It looked perfect from the air as lines wrapped down J-Bay’s famous rocky point. This was the view from the McGillivray’s glider as photographer Richard Johnson swooped past.
From ground level, however, the waves at the Point for Day 1 of the RVCA Junior Series J-Bay were a little over 0.5m. Still, perfectly contestable if you’re a 4’7″ grom with all the energy in the world, and SA’s top young surfers made light work of them.
Backhanders appeared to have the advantage in many of the heats – being able to dig their heels in and bottom turn with a bit more attitude seemed to be the key. Like Max Elkington here, projecting towards a heat win and a spot among the standouts of the day.
But just as you were thinking that the backhanders had it sussed, a natural footer would come along and squash that theory, as they bottom turned with their chin to the water and got just as much projection as the screwfoots.
It was only Day 1, yet there were already some groms firmly raising their hands, wanting the title of RVCA Junior Series J-Bay champion.
Check out the highlights from Day 1 below:
There’s still two more days of the RVCA Junior Series J-Bay, so we’ll keep you updated on how SA best young groms are dominating the famous Point.
Read the press release below for more from Day 1
RVCA JUNIOR SURF SERIES GETS UNDERWAY IN IDEAL CONDITIONS AT JEFFREYS BAY
The opening rounds of the inaugural RVCA Junior Series event got underway in glassy and well shaped 0.5 metre waves at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay on Friday with nearly 100 of the country’s best young surfers strutting their stuff in the surf and enjoying a host of activities on the beach.
Surfers in age categories ranging from U10 to U20 revelled in the sunny conditions, performing new school, radical manoeuvres and posting plenty of 7.0 and 8.0 point scores (out of a possible 10) on long rides down the rock lined point.
Diminutive Jeffreys Bay local Kai Woolf was one of the standouts, catching the best waves and riding with flair to win her opening heat in the U16 girls’ division and finish second in her U20 match-up to move into the quarter-finals against the older girls in both divisions.
Max Elkington (Hout Bay) was another to progress in two divisions when he left his opponents combo’d and needing to improve on both their scoring rides as he advanced to the semis in the U12 boys and then winning his U14 heat to move into the last 16.
Simo Mhkize (Umzumbe) showed the talent that will see him represent South Africa at the ISA World Junior Championships later this year by shooting out of the blocks in his U16 boys heat. Mhkise racked up a series of spectacular moves rewarded with 7.5 that saw him cruise into the quarters along with second placed Adin Masencamp (Strand).
And highly touted Mexican supergrom Sebastian Williams, 12, started slowly in his U14 heat, finishing second, before going on to win one of the toughest U16 heats to advance to the quarters ahead of SA junior team member Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay).
While the gladiators did battle in the surf their peers occupied themselves on the beach, decorating the graffiti wall with their Plascon sponsored spraypaint under the guidance of surf- artist extraordinaire Steven Bibb, participating in impromptu table tennis tournaments, warming up on the stationary bikes in the Red Bull tent and learning more about the state of the art Firewire surfboards from legendary ASP judge Mike Ginsberg before enjoying a classic sunset braaivleis on the beach.
Organisers completed the first round of all divisions except the U20 boys who will be the first to take to the surf in the ideal strong offshore winds and a rising swell forecast for Saturday morning.
The RVCA Junior Series runs until Sunday when the finals in all seven divisions will be run and the recipients decided for the more than R100 000 in cash and prizes at stake.
Special awards for the top performers in the waves include the ‘On-Fire’ awards where two competitors each receive a Firewire surfboard: the ‘Fly-Away’ award comprising a trip for two to Jeffreys Bay courtesy of J-Bay Travel and African Perfection; the highest heat score earns an Apple iPad and custom-built Nixon accessories; the biggest carve wins a Sector 9 skateboard and all division winners get a set of Futures Fins.
All activities will be filmed and the photos and videos will be available for free download.
The RVCA Junior Series is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), recognised as the national controlling body for surfing and a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). The events form part of the Pro Surf Tour (PST) with competitors in all the divisions earning points towards their 2013 PST rankings.
The RVCA Junior Series can be followed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RVCA.South.Africa