Day 2 of the Hurley SA Junior Champs has dawned with one of those incredible sunrises that Jeffreys Bay has become renowned for. There’s a pod of whales frolicking in the bay just past backline at Albatross, and best of all – there’s a slight rise in swell from the small waves of Day 1.
It’s going to be another long day of grom heats, cheering team members, and some stylish surfing from the more than 150 juniors who are battling it out for national glory.
In terms of standouts from Day 1, one name stole the headlines, and that was Western Province’s Max Armstrong. The Scarborough local grabbed the early lead for the R5000 Red Bull Best Air award with a perfectly executed air reverse on a quad surfboard that was looking remarkably quick in the dribble of Day 1.
There’s still four days of competition to get through before champions are crowned and trophies won, and the picture should start becoming a bit clearer by the end of Day 2, and especially at the beginning of Day 3 – when the swell is expected to jump from ‘small’ to ‘pretty darn big’, as the predicted five metre-plus swell starts wrapping into the bay.
Here are the highlights from Day 1’s competition
Get all the results, photos and behind-the-scenes stories at www.sajuniorchamps.co.za
Check out the official press release from Day 1 below.
CLASSIC CONDITIONS AT JEFFREYS BAY FOR OPENING DAY OF THE HURLEY SA JUNIOR CHAMPS
Classic conditions with sunshine, light offshore winds and small but consistent and very rippable waves greeted the cream of South Africa’s junior surfers for the opening day of the Hurley SA Junior Champs at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay today (Wednesday).
Last night’s opening ceremony saw competitors in nine provincial teams from everywhere on the SA coastline pack the marquee on the beach where Hurley SA head honcho Jevon le Roux told them ‘You’re the actors, and this is your stage.’ He then handed over a cheque for R50 000 to the Supertubes Surfing Foundation in appreciation of the great work they do in keeping the beaches of the Mecca of SA surfing pristine.
Dawn saw the line-up packed with frothing groms and the contest swung into motion with the opening round of the Under 17, U15 and U13 Boys taking to the surf and strutting their stuff on the long walls of one metre waves peeling down the point.
KwaZulu-Natal Central (KZNC) U17 second seed Bryce Burness had the honour of catching the first wave of 2013 edition of the country’s premier event for surfers aged 17-and-under. Bryce, the son of former ASP World No. 7 Mike Burness, fittingly went on to clinch the heat victory and advance directly to Round 3 along with runner-up Jerry van Wyk, the top seed for the hosts and defending team champions, Eastern Province (EP).
One fiercely contested heat after another was fought out with most coming down to the wire and the lead changing hands in the dying seconds as the competitors milked every bit of power in the waves with combinations of high performance manoeuvres.
Western Province (WP) top seed Max Armstrong displayed a flash of brilliance with a perfectly executed air-reverse that had the crowds on the dunes in the natural amphitheatre lining the point cheering, to take the early lead in the charge for the Red Bull Best Air award and the R5 000 that goes with it.
While the natural footers had the advantage of facing the wave during their rides, several of the top performances came from goofy-footers (ride with right foot in front) and Jordy Maree (WP), Nthando Msibi (KZNC) and Steff Burrows were particularly impressive with their vertical backhand attacks and smooth transitions between manoeuvres.
J-Bay local Matt McGillivray (EP), the 2012 U15 champ and Surfer of the Contest, showed he is going to be hard to beat in his first year in the U17 division with his lightening fast repertoire and intimate knowledge of the best waves to catch and ride.
The tempo didn’t slow down as the U15’s took over and EP’s Jose Faulkner and Rewaldo Abersalie, Boland’s Tristan Lev and Adin Masencamp, WP’s Jordy Maree and Jake Elkington, Luke Malherbe (Border) and Gabriel Fernandez from the SA Development Academy posted great heat winning performances.
Angelo Faulkner (EP), Koby Oberholzer (KZNC), Calvin Goor (Dev Academy) and Julian Zens (Bol) were the standouts in the U13 division as the first day of proceedings drew to a close.
The Hurley SA Junior Champs runs until Sunday 29 September when the provincial team accumulating the most points is awarded the coveted Freedom Trophy and the individual winners in the U17, U15 and U13 Boy’s and Girl’s divisions are crowned the 2013 South African surfing champions.
There is also an array of lucrative special awards at stake, including:
• Hurley Surfer of the Contest presented by All Aboard Travel – R20 000 travel voucher to Bali
• Red Bull Best Air – R5 000
• Oakley Highest Heat Score – R3 000
• Zigzag Blowing Up Award – R3 000
• Skullcandy Team Spirit Award – R3 000
• Van’s Tarp Surf Champ – Product from Vans Off The Wall
All the action and behind the scenes highlights at the 2013 Hurley SA Junior Champs can be followed on the following digital platforms:
Hurley FB: https://www.facebook.com/Hurley.ZA
Hurley Twitter: https://twitter.com/HurleyZA
SA Junior Champs: https://twitter.com/sajuniorchamps (Results Only)
Twitter account – @HurleyZA and the hashtag #sajuniorchamps
Hurley Instagram: http://instagram.com/hurley_za
Daily blogs, interviews, video uploads, images and results will be posted on www.sajuniorchamps.co.za and results can also be found at www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
The South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.
The Hurley SA Junior Champs is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), recognised by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Sport and Recreation SA as the national governing body for the sport. SSA is a member of the International Surfing Association (ISA), the world’s governing body for surfing.
The 2013 Hurley SA Junior Champs is supported by All Aboard Travel, Skullcandy, Red Bull, Zigzag, Oakley, Neff, Vans Off The Wall, FUTURELIFE and Island Tribe in association with Sticky Bumps Wax, Channel Islands and Mayhem surfboards.