The surf slowed down, the South Westerly picked up, a dreary dark cold front emerged from Cape Town while the action, as cliche as this may sound, heated up. Yep, yesterday, the slight side shore wind pushed swell into the bay and down the point, with the swell direction allowing Lower Point to assemble the rippable peaks into neat, consistent lines. Today, today was a slightly different story. the South Westerly weakening the swell a touch, but opportunity remained plentiful.
Eli Beukes is a Man on Fire:
Eli Beukes surfs with reckless abandon. A man on fire. “Chop a mountain down with the edge of my hand” kinda stuff. He surfs with no consideration for losses or scores, it seems, but rather approaches each wave with the kinda attitude that says,”What can I do to destroy this wave as best I can!” It’s a damn pleasure to watch. He buries that rail so deep on carves, we almost held a funeral for ’em rails in the judges/commentators tower. Eli combo-ed his semi final heat, destroying the field, then he won the final, and then just to top things off, he paddled out after his final and won the VZ Airshow. Oh and did we mention his air game is on point? Well it’s just that… on point. Lets see if the rest of the U16 boys can reel him in next year.
Woolf — vs — Makhubu
For a long time and for years to come it felt like the young Kai Woolf would run away with any division she set her fins to. Surfing J-Bay from a young age, her backhand was groomed to perfection. She could blitz the lip in her sleep when other girls, at the time, didn’t even know how to bottom turn properly. But then, just when everyone thought Kai would have a easy win at every contest, out of nowhere eThekweni’s S’ne Makhubu arrived on the scene. S’ne has a backhand attack to rival the great Kai Woolf. And it’s tremendous for both girls. Kai needs S’ne as much as S’ne needs Kai. Nothing like a healthy rivalry to refine your talent.
Adin vs Ford vs Koby vs Joshe
The U18 boys final was a show stopper. The last heat after a lengthy amount of time spent in the sun, on the beach, with teams screaming and shouting and cheering, enough noise to make an introvert spend the next week in a corner void of humans. But the U18 boys was a heat not to be missed. A stacked final. Four of the best junior surfers South Africa has to offer. Ford, Adin, Koby and Joshe. All four boys except Ford attended the ISA games in Japan. And Ford had something to prove. He wanted to stick it to SSA. Let them know that he deserves a place on the team. And he did. He’s a smooth surfer, linking turns with relative ease, and he understands just when and how to get the judges attention. Ford surfed a tactically smart heat to take out three of South Africa’s hottest juniors. After the final concluded, Ford, a man who doesn’t smile (that often), let loose his tightly reigned emotions and cracked a grin, and the sun shone from those dark gloomy clouds for just the slightest of an instance, before it began to drizzle. Enjoy the win Ford.
The U12 Boys Final – Pure Entertainment
There’s something to be learnt from the U12 boys. There’s little space in their minds for intellectualisation concerning heats, when to go big and when to hold back and strategy and airs and floaters and and and. Their surfing appears as an expression and it gives the soul a beat of pure elation to witness. Like a toddler who’s just learned to walk, they only walk one way, it’s the only way they know. The U12 boys surf the only way they know. And more times than not, that’s going big whenever the section presents itself. Kyra Bennie took out the U12 boys win, and in all his cutback photos, he’s always grabbing the rail. We hope he continues to approach things differently, even after coaching and requirements and sponsorship pressure and competitions etc. We hope he continues to grab the rail…
Keep those grab rail cutties coming Kyra. Image: Kody McGregor
Check out the gallery, video of the prize giving below and full results as well us press release below.