Great looking waves greeted competitors on Day 1 of the 2015 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Oceanside, California.
Conditions on Day 1, looking good.
However, all but a few competitors came out of the gates firing, as predominantly low scores were being registered as the heats started rolling on. Perhaps conditions were trickier than they looked, or maybe everyone is pacing themselves for the marathon tournament that will see hundreds of heats surfed during the course of the week and into the weekend.
Up against 38 other nations in the week-long event, the SA team got off to a decent start, with all but one team member advancing to Round 2 in the Under 18 and Under 16 Boys division. South Africa’s Under 18 and Under 16 Girls representatives are yet to get their campaigns underway, with Day 1’s action focussed on the Boys division.
SA Team members; Chanel Botha, Olivia Izzard and Sophie Bell, in good spirits.
Here’s how our four Under 18 Boys and four Under 16 Boys competitors fared on Day 1:
Shane Sykes got things going for Team SA in the Under 18 Boys division. The KZN north coast ripper won Heat 2 of Round 1, beating Luis Perloiro (POR), Zeno Lange (BEL) and Robert Storm Anderson (DEN) to advance to the next round.
Ntando Msibi won his match-up against Jácome Correia (POR), Razz Rosenbaum (BEL) and Christoffer Holler (DEN) in Heat 15 to jump to Round 2 in the Under 18 Boys.
Ntando Msibi carved his way into Round 2 of the Under 18 Boys division.
Richard Kidd beat Guilherme Fonseca (POR), Rolf Brusso (NOR) and Christian Schjørn (NOR) in Heat 19 of the Under 18 Boys division to advance to the next round.
East London’s Michael Monk then defeated Francisco Duarte (POR), Arne Kindt (BEL) and Bryan Perez (SAL) in Heat 30 to secure a spot in Round 2 of the Under 18 Boys division.
Last year’s top performer for the SA team at the 2014 ISA World Junior Champs, Joshe Faulkner was unfortunate to finish third in Heat 2 of the first round in the Under 16 Boys division. The J-Bay local finished above Arnaud Bailyu (BEL), but narrowly behind Bryan Perez (SAL) and heat winner, Salvador Couto (POR). Joshe will be surfing in the do-or-die repercharge rounds from here on out, but still has a chance to advance to the finals should he finish second or better in his upcoming heats.
Joshe Faulkner needed one more good score to advance to Round 2.
In Heat 15, however, Sebastian Williams recorded one of the highest heat totals of the Under 16 Boys division (15.93pts) to win his match-up with Francisco Almeida (POR), Anker Olsen (NOR) and Lucas Bay (DEN) in Round 1.
Heat 19 saw Luke Malherbe finish second to Vasco Mónica (POR), in an advancing spot ahead of Christian Andersen (DEN) and Bendik Borgen (NOR). The East London local will do battle again in Round 2 of the Under 16 Boys division.
Adin Masencamp also advanced in second place in Heat 30 of the Under 16 Boys division. The Boland shredder finished behind João Moreira (POR), but ahead of Dean Vandewalle (BEL) and Gerardo Cruz Siezar (NIC).
Luke Malherbe advanced to Round 2 of the Under 16 Boys by finishing second in Heat 19.
Day 2 action will get underway at 7:00am local time (4:00pm in SA) and you can tune in to isaworlds.com/juniors for the LIVE webcast.