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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
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Fri, 30 June 2017

Samuel Pupo of Brazil and Zoe McDougall of Hawaii (again!) surfed to victory in the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel in Ballito yesterday.


IMG 6365Billabong_Ballito_Pro_2017Ryan_Janssens

DAWN PATROL: The light of the rising sun transforms this move. Photo WSL / Janssens


The two claimed premier their respective men's and women's WSL JQS1,000 rated titles, the opening event in the 13-day Ballito Pro Surf Festival. The event featured the country’s best 18-and-under surfers with a contingent of international competitors as they battled for trophies, prize money and points on the JQS and SA Surf Tour (SAST) rankings lists.

Pupo, 17, was the standout performer throughout, demonstrating an outstanding ability to defy gravity. His toughest test took place in the final against former South African U16 champion Ethan Fletcher of Kommetjie, who took the lead halfway through the 25 minute heat with a ride the length of Willard Beach that earned 7.83. But with an excellent 8.67 for a huge air-reverse, the Brazilian needed just 5.80 for victory and posted a 6.30 at the five minute mark.

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WINNERS: Pupo and McDougall celebrate their win. Photo WSL / Janssens


“I’ve been trying airs my whole life so now I’m doing them in heats and I can get a nine, or I can get a two, but it worked for me in this final. This win for me is so important as I’ve been in a couple of Junior finals but I’ve never had a win.”

The women’s final was an all international encounter between McDougall and Pacha Luque-Light of Australia that see-sawed back and forth with the lead changing hands after virtually every ride.

McDougall, winner of the corresponding event last year and four more JQS and QS events in South Africa this year said: "The points in this event only count for the South Africans so I was just trying to learn more about the break. It’s pretty tricky and has changed quite a bit since last year, so I’m just trying to spend as much time as possible in the water as a warm up for the QS1,000 event on the weekend where the points count on the world rankings.”

Luque-Light was elated to reach the final and the ebullient No. 17 on the Australian junior women rankings has had a great time in the month she has spent competing in four events in South Africa.

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LIGHT SABRE: Shafts of sun bring a cosmic sheen to the surfer below. Photo WSL / Janssens


"It’s been an amazing month here in South Africa, meeting new people and surfing so many new breaks that are going to the venues for the QS and Junior events for the next couple of years. It’s been awesome.”

The SA Surf Tour events for U16, U14 and U12 boys and girls produced some epic duels with Mitch du Preez (East London) delivering an astounding performance in the U14 boys final, posting the only perfect 10 point ride of the entire event and backing that up with an 8.50 for a tally of 18.50 out of 20.

The U16 boys final saw Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) win over Saxton Randall (Durban), Angelo Faulkner and York van Jaarsveldt.

Kayla Noguera (uMhlanga) racked up another title with a last minute ride that earned a 9.0 to overtake Tayla de Coning (East London) who had led the U16 girls final from the outset. S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) hung onto third place, narrowly ahead of Summer Sutton (Kommetjie).

Du Preez left his three opponents all needing to replace their top two scoring rides in the U14 boys, with fellow East Londoner Daniel Emslie, last year’s U12 champ, coming the closest followed by Nate Spalding (Durban) and newcomer Jordan Boshoff (St Michaels on Sea).

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ZOE FIVE: Zoe McDougall on her way to a fifth win in South Africa. Photo WSL / Janssens


Ceara Knight (Cape Town) and Zoe Steyn (East London) were the contenders during the U14 girl’s final, with the Capetonian getting the nod as the pair relegated Lhea Johnston (East London) and Caroline Brown (Cape Town) to third and fourth spots respectively.

The U12 boys, the youngest competitors in the series, delivered an exciting final in what were double-overhead waves for most of them. Kyra Bennie (Vredehoek) showed tremendous courage and commitment to clinch the title with an excellent heat total of 15.17. Kai Hall (Durban) charged the biggest waves to grab second place ahead of C Jay Posthumus (Port Elizabeth) and Ben Ribbink (Durban).

Full results from the WSL U18 events can be found at www.worldsurfleague.com. The U16, U14 and U12 results are available at www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za.

The Billabong Junior Series is supported by All Aboard Travel, BOS, VonZipper and Zigzag.

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PUPO POWER: He spend more time in the air than a seagull. Photo WSL / Janssens


U/18 Men
11 Samuel Pupo (BRA) R8 000
2 Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) R4 000
=3 Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) R2 500
=3 Adin Masencamp (Strand) R2 500

U/18 Women
1 Zoe McDougall (HAW) R4 000
2 Pacha Luque-Light (AUS) R2 000
=3 S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) R1 000
=3 Zoe Steyn (East London) R1 000

U/16 Boys
H1 Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay) R2 000
2 Saxton Randall (Durban) R900
3 Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) R600
4 York Van Jaarsveld (Kommetjie) R500

U/16 Girls
1 Kayla Nogueira (Durban) R2 000
2 Tayla de Coning (East London) R900
3 S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) R600
4 Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) R500

U/14 Boys
1 Mitch du Preez (East London) R2 000
2 Daniel Emslie (East London) R900
3 Nate Spalding (Durban) R600
4 Jordan Boshoff (St Michaels on Sea) R500

U/14 Girls
1 Ceara Knight (Cape Town) R2 000
2 Zoe Steyn (East London) R900
3 Lhea Johnston (East London) R600
4 Caroline Brown (Cape Town)R500

U/12 Boys
1 Kyra Bennie (Vredehoek) R1 000
2 Kai Hall (Durban) R450
3 C Jay Posthumus (Port Elizabeth) R300
4 Ben Ribbink (Durban North) R250

VonZipper Expression Session - R2 000
Calvin Goor (Salt Rock)

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