The Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS continued to prove its wave-magnet status as the Lower Point at Jeffreys Bay continued to produce epic surf on Friday’s third day as the country’s top 18-and-under surfers revelling in the long rides while battling for national titles and invaluable team points.
It was an early start for Round 3 of the U16 boys and Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) wasted no time in dropping an excellent score on his way to the quarter-finals. Cape Town Surfriders Eli Beukes and Max Elkington once again proved that J-Bay suits their stylish and powerful surfing by finishing their heats with 17-point totals.
‘I had a really fun heat in great waves and was stoked to get a quick start and that nine-point ride,’ said Elkington. ‘We have a lot of new people on our team so I’m interested to see how we do. I feel like I’ve gained valuable contest experience from the ISA World Juniors in Japan last week and the rest of the forecast this week is looking really good.’
The U14 boys Round 3 were next to surf and eThekweni team members Luke Thompson, James Ribbink and Nate Spalding all found places in the quarter-finals, where they were joined by Mitch Du Preez (Buffalo City) who surfed with maturity far beyond his age.
The extremely competitive U18 boys Round 3 was exciting to watch as Luke Malherbe (Buffalo City) and Koby Obelholzer (eThekweni) put on electric performances in their encounters.
Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) used his carving rail game to collect a series of high scores and earn a comfortable heat win as he eyes a second successive title after winning the U17 boys crown last year.
The first round of the U12 girls paddled out and charged at what for them were overhead waves with plenty of style. Lisa Van Heerden (Nelson Mandela Bay) racked up a really impressive 18.10 heat total with her smooth surfing while her teammate Zia Hendricks was another standout.
Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) is showing the same talent as her brothers Ford and York have displayed as she too made it to the semi-finals of her division.
The repechage rounds for those who did not finish in the top two in their opening heats started with theU16 girls. Kelly Fenton from host district Nelson Mandela Bay drew clean lines on the open wave faces and progressed to the quarter-finals along with Rentia Tromp (Cape Winelands), Claire Haskins (Ugu) and Hannah Moerdyk (Buffalo City).
The U18 girls were amped to have their turn in the pumping surf with Caitlin October (Cape Town Surfriders) and Carla Van Wyk (Buffalo City) the first to advance to the quarters with finesse. Nelson Mandela Bay girls Zoe Smith and Kelly Medley then dominated the next heat and will be action again on Saturday.
The day’s action again finished off with the U12 boys where Joel Fowles (Buffalo City) and Ben Ribbink (eThekweni) navigated the high tide to advance to the quarter-finals along with Ntokozo Maphumulo (SA Development Academy Team) and Josh van Wyk (Cape Town Surfriders).
More swell and light winds are forecast for Jeffreys Bay over the weekend as the country’s top juniors compete for individual titles in U12, U14, U16 and U18 boys and girls divisions, while earning points towards the coveted Freedom Cup that goes to the district whose team accumulate the highest total.
There are also a number of specialty awards at stake including the BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow and the Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys and Girls, while the team displaying the best spirit throughout the five-day event receives the prized Loud & Proud trophy.
As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.
Picture of Masencamp courtesy of Billabong/Thurtell