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Interviews: Juniors Depart for Nicaragua – A Word From The Captain – Dylan Lightfoot

by zigzag / posted: 27 May, 2013
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There’s been a lot to cheer about as a SA surf fan over the past few months. Two individual Gold Medals at the ISA World Masters, an ISA World Champion in Shaun Joubert and Team Gold at the ISA World Surfing Games, plus of course, Jordy’s been banging it on the Dream Tour.

So, with that in mind, it’s with great expectation that the patriotic surf fans of South Africa wish their Junior team all the best as they depart for Nicaragua for the 2013 ISA World Junior Surfing Games. They leave later this week to get their feet in the black sand of Playa Jiquiliste, the contest venue.

Coaching the team on their travels will be Graham Hynes, who needs no introduction, as well as being backed-up by 1978 ISA World Champion Ant Brodowicz, so the team will be ably led. It’s a talented squad consisting of:

squad

UNDER 18 BOYS:
Dylan Lightfoot (captain)
Diran Zakarian
Benji Brand
Josh Smit

UNDER 18 GIRLS:
Nicole Pallet
Gina Smith

UNDER 16 BOYS:
Steffen Burrows
Jordy Maree
Matt Mcgillivray
Shane Sykes

UNDER 16 GIRLS:
Chanelle Botha
Anoush Zakarian

Just as Shaun Joubert put on a captain’s performance to clinch Team Gold for the SA Team in Panama, so to will junior team captain Dylan Lightfoot look to lead by example. We chatted to the in-form J-Bay shredder to hear his thoughts before the team’s departure.

Dylan, carving to the final of the recent Quiksilver Pro Junior at New Pier.

Dylan, carving to the final of the recent Quiksilver Pro Junior at New Pier.

ZIGZAG: Howzit Dylan, you must be excited! Have you been to Nicaragua before? What are your expectations?
DYLAN: I personally haven’t been before, but Benji (Brand) has, and he sent the team manager Johnny Bakker an email explaining the break, and I was lucky enough to be at their house when he received the mail. From the sounds of things it is a very punchy, hollow beach break with barrelling lefts and rights, which sounds awesome.

With the SA Masters team securing two individual gold medals, and the SA Team scooping team gold at the ISA World Surfing Games (and Jordy winning on the ASP World Tour), is the junior team feeling added pressure to perform?
Most definitely the pressure is on, but at the same time it shows us that we can beat the likes of the big surfing countries like Australia and America, which can also be seen as a confidence booster.

It’s a pretty solid squad of junior surfers, do you reckon there’s enough talent to win yet more gold for SA?
Definitely! Without a doubt the trick is to have fun, keep moral high and to make sure the team stays in the main round for as long as possible.

If there’s one team you really want to beat, which would that be?
Australia!

Dylan and Graham Hynes (right of photo) along with Team Manager Johnny Bakker, and team members Matt Mcgillivray and Gina Smith.

Dylan and Graham Hynes (right of photo) along with Team Manager Johnny Bakker, and surfers Matt Mcgillivray and Gina Smith.

Personally, you’ve had a solid season competing in the local Junior events, either making the final or winning every one that you’ve entered. What’s the secret to your consistency?
The first part of the contest season has been a solid one for me making five finals in total. I have spent the last four years on a regimented training program consisting of gym, yoga and surf training with coach Graham Hynes, so I suppose it’s starting to pay off now.

Etienne Venter did an amazing job with the SA Surfing Team at World Games, and you’ll have the guidance of Hynsie for this competition. Guess you’re feeling pretty confident having the backing and knowledge of guys like that on your side?
I don’t think there are two other people in this world that have the amount of knowledge and experience when combined together, so to have Hynsie as Head Coach gives the team a lot of confidence.

Being team captain, you speak for the rest of the crew. Any words you have for the Saffa surf fans before you guys depart?
It is an honor for us to represent our country and we all know what lies ahead. It will not be easy to get a win, but we are a motivated, enthusiastic team and will give it 200%. Also, it truly helps with the drive to get messages from our SA surf fans back home, so keep the messages of support coming. Shot.

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The contest will be webcast live via www.isawjsc.com and kicks off 8 June.

Here’s a teaser of what’s in store:

Check out the official press release below.

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NICARAGUA TO HOST THE 2013 DAKINE ISA WORLD JUNIOR SURFING CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY BILLABONG

Over 300 of the World’s Best Junior Surfers from 34 Countries will Gather in Playa Jiquiliste to Compete for Gold Medals and the ISA World Junior Team Champion Trophy:

The 2013 DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Presented by Billabong will be held at the world-class beach break in Playa Jiquiliste, Nicaragua from June 8-16.

The 2013 DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Presented by Billabong will be held at the world-class beach break in Playa Jiquiliste, Nicaragua from June 8-16.

DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Presented by Billabong
Date: June 8-16
Location: Playa Jiquiliste, Nicaragua

La Jolla, California, May 25, 2013 - The International Surfing Association (ISA) is excited to announce the ISA will be returning to Nicaragua for the second year in a row for the 2013 DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC) Presented by Billabong from June 8-16.

Nicaragua last hosted the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship in Playa Colorado in 2012.

The most important Junior event in the world has the full support of Nicaragua’s President, Daniel Ortega, and the country’s Minister of Tourism, Mayra Salinas Uriarte.

34 Nations and over 300 of the World’s best Junior surfers (under 18 and under 16 boys and girls) will gather at the world-class beach break in Playa Jiquiliste, Nicaragua, to compete for the ISA World Junior Team Champion Trophy and individual Gold Medals.

“Nicaragua hosted one of the best and most exciting ISA World Championships ever last year and I can’t be happier to return to this beautiful country and its excellent waves,” remarked ISA President Fernando Aguerre. “Thanks to the support of Nicaragua’s President Ortega, the Institute of Tourism, DAKINE, Billabong, and the country’s welcoming and warm-hearted people, this will be an incredible event. The world’s best junior surfers are guaranteed to put on a great show.”

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with hundreds of miles of coastline filled with perfect warm-water waves and favorable offshore wind conditions year round.  Photo: ISA/ Rommel Gonzales

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with hundreds of miles of coastline filled with perfect warm-water waves and favorable offshore wind conditions year round. Photo: ISA/ Rommel Gonzales

The ISA WJSC brings together the top Junior surfers in the world. The defending champions from the 2012 ISA World Juniors are Brazil’s Matheus Navarro, (Gold Medalist, Boys under-18), Hawaii’s Dax McGill, (Gold Medalist, Girls under-18), Hawaii’s Kalani David, (Gold Medalist, Boys under-16), and Team Hawaii, the overall ISA World Junior Team Champion.

The 2013 ISA WJSC will include the Boys under-18, Girls under-18, Boys under-16, and for the first time ever, Girls under-16, which the ISA has added as the number of participants in this age group continues to explode globally. Each division will produce individual Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper Medalists that will play a crucial role in the overall team standings.

To watch the official event promo, visit the official event website www.isawjsc.com, where you will soon find photos, videos and the live webcast beginning on Saturday, June 8 with the Opening Ceremony. Competition begins on Sunday, June 9, and the Finals and Closing Ceremony will be Sunday, June 16.

You can also watch the live webcast on the following media outlets:
www.surfline.com
www.surfersvillage.com
www.waves.com.br
www.surf.transworld.net
www.theinertia.com
www.zigzag.co.za
www.surfosmagazine.com