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Cape Town’s Surfriders scoop the Freedom Cup

Surfriders

Cape Town Surfriders clinched the coveted Freedom Cup for the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the 2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS on Sunday.

The event was completed in excellent one-metre waves at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay.

The victory margin was the closest in the 21-year history of the trophy with the team from Cape Town reclaiming the cup they won in 2015 by scoring just 63 points more than their arch rivals from eThekweni. The Capetonians also claimed two of the eight individual national titles at stake and provided five of the 32 finalists, earning a total of 42,840 points.

eThekweni (42,777) finished runners-up with hosts and defending team champions Nelson Mandela Bay (41,792) in third place and Buffalo City (40,277) in fourth. They were followed in the team standings by Cape Winelands, Ugu, Eden, debutants Ilembe and the SA Development Academy.

The 2017 edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for incredible waves across all five days with sunshine, whale sightings, great memories and after an excellent final day a new set of champions will have their names inscribed in the annals of South Africa surfing history.

Ford van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) was consistent throughout the U18 boys’ division, winning every heat he contested. He was elated to improve on his runner-up position in the U17 boys’ division at SA champs last year by claiming the premier boys’ title this year.

Nelson Mandela Bay surfer Joshe Faulkner was relegated to second place by a mere 0.21 of a point leaving Koby Oberholzer (eThekweni) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth places respectively.

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 U18 girls final. 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 U16 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 U16 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.

The U14 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 U14 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 U12 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 U12 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).

‘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.

Picture of the victorious Cape Town Surfriders courtesy of Billabong/McGregor

Results

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

U18 Boys
1 Ford van Jaarsveldt 13.90  CTS
2 Joshe Faulkner 13.70 NMBS
3 Koby Oberholzer 12.16  ETK
4 Adin Masencamp 12.04  CW

U18 Girls
1 Kirsty McGillivray 12.00 NMBS
2 Nina Harmse 9.83 Eden
3 Natasha van Greunen 7.83 CW
4 Sarah Ingram 4.13 CW

U16 Boys    
1 Eli Beukes 16.90 CTS
2 Aya Gericke 14.37 Eden
3 Saxton Randall 10.17 ETK
4 Angelo Faulkner 9.16 NMBS

U16 Girls     
1 Kai Woolf 14.17 NMBS
2 S’nenhlanhla Makhubu 11.83 ETK
3 Tayla de Coning 11.23 BC
4 Summer Sutton 9.20 CTS

U14 Boys    
1 Mitch du Preez 16.44 BC
2 Daniel Emslie 14.90 BC
3 Luke Thompson 11.67 ETK
4 Kye Macgregor 7.27 NMBS

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

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

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


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