“What a bittersweet end to Day 5 after such a great day of surfing by the team on Wednesday. We can blame it on the conditions, we can blame it on bad decisions, but at the end of it all, as a family and the tight team unit that we are, we have all tried our best with what was thrown our way!” – Team Coach, Tasha Mentasti.
It’s not the end of the road for Team SA, but with all but one member eliminated after losing their first surfer on Wednesday, a major dent was put into their plans to bring home Gold on Thursday. Still, with Joshe Faulkner among the Top 6 Under 16 Boys in the world and just three heat wins away from an individual Gold Medal, plus the Tag Team event coming up on Day 6, all hope is not lost at the 2014 Vissla ISA World Surfing Champs.
The tricky conditions proved tough going for Ntando Msibi as he was eliminated on Day 5.
In the Under 18 Boys division on Day 5, Ntando Msibi was eliminated from the event in Repercharge Round 3 after finishing 4th in his heat. Spirits were lifted two heats later, when Team Captain, Max Armstrong, commanded his heat to eliminate 2013 ISA Under 18 World Champion, Hawaii’s Josh Moniz, out of the event. Unfortunately he too was knocked out of the event when he couldn’t find the scores he needed in Repercharge Round 4.
Max Armstrong eliminated the 2013 ISA World Junior Champ before bowing out in the next round.
Despite a strong start in his Under 18 Boys Repercharge Round 4 heat, KZN’s Shane Sykes couldn’t back-up his best ride with another solid score and lost by a narrow margin to drop out of the event. Teammate Steffen Burrows suffered a similar fate three heats later.
Surfing in the same Under 18 Girls Repercharge Round 3 heat, Chanelle Botha and Teal Hogg were up against Portugal’s Camila Kemp and Britt Kindred from New Zealand. Teal and Britt did the most with the tricky waves they were lucky enough to find in the heat to advance. Unfortunately, Chanelle was eliminated from the event, while Teal moved through to Repercharge Round 4, where she too was knocked out of the event.
Teal Hogg’s run to the final came to an end in Repercharge Round 4 of Girls Under 18.
Ethan Fletcher finished 2nd in his Boys Under 16 Repercharge Round 3 heat to advance to the next round, where he was eliminated alongside Adin Masencamp in Round 4.
Jordy Maree was the next Team SA surfer to be eliminated from Boys Under 16, when he finished 3rd in his Repercharge Round 4 heat – which leaves only Joshe to challenge for the title in that division.
In Girls Under 16 Repercharge Round 3, Cana Foster couldn’t find the scores she needed to advance and was eliminated after finishing 4th in Heat 1.
Team SA will be fully focussed on winning the Tag Team event on Day 6.
With just one surfer left to challenge for an individual title, Team SA will now focus on grabbing a medal in the Tag Team semi-finals that are scheduled to kick-off at 2:00pm on Day 6 (9:00pm SA time).
Log in to www.isawjsc.com/live to watch Team SA live and cheer them on.