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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Sun, 1 October 2017

Organisers took advantage of cooking 3-4' waves yesterday at the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel to complete the semi-finals in seven divisions.

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FORD RANGER: Ford van Jaarsveld cuts off the top at Seal Point yesterday. Photo Ian Thurtell

The country’s best junior surfers revelled in the long glassy waves at Seal Point in Cape St Francis, posting numerous scores in the excellent range (8 or more out of 10) as they chased prestige, prize-money, points and series titles in the fourth and final event in the world’s longest running junior surfing series.

The World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 rated event for U18 boys saw current runaway rankings leader Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) eliminated in Round 2 by Luke Malherbe (East London ) and Calvin Goor (Salt Rock), who advanced to the man-on-man semi-finals. Goor’s near perfect 9.0 plus a 5.0 gave him victory over Malherbe and the Dolphin Coast surfer advanced to his second final of 2017.

Woolf will be up against Taghiti Gericke (Wilderness) who outpointed rising star Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) in their semi-final encounter on her way to a career first one-on-one JQS final.

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MITCH MADE: Mitch du Preez put his backhand to good use yesterday. Photo Thurtell

The JQS women’s event followed suit with former Jeffreys Bay star Kai Woolf, now surfing under the New Zealand flag, showing superior manoeuvres and heat strategy to earn scores of 9.0 and 7.67 to ease into the final at the expense of Tayla de Coning (East London).

In the 3A rated SA Surf Tour (SAST) events, Woolf, de Coning and Sutton, along with Olivia Izzard (La Lucia), will also contest the four person U16 girls’ final, while Angelo Faulkner and fellow Jeffreys Bay resident Ryan Lightfoot, Tide Lee Ireland (Durban) and French surfer George Pittar will battle for honours in the U16 boys’ final.

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ZOOT ZOE: Zoe Steyn into the finals of the U16 girls. Photo Thurtell

The final four in the highly competitive U14 boys’ division include Durbanites Luke Thompson and Nate Spalding who will take on Daniel Emslie and Mitch du Preez, two of the promising crop of young talents currently emerging from East London.

The U16 girls’ final will feature Caroline Brown, Zoe Steyn, Lhea Johnston and Jesse Powell while the U12 boys will be a hard fought affair as previously unbeaten Kyra Bennie (Vredehoek) seeks revenge over young Brazilian Ryan Kainalo, who defeated him in their semi-final. The pair can expect stiff opposition from Kai Hall (Durban) and Nathan Plomaritis (Port Elizabeth).

With the swell predicted to drop during the day and onshore winds forecast to increase, organisers will be keen to complete the finals as early as possible. There is also an exciting VonZipper Airshow that rewards the surfer landing the best aerial manoeuvre with a winner-takes-all R2,000 prize purse.


FULL STOPPING: James Ribbink plays pivot on a Seals lip. Photo Kody McGregor

The Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel runs until Sunday when all the event and series champions will crowned at the awards ceremony on the beach. The U18 boys’ and girls’ series champions have the added incentive of winning a coveted trip to the tropical surfing paradise of Bali thanks to All Aboard Travel, while the exciting VonZipper Airshow rewards the Surfer landing the best aerial manoeuvre with a winner-takes-all R2,000 prize purse. The Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Zigzag, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Billabong Web
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens
Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

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