4 October, 2012 4 October, 2012

High Scores and Upsets on Opening Day of Hurley SA Junior Champs at Jeffreys Bay

Lines roll through at the Point before competition kicked off on Day 1 of the Hurley SA Junior Champs.

Pristine conditions and a solid one metre swell peeling down the Point at Jeffreys Bay produced the ideal canvas for South Africa’s hottest young surfers to go ballistic on the opening day of the Hurley SA Junior Champs today (Wednesday).

Provincial teams and their entourages from the length and breadth of the SA coastline, competing at Jeffreys Bay for the first time in the 16 year history of the event, hooted, cheered and supported their teammates in the natural amphitheatre created by the dunes overlooking the waves.

All the Under 17, U15 and U13 boy’s Round 1 heats were completed, treating the onlookers to a feast of progressive surfing with the top performers posting scores in the excellent range (over 8.0 out of 10) as they combined speed, power and flow and punctuated their rides with radical manoeuvres.

The opening encounter of the day produced a major upset when defending U17 boy’s champion, Josh Smit from the powerful KwaZulu-Natal Central team, was relegated to Round 2 after finishing third behind heat winner Hilton Pelser (Boland) and Benji Brand (WP) who both progressed directly to Round 3.

Competitors from the host association, Eastern Province, made full use of their local knowledge, racking up victories in four of the five U17 heats they contested with Stephano Jantjies particularly impressive.

The U15’s brought even more energy to proceedings and the battle between 2011Surfer of the contest Jordy Maree (WP) and Stef Burrows (Boland) produced dynamic surfing with Maree just prevailing thanks to his vertical backhand attack on the head high waves.

Local boy Matt MacGillivray was in top form.

EP top seed Matt McGillivray was on fire, taking an early lead in the hunt for the R3 000 Citroën Highest Heat Score with a tally of 15.50 out of 20 before being overtaken later in the day by Adin Masencamp (Boland) who posted a total of 16.75 that included the day’s highest single ride of 8.75 in his heat win over arch rival Ethan Fletcher (WP) in the U13 division.

The perennial top provincial teams fared well with defending Freedom Cup holders Western Province and KZN Central seeing most of their surfers advancing directly to Round 3, but the smaller associations also showed great promise. Going on the performances on the first day, there could be several surprises towards the business end of the event from the likes of Boland and Southern Cape.

The Hurley SA Junior Champs runs until Sunday when the 2012 SA champions in U17, U15 and U13 categories for boys and girls will be decided. There are also special awards for the Hurley Surfer of the Contest in association with All Aboard Travel, the Red Bull Airshow, Citroën Highest Heat Score, Zigzag Blowing Up and Skullcandy Team Spirit.

Daily blogs, interviews, video uploads, images, event schedule and results from the Hurley SA Junior Champs will be posted on www.sajuniorchamps.co.za with results and info also found at www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za at the end of each days action.

Follow the event via the Hurley Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/Hurley.ZA, on Twitter @HurleyZA and on Instagram HURLEY_ZA, both using the hashtag #sajuniorchamps.

The South African Development Team is supported by a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

Surfing South Africa (SSA) is recognised as the national governing body for surfriding by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Sport and Recreation SA. SSA is a member of the International Surfing Association (ISA), the world’s governing body for surfing.

The 2012 Hurley SA Junior Champs is supported by Citroën Port Elizabeth, Skullcandy, Red Bull, Zigzag and All Aboard Travel.

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