It’s late afternoon on Day 2 of the Billabong SA Junior Champs, with the final heat of the day counting down. Beach mounted banners begin to descend while spectators dismantle their wind-beaten gazebos. With the wind now howling and the tide pushing, hard core supporters, paramedics and camera enthusiasts can still be seen stretched along Lower Point as the final hooter swaps out competitors for salt-starved free surfers.
The Uthungulu mascot, an additional highlight thrown in the mix for Day 2.
Although the wave quality hit a dip in comparison to Day 1, the weather and high level of performances were enough to keep eager spectators entertained throughout the day. Round 1 of the Under 15 Girl’s division kicked things off in bumpy, three foot onshore lines. But the tricky conditions only made some of the high scores that were posted all the more impressive.
Local surfer, Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) is no stranger to Lower Point and was the standout in her division, dominating her heat as she read the waves to perfection. Driving through sections with some solid rail surfing earned her the highest heat total of the day, with two excellent scores of a 9.33 and an 8.83 sending her straight through to Round 3. Olivia Izzard (eThekweni) was also looking strong and will be another favourite in the division as competition progresses.
Kirsty McGillivray, feeling right at home at Lower Point, posted the highest heat total of the day with a 18.10.
The Under 13 Girl’s division saw Gabi Lailvaux (eThekweni) dominate Heat 1 of Round 1, posting an excellent 8.67 backed up by another solid 7.17. There was also some great surfing seen in the Under 13 Boy’s division, with standout performances coming from Tide-Lee Ireland (eThekweni) and York Van Jaarsveldt (CTS).
York was looking super strong, posting the highest heat total of his division (14.17) and is undoubtedly going to be one of the favourites in his division moving forward. But things won’t be easy with the likes of Aya Gericke (EDEN), who recently won the Von Zipper Air Show at the Billabong Junior Series held in Cape St Francis last week. Aya also won his Round 1 heat and advanced straight to Round 3, along with: Dillon Hendricks (Nelson Mandela Bay), Christian Venter (Cape Winelands), Sebastian VD Merwe (Buffalo City), Jethro Kriel (Buffalo City), Brayden Bergset (eThekweni), Dominic Southwood (eThekweni) and Declan Fiet (Cape Winelands).
With the highest heat total of his under 13 division on Day 2, York Van Jaarsveldt (CTS) along with Tide-Lee Ireland (ETK) were looking like the boys to beat.
With no improvement in conditions predicted, the rest of the day was comprised of Round 2 heats, giving competitors who failed to take top place finishes in Round 1 a final chance to advance through to Round 3. Conditions are looking fairly prime for the weekend, with Friday offering up a 14 second period and a 2.2 metre open ocean swell, coupled with light winds which start off side-shore and switch offshore as the day progresses. The swell is then also predicted to build to 3.3 metres on Saturday with light offshore winds. If things hold up, Lower Point should pump making for an epic finale to the event.
By winning his heat in Round 1 of the Under 13 Boys division, Tide-Lee Ireland advanced straight through to Round 3.
Brayden Bergset (ETK) was looking strong on his backhand in the under 13 Boys division.
Read the press release below for more details:
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATON
Thursday 1 October 2015
Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS
Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay
September 30 – 4 October, 2015
Girls Take centre Stage on Day 2 of Billabong SA Junior Champs in Jeffreys Bay
First Surfers Eliminated from SA Premier Junior Event
Light onshore winds did little to affect the performance of the country’s top young surfers while waves continued to pump through the line-up at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay on Day 2 of the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS.
The girls took centre stage as Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) and Sophie Bell (eThekweni) in the U15’s and Kayla Verreynne (Eden) in the U17’s delivered excellent performances in the solid but lumpy one metre surf.
The day’s action started with Round 1 of the U15 girls and Sophie Bell set the standard with a strong performance in the first heat, carving bottom turns and linking vertical manoeuvres together seamlessly as she charged to victory and a pass directly to Round 3.
Jeffreys Bay local Kirsty McGillivray has seen the Lower Point in all its moods and used her wide repertoire of radical turns to clinch the highest heat score of the round, counting 8.0 and 9.0 rides for a heat tally of 17.0 out of 20.
“It looked a little messy from the beach but there were actually some really fun sets coming through,” said McGillivray. “I did some turns that I was happy about and the board that I am riding felt really good under my feet.”
Next came the opening round of the U13 boys and Tide-Lee Ireland (eThekweni) stood out for his vertical attack on what for him were well overhead waves. York van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town) blasted the lip in his heat and Aye Gericke (Eden) also clinched a deserved heat win.
Kelly Fenton (Nelson Mandela Bay) and Kayla Noguera (eThekweni) shone in the U13 girls before Round 2 of the U17 boys took to the waves and the first surfers were eliminated from the event.
Rewaldo Abersalie flew the flag for the host Nelson Mandela Bay district, while Gabriel Fernandes (Cape Town), Cullum Carlson (Uthungulu) and Cody Coetsee (Ugu) all ensured they stayed in contention for higher honours by winning their encounters.
Kayla Verreynne (Eden) was outstanding in her Round 2 heat of the U17 girls and was joined by her sister Michelle as the they advanced to Round 3 where they will meet up with the third member of their team, Taghiti Gericke, who advanced directly from Round 1 yesterday.
“It’s been a really good contest so far – really great conditions,” said Vangie Boettger, Billabong Women’s Marketing Manager. “Coming into Day 2 the girls showed some dynamic surfing and we’re really stoked that Kirsty and Crystal came through from the Billabong Team riders side and Olivia and Sophie Bell showed some great backhand surfing.”
The Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS runs until Sunday when the winners in the U17, U15 and U13 boy’s and girl’s divisions will be crowned the 2015 SA Junior Champions. The district team accumulating the highest point tally across all divisions will be awarded the highly prized Freedom Cup and the winners of the U17 and U15 divisions will be awarded national team blazers.
The event also offers specialty awards totalling more than R20 000 for both surfers and their teams. These include the Billabong / Bad Billy’s Tag Team Paddle Battle, BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow, DaKine Most Progressive Manoeuvre, Skull Candy Stay Loud Team Spirit and the Zigzag Blowing Up awards.
As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.
All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:
Billabong South Africa – @BillabongSA
Billabong Women’s South Africa – @Billabongwomens_za
Contest format and results will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
Sophie Bell (eThekweni) in full flight during her Round 1 heat victory in theU15 girl’s division of the Billabong SA Junior Champs.
The Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS is proudly supported by DaKine, VonZipper, Skull Candy, Neff and Zigzag Surfing Magazine.
Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for surfing in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA)