Over 400 surfers representing 32 countries have gathered in Ecuador for the 2014 Vissla ISA World Junior Surfing Champs.
ISA events really are a great representation of the global surfing family, with competitors from as far north as Sweden, and as far south as Argentina competing.
The event got underway on Saturday with the Parade of Nations and official sand pouring ceremony – a tradition at ISA competitions, where all competing countries empty a jarful of sand from a beach back home into the mix of colour.
Team captain, Max Armstrong, pours some Saffa sand into the mix.
Action kicked-off on Sunday at La Fae Beach in Salinas, Ecuador, with Under 18 and Under 16 Boys divisions up first in the double podium set-up. Under 18 Boys were on the main podium, with the Under 16 Boys surfing the other.
Despite some technical issues that saw the webcast down until a couple of heats in, with scores and results coming a tad later, we still managed to watch Shane Sykes get the Saffa campaign underway with an easy heat win during Qualifying Round 1.
Shane Sykes claimed victory in his Under 18 Boys opening heat, getting Team SA off to a good start.
Team coach, Tasha Mentasti, filled us in on the other results.
“Tricky conditions today, but the kids surfed well considering. All the Boys advanced directly into round 2, with Shane Sykes winning his Under 18 heat, while Steffen Burrows, Ntando Msibi and Max Armstrong all made it through in second place.” reported Tasha.
Steff Burrows digs in for second place in his heat.
“In the Under 16 Boys, Adin Masencamp and Jordy Maree won their heats, and Joshe Faulkner and Ethan Fletcher placed second to grab a place in Round 2.”
Adin Masencamp won his opening heat in the Under 16 Boys division.
The Under 18 and Under 16 Girls are yet to hit the water, but Chanelle Botha and Teal Hogg (U18), plus Ruth Armstrong and Cana Foster (U16), will look to keep up the Saffa momentum when Girls’ competition gets underway.
Ruth, Teal and Chanelle – amped to hit the surf.
South Africa did have another ripper competing at the ISA World Games, although he is representing the UK. Cape Town’s Jake Elkington qualified for the British team and finished second in his Under 16 heat to advance to the next round.
Jake Elkington, giving his best for Team Great Britain.
Keep updated with results and photos on the official Surfing South African Junior Surfing Team’s Facebook page.