams will be awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper medals.

The South African Junior team is supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa. Sea Harvest has also provided support to South African junior surfing. Flights were arranged by All Aboard Travel.

Surfing South Africa is the National Governing body for the sport in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Commission and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

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