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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 9 October 2017

Cape Town ruled at the 2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS that ended yesterday in clean 3-4' waves at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay.

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AROUND THE HOUSE: Winner of the U18 Boys Ford van Jaarsveld. Photo Kody McGregor

But it wasn't all plain sailing for Cape Town Surfriders when they clinched the Freedom Cup for accumulating the highest points across all divisions. The victory margin was the closest in the 21 history of the trophy. Surfriders were just 63 points ahead of arch-rivals from eThekweni in their 42,840 points. Runners up eThekweni were desparately close, on 42,777.

The Capetonians, who reclaimed the cup they won in 2015, won two of the eight individual national titles and provided five of the 32 finalists. Hosts and defending team champions Nelson Mandela Bay (41,792) took third place, and Buffalo City (40,277) placed fourth. They were followed by Cape Winelands, Ugu, Eden, debutants Ilembe and the SA Development Academy.

The 2017 edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for great waves, sunshine, whales sightings, and an excellent final day. U18 title winner Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) won every heat he contested to improve on his runner up position in the u/17 boys last year. Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) added another SA title to her name with her powerful and precise surfing, capturing the crown in the dying seconds of the u/18 girls final.

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KIRSTY CUTTIE: Winner of the U18 Girls Kirsty McGillivray. Photo Kody McGregor

Nelson Mandela Bay surfer Joshe Faulkner was relegated to second place in the U18 boys by just 0.21 points, with Koby Oberholzer (eThekweni) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth places respectively. In the U18 girls, Nina Harmse (Eden) maintained her runner-up berth from last year while goofy foot Natasha Van Greunen (Cape Winelands) finished third above her teammate Sarah Ingram in a heat with few waves.

After a heat total of 19.47 in his semi final earlier in the day, Eli Beukes had unshakeable confidence in the u/16 boys final, sealing his title with a big air-reverse on his last wave. Aya Gericke (Eden) read the waves beautifully for a second place finish above Saxton Randall (eThekweni). After a rocky start Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) went for broke with a huge aerial manoeuvre but was unable to stick the landing and had to settle for fourth place.

The talented u/16 girls had a slow final but Nelson Mandela Bay surfer and J-Bay local Kai Woolf knew just the right waves to pick to claim another SA title with her ferocious backhand attack. Runner-up S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (eThekweni) was a good match for Woolf on her backhand and held the highest single score in the final, an 8.5, but struggled to find a heat winning back up ride. Tayla De Coning (Buffalo City) was narrowly bumped to third place with Summer Sutton (Cape Town Surfriders) finishing fourth.

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LOWER LINES: Not many events can boast five straight days of waves. Photo Kody McGregor

The u/14 boys were blowing up throughout the contest but in the end it was Buffalo City’s Mitch Du Preez who claimed his first SA title with a total of 16.44, despite only surfing three waves in the 20 minute final. Teammate Daniel Emslie finished close behind in second place ahead of Luke Thompson (eThekweni) and Kye Macgregor (Nelson Mandela Bay).

Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) had a fantastic final in the u/14 girls, dominating proceedings and winning with a 16.33 heat total. Katie Winter (Cape Town Surfriders) finished in second place leaving Lhea Johnston (Buffalo City) and Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth place respectively.

The u/12 groms were a pleasure to watch as they fearlessly charged the overhead waves. In the girls final Gabbi Herbst (eThekweni) held the lead with a series of great scores while Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) earned a well warranted second place in her first SA champs. In third was Nelson Mandela Bay rider Zia Hendricks and in fourth was Maya Figl (Cape Winelands).

The charismatic Kyra Bennie (Cape Winelands) was chaired from the water’s edge to the podium by his teammates after taking out the u/12 boys’ title. Nate Colby (eThekweni), who on Saturday scored the only perfect ten-point ride of the contest, finished runner-up while Ethan Currin (Buffalo City) edged into third place ahead of River Gericke (Eden)

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RUNNERS UP: Joshe Faulkner was a fraction of a point behind Van Jaarsveld. Photo Kody McGregor

“This event has been amazing with awesome waves every day here at Lower Point!” enthused Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager, Chad Darcy. “The surfing standard has been really high – the groms have been blowing up and it’s great to see some new faces claim the titles. From Billabong’s point of view we are really stoked, it’s a great way to end the 2017 contest season.”

There were a number of specialty awards at stake with newly crowned SA U16 boys’ champ Eli Beukes (Cape Town Surfriders) claiming both the BOS Highest Heat Score and the VonZipper Airshow prizes. The Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys went to Nate Colby (eThekweni) and for Girls to Caroline Brown (Cape Town Surfriders). The Skull Candy Loud & Proud trophy for the team displaying the best spirit throughout the five-day event went to the enthusiastic team from Ugu on the KZN South Coast.

Freedom Cup
 1st Cape Town Surfriders 42,840
2nd eThekweni 42,777
3rd Nelson Mandela Bay 41,792
4th Buffalo City 40,277
5th Cape Winelands 37,679
6th Ugu 28,052
7th Eden 25,969
8th Ilembe 15,220
9th SA Development Academy 13,022

U/18 Boys
 1st Ford van Jaarsveldt 13.90 CTS
2nd Joshe Faulkner 13.70 NMBS
3rd Koby Oberholzer 12.16 ETK
4th Adin Masencamp 12.04 CW

U/18 Girls
 1st Kirsty McGillivray 12.00 NMBS
2nd Nina Harmse 9.83 Eden
3rd Natasha van Greunen 7.83 CW
4th Sarah Ingram 4.13 CW

U/16 Boys
1st Eli Beukes 16.90 CTS
2nd Aya Gericke 14.37 Eden
3rd Saxton Randall 10.17 ETK
4th Angelo Faulkner 9.16 NMBS

U/16 Girls
1st Kai Woolf 14.17 NMBS
2nd S'nenhlanhla Makhubu 11.83 ETK
3rd Tayla de Coning 11.23 BC
4th Summer Sutton 9.20 CTS

U/14 Boys
1st Mitch du Preez 16.44 BC
2nd Daniel Emslie 14.90 BC
3rd Luke Thompson 11.67 ETK
4th Kye Macgregor 7.27 NMBS

U14 Girls
1st Zoe Steyn 16.33 BC
2nd Katie Winter 11.67 CTS
3rd Lhea Johnston 9.13 BC
4th Ceara Knight 7.56 CW

U12 Boys
1st Kyra Bennie 14.5 CW
2nd Nate Colby 12.67 ETK
3rd Ethan Currin 11.90 BC
4th River Gericke 10.33 EDEN

U12 Girls
1st Gabbi Herbst 16.16 ETK
2nd Scarlette van Jaarsveldt 12.87 CTS
3rd Zia Hendricks 11.36 DEV
4th Maya Figl 8.34 CW

BOS Highest Heat Score
Eli Beukes (CTS)

VonZipper Airshow - R2 000
Eli Beukes (CTS)

Wazoogles Surfer of the Event - Boys
Nate Colby (ETK)

Wazoogles Surfer of the Event – Girls
Caroline Brown (CTS)

Skull Candy Loud & Proud Trophy (Team Spirit)
Ugu District Team

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