4 May, 2014 4 May, 2014

Small Waves, Big Scores – RVCA Junior Challenge Day 2

Jake Elkington was working the small waves on Day 2 for all they were worth.

“Strategy is very important in these kind of conditions,” said coach Llewellyn Whittaker as one of his top-performing charges, Jordy Maree, carved his way to yet another heat win on his backhand in the tricky two-footers. “You have to dominate from the beginning,” Lu said. “Getting your first wave early is crucial because there are some good wide ones and those kind of separate you from the others. And, then your rhythm is set.”

With the job done, Jordy Maree makes his way in over the rocks.

The wind swung through every point of the vane during the day and the tide played its own tricks, but Jordy contended with whatever was thrown his way. The blond-mopped Kalk Bay local won both his U16 and U20 quarters to ensure yet another busy Sunday (he won U16 and he finished joint third in U20 at last weekend’s Billabong Junior).

“It’s really cutthroat out there,” continued Lu. “If you’re in second place you can’t give anything away… You have to be a complete @sshole!”

Another surfer performing in two divisions, but not quite so comfortable with being an ass, was 10-year-old James Ribbink.

James Ribbink was carving some big turns in the small surf.

Not everybody agrees that surfing two divisions is a good thing and Lu has his own opinion. “It was pretty fun,” said James shortly after winning his U10 semifinal. “Some guy paddled me up the Point. That guy in white, eventually I just let him go.” James had earlier placed second in the U12 quarter. “I’m surfing a higher division to get some experience and hopefully I make the final of both. But I really hope tomorrow is bigger, like four or five foot.” James couldn’t chat long because dad Jason was on the phone from the Mentawaiis.

Also very impressive on the day was KZN’s Nicole Pallet, who shone in the U20 girls division, laying down some impressive turns in the difficult conditions and out-surfing her compatriots with ease and style. Slade Prestwich continued to impress throwing his big frame around and destroying the tiny surf. Adin Masencamp used his knowledge of Strand to score one of the highest heat totals of the day in the weak conditions, while local favourite Dylan Lightfoot showed some serious pro class by finding a wave in the dying minutes of his quarter to move out of fourth and into first and advance to the semi final.

Sunday will be a massive showdown as the heat draw winds its way towards the finals.

Between heats the groms continued to run amok on the beach and The Plascon Paint wall jam session was epic. Some of the groms didn’t quite get the memo that the paint had to go on the wall and will be spending the next few days trying to explain to people why they have pink hair and blue feet.

There may be a few interesting podium photos on the final day.

Here are the video highlights from Day 2 of the RVCA Junior Challenge:

Check out all the results on RVCA South Africa’s Facebook page.
Or for play-by-play updates, follow @RVCA_SA on Twitter.

Official press release below.



Nicole Pallet, big forehand carve in the U20 Quarters.

Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay – The waves were on the small side for day 2 of the RVCA Junior Challenge, but they were clean, and they were running down the point and allowing the best junior surfers in the country plenty of scope for some big scores.

The first heat of the day was the first U20 Boys quarter, and it was a close affair from the get-go. Yesterday’s stand out surfer Slade Prestwich was first up, banging a smaller set wave for a solid score of 6 points. He followed up with a slightly bigger set wave for 7.25 and the heat was his. The excitement lay in the fight for second place. Ford Van Jaarsveldt from Kommetjie was having a solid heat and holding a strong second place, but in the dying minutes of the heat, third placed Mikey Venter from Durban paddled into a decent looking wave and rode it all the way through to the inside, executing multiple maneuvers for a 5.25. The score saw him jump to second place, with Ford dropping to third and thus falling out of the U20 division. No shame, at 15 years of age he has plenty of time ahead of him for competition success.

“I was so shaky on my last wave,” said Mikey Venter after the heat. “I nearly bogged on two turns, and I knew that I needed a decent score so I couldnt afford to fall off. I was so stoked to get through that heat.”

In quarter final number 4 there was a distinct lack of waves on the dropping tide, with the surfers scratching for scores. Local surfer Dylan Lightfoot picked up a good score with a 6 point ride, but was left without a back-up wave as the time counted down. He eventually managed to put a 3-pointer on the scoreboard to win his heat. Ethan Pentz (Kalk Bay) was in second with Jerry Van Wyk (JBay) and Diran Zakarian (Melkbos) eliminated.

“That was a stressful heat,” said Lightfoot after the heat. “There were so few waves in that heat and I was desperate for a second one. There’s also a light north wind coming up, which is not making it any easier. I’m through though, so all good.”

In the Girls U20’s quarters, the waves were scarce again, as a light onshore picked up, but Nicole Pallet from La Lucia was the surfer of the round, finding good flow and speed in the small conditions. She won her heat and advanced through to the semi finals, along with Emma Smith (JBay), Robyn Van Der Merwe (PE), Jade Mets (Mt Edgecombe), Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach), Pippa Jones (Marina Da Gama), Gina Smith (JBay) and Olivia Brand from Umdloti.

At 11 am, on cue, the Plascon Paint Wall opened up officially for business, and it was brightly-coloured madness for a little while with everyone climbing onboard to show their art skills and talents.

Plascon Paint Wall smile.

The afternoon saw the wind swing back to the west, and it was time for the youngsters to hit the water, with the U10 Boys, the U12 Boys, and the U14 Girls and Boys getting out amongst it. In the third U12 Boys quarter final young York Van Jaarsveldt from Kommetjie turned on the gas and won easily, beating James Ribbink from Durban into second, with both of them advancing into the semi finals. “I was really happy to get through that heat,” said York after the heat, “I’m also really stoked that my friend James got through as well.”

The waves began to pulse throughout the late afternoon, with the odd wide set providing some of the competitors good opportunities for high scores. With a slight lift in swell and another beautiful day predicted for the final day of competition tomorrow, expectations are high for a great finish of the RVCA Junior Challenge.

You can follow the RVCA Junior Challenge on FaceBook here – www.facebook.com/RVCA.South.Africa
RVCA is also on Twitter – twitter.com/RVCA_SA

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