U12 Girls – Watch This Space
It always surprises us how quickly young kids take to surfing. Right now, you’re reading this, and you’ve probably never landed an air-reverse or completed a proper fins-free off-the-lip, and how long you been surfing for? 10 years!? Well, I’ve got news for you, these U12 girls are hot on your heels! Anastasia Venter and eventual winner, Sarah Scott remained standouts throughout the U12 girl’s division, taking on surf often double overhead, and laying down some mean carves! Keep an eye on those two names, because they’re going to be around town for many years to come!
U12 Boys – The Flair Brigade
If you read yesterday’s write-up, you would’ve noticed the sub-heading we gave the U12 boys section of the writeup; Anti-Atychiphobia, the absence of a ‘fear of failure’ and with a lack of atychiphobia comes the ability to display some serious flair. The U12 boys must be termed the ‘Flair Brigade’cause they’re constantly sending it! Their simplistic understanding of competition allows them the freedom to not overthink situations and rely more on instinct, which makes for entertaining viewing. Watching the U12 boys surf is like watching a comedy show with four comedians all fighting for their chance in the spotlight. Their chance to entertain and bewilder the crowd. Scratching, kicking and hustling for priority all the way up the Point, only to unleash a fury of fins-free manoeuvres back down.
One must, however, commend eventual winner, Nate Colby. Most of the kids in the U12 final can do the moves, but they struggle to link major manoeuvres with flow and drive. Not Nate, Nate’s got the moves, and those moves come jam-packed with drive, speed, and flow.
Nate’s stepped ahead of the pack, he combo’ed the field with a 15.34 heat score total in the final leaving everyone else needing two scores to take the lead, he’s set the standard, and it’s up to the rest of the boys to step it up and reel him in.
U14 Girls – Aimee Did It!
The most improved SA Champ award must go to Aimee Du Preez. From the moment this contest began, Aimee looked like a hungry lion for the win. Like a hungry lion patrolling the long grasses of the Savannah in search of a stray antelope to devour. And that’s the intent with which Aimee approached her heats. She knew what she wanted from the start.
Like her brothers Bryce and Mitch, Aimee’s got a superb work ethic, constantly applying herself in order to improve her craft, sharpen her blade, and all that hard work, that surfing in shitty onshore waves, in small howling offshore waves, all those days surfing when nobody else wanted to, when everyone else was Netflix’ing ‘Stranger Things’ under warm duvets and chilling up a storm, all those days paid off today. Aimee Du Preez is your new U14 girls SA Champion.
U14 Boys – The Luke and Dan Show
Dan and Luke run the U14 boys division. They’ve stepped out ahead of the pack and set a standard of surfing to live by and to win by. They’re U14 right now and their rivalry’s only beginning. Their competitiveness reminds one of a rivalry which took place between two other SA surfers many years prior, the Shaun Gossman and Royden Bryson rivalry. Ironically Shaun was from KZN and Royden from Slum Town. Anyway, Roy and Gozzy (as he was affectionately known) battled each other for many years throughout their junior careers. And the rivalry proved highly beneficial for both surfers who constantly pushed each other’s levels in competition.
In Dans, round 3 heat he landed two lofty tail high air reverses, and he landed them with confidence. Dan surfs with passion and flare, he moves from one major manoeuvre to the next and loves nothing more to set them fins free. Ironically Luke has a fairly contrasting style to Dan. He surfs like a gangster rapper with the impeccable flow, linking one big lyrical hook with the next.
World class surfers have a certain intimate relationship with the ocean, they see things ordinary surfers don’t and thus they’re able to draw superior lines and maintain speed through turns. It’s safe to say Dan and Luke have that sort of relationship with the ocean. It’s also safe to say they’ll be battling each other for many years to come. Well done to Luke who is your new U14 boys champion and Dan who placed second.
U16 Girls – A Close Debate
Zoe Steyn has a stranglehold on her U16 girl’s division at the moment. She cruises to heat wins, barely breaking a sweat. But today conditions were difficult, the onshore which had been threatening all morning had hit a midday gust and the tide was at it’s fullest, rendering Lower Point a flat, bumpy Mediterranean Sea like mess. Not exactly the way we envisioned crowning an SA champion, but the show must go on. And so it did. Kayla Nogueira posted two solid scores early on in the heat. She used her solid backhand whip to put all the girls on the back foot and needing a score. But Zoe wouldn’t let it end like that, and in the dying minutes of a dying swell she scratched into a smaller wave and used that well-refined backhand attack to post a flat 7.00. It was the first heat of the event that Zoe was unable to find an excellent score, but here competitive savvy came to the fore and she hustled up a score in a less than ideal situation, and that’s what champions do, they make it happen when it seems implausible.
U16 Boys – The Tides Have Changed
Who would’ve thought Tide Lee Ireland has never been an SA Champion before!? Today Tide enjoyed the sweet taste of two firsts, he made his first SA Junior Champs final, and he was crowned SA Champion for the first time. Tide’s been ‘round town for a long time, he’s always been on the scene and his surfing’s constantly showed hints of brilliance. His style is classic, Luke Egan-esque approach with a low lying back knee and a whippy backhand off-the-top, and today all those hints of brilliance came together for a contest win. And probably his best contest win to date. Well done Tide.
U18 Girls – Nobody Beats Kai at Lower Point
Nobody knows Lower Point like Kai Woolf. She’s seen Lower Point in all its different moods. Firing. Kak. Onshore. Sideshore. Windless. Small. Big. Sharky. Fishy. Dolphinny. If there’s a Lower Point mood, Kai’s seen it. Today Lower Point was in a foul mood, and when Lower Point is in a foul mood; high tide, onshore and small swell, one must be very circumspect, particularly about where you sit and what waves you choose. But Kai read the tricky Point conditions like an English language lecturer reading a children’s book. She bagged a 6.00 point ride before most people had realised the heat had begun and she backed it up with a cheeky 5.17. The other girls in the heat struggled to break the five mark, and before we knew it, Kai had won herself another SA Champion title. That backhand whip is so solid, you could use it as a foundation to build a tower into the stratosphere.
U18 Boys – Max is Back!
I remember roughly five years ago this same time. Max was a tiny little bar-fridge sized grom, an endless well of energy, running up and down the Point surfing 33 hours a day. Max came second at SA Champs that year in 2014, his backhand attack was powerful and well beyond its years. He then won SA Champs in 2015 surfing U15 and again in 2016 surfing U15. Since then, Max has elongated, no longer a bar fridge sized grom, he has turned into a tall, elegant, handsome giraffe-like figure. And that sudden elastic band stretch-out affected his surfing negatively. A common symptom that affects many surfers who experience sudden elongation. Max has since gotten used to his giraffe-like disposition and won his first contest in about year and a half last weekend at Seals, and his second contest today. It’s, therefore, safe to assume that Max is back! And we’re predicting his surfing is about to get a whole lot better as he fills into his lengthy frame.
Enjoy a wonderful carousal captured by our wonder lensman Kody McGregor