All eyes were on the horizon as dawn broke on Day 1 of the Billabong Junior Series at Long Beach. They searched for any sign of a new swell that could wrap in and improve the gutless one to two-foot dribble that was currently trickling to shore. But nothing came and Billabong’s 50th Junior Series event got underway in less than ideal conditions.
There wasn’t much for competitors to surf.
The Under 14 Girls were the first to hit the water and Kirsty McGillivray, Anna Butler and Finn Musson were able to read the tricky lineup best to claim top honours in their respective Quarter Final heats.
Next up were the always amped and ultra competitive Under 12 Boys. By this stage the surf was becoming more consistent and the youngsters made the most of it to lock in some solid scores. Tide-Lee Ireland, Dylan Hendriks, Christian Venter and Manoa Robb dominated their competitors to win their respective heats.
Ruth Armstrong made the most of the tough conditions to win her heat.
Unfortunately for the Under 14 Boys and Under 16 Girls that were up next, the tide started to fill and and the waves once again became inconsistent. Joseph Webster, Eli Beukes, Brage Jorgenson and Angelo Faulkner won their heats and advanced to the next round in the Under 14 Boys division, while Natasha Van Greunen, Ruth Armstrong and Michelle Verreyne did the same in the Under 16 Girls.
Joshe Faulkner won the only heat of the Under 16 Boys division that was surfed before the contest director put the event on hold. The decision was made to wait for the spring high tide to pass before continuing as the tide dropped and conditions improved.
Joshe Faulkner fitted in a turn or two before the event was put on hold.
When action got back underway, Benjamin Zinn, Ford Van Jaarsveld, Riel Viviers, Bevan Willis and Luke Malherbe showed their skills in small conditions to win their heats. Jake Elkington put his knowledge of Long Beach to good use in the last heat of the day. He took out the win in a commanding performance that saw him earn Day 1’s highest score for a single ride – 7.00pts.
Forecasts predict a new swell to fill in by mid-morning on Saturday, so froth levels for both groms and parents will be raised to the maximum when competition kicks off on Day 2.