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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 28 September 2017

Team South Africa capped a miserable day 5 at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Japan, with only two of 12 members still in the event, both from Cape Town.

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STILL FIGHTING: Eli Beukes is one of only two Saffas left in the game. Photo ISA / Reed

Adin Masencamp (Strand) was the last person in the main event but was relegated to the repecharge rounds after his 4th in the 4th Round. He moves directly to Repecharge 6, where he has to come 1st or 2nd in five remaining heats before he can return to the main event, and that would be in the finals and an automatic podium finish.

Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) is the only other South African remaining. He is through to Round 5 of the Repecharge. USA has jumped into the lead with Team France, Australia, and Japan hot on their tails with three days remaining.

South Africa is currently in 11th position, just behind Portugal and New Zealand and narrowly ahead of Canada, who still have three surfers in contention, and Israel who like South Africa have two. The team’s hopes of a top 10 finish in the standings now depend on Masencamp and Beukes.

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TOP TURN: Kirsty McGillivray kept the SA U18 Girls alive for a while. Photo WSL / Reed

It was looking better for the team yesterday, with everyone progressing in every heat they contested, ending the day provisionally ranked 6th among the record 41 nations attending. That was until a frantic day of competition today, filled with dozens of 15 minute repecharge heats playing out in marginal knee to hip-high short period swell chopped up by strong cross-shore winds.

In the Girls U18 division, Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) was eliminated in Repecharge Round 2 but Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) won her heat and went on to finish runner-up in her Round 3 duel before being ousted in a hard-fought, low-scoring Round 4 clash.

Similarly in the U16 Girls, Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) slipped out of the event when she placed third in her Repercharge Round 3 heat while fellow debutant S'nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) secured the runner-up berth there and progressed to Round 4 where she slipped to fourth spot and out of the eve

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MAXED OUT: Small bumpy surf has plagued the event, but it's the same for all. Photo ISA / Reed

The U16 boys, Dellin Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay), Max Elkington (Kommetjie) and Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) all progressed to repercharge Round 4 before coming unstuck.

The provisional rankings show that the USA have only had one of their 12 team members eliminated. France and Australia have lost two members each and are neck and neck with hosts Japan, who can no longer count on additional team points from three members.

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