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Steyn and Slijpen

Steyn, Slijpen shine in California

Zoe Steyn and Luke Slijpen maintained their status in the main event stream on day five of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in California on Wednesday.

Steyn advanced to the last 12 in the U18 girls division with a convincing win over rivals from New Zealand, Hawaii and Brazil, while Slijpen finished runner-up behind Joh Azuchi from Japan – the 2017 ISA U16 boys champion – as the pair relegated opponents from Italy and Belgium to the U18 boys Repecharge rounds and moved into the last 16 in the main event stream themselves.

In the main event round three, Mitch du Preez in the U16 boys and Kayla Nogueira in the U16 girls placed third and fourth in their respective heats, and will continue their paths towards the end of the nine-day event through the cutthroat 15-minute Repecharge rounds.

Tayla de Coning was runner-up and Gabi Lailvaux won her heat as the pair progressed to round three of the U18 girls Repecharge stream, and Steyn and Ceara Knight both won their U16 girls Repecharge round two heats to remain in contention for higher honours.

Team SA lost a second team member from the event when Bryce du Preez was overtaken for the runner-up spot in his U18 boys Repecharge round three heat by Dor Bitton of Israel, and was eliminated in equal 49th place in the division.

Du Preez’s haul of 240 points saw Team SA move up one position to 10th spot among the 44 nations in the provisional team rankings. The hosts USA, along with Japan, Australia, France and Brazil have yet to have a team member eliminated and are provisionally ranked in equal first place after five days of competition.

They are followed by Hawaii, Portugal, Spain and Argentina, all of whom have lost one competitor while Germany, Peru, New Zealand and Tahiti fill out the top 14 on the rankings with each having three members sidelined.

Day six’s schedule includes main event round four for all four divisions on the main podium, and will feature Team SA’s Slijpen in the U18 boys heat four surf and Steyn in the U18 girls heat two surf. The second podium will run Repecharge stream heats.

Photo: Slijpen in action at Huntington Beach, supplied by ISA / Evans