Billabong SA Junior Champs – Finals Day
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.
What a breath of aloe inspired fresh air it is to see a man go the air during a heat. A breathe of fresh air that needs to be more common practice. Image: Kody McGregor
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.
Kai needs S’ne as much as S’ne needs Kai. Nothing like a healthy rivalry to refine your talent. Image: Kai Woolf
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.
“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.” Image: Ian Thurtell
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.
Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS
Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay
October 4-8, 2017
Cape Town Surfriders Clinch Freedom Cup at Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS
Cape Town Surfriders clinched the coveted Freedom Cup for the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the 2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS, which was completed in excellent one metre waves at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay today (Sunday).
The victory margin was the closest in the 21 history of the trophy with the team from Cape Town reclaiming the cup they won in 2015 by scoring just 63 points more than their arch rivals from eThekweni. The Capetonians also claimed two of the eight individual national titles at stake and provided five of the 32 finalists, earning a total of 42,840 points.
eThekweni (42,777) finished runners-up with hosts and defending team champions Nelson Mandela Bay (41,792) in third place and Buffalo City (40,277) in fourth. They were followed in the team standings by Cape Winelands, Ugu, Eden, debutants Ilembe and the SA Development Academy.
The 2017 edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for the incredible waves across all five days with sunshine, whales sightings, great memories and after an excellent final day a new set of champions will have their names inscribed in the annals of South Africa surfing history.
Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) was consistent throughout the U18 boys’ division, winning every single heat he contested. He was elated to improve on his runner up position in the u/17 boys’ division at SA champs last year by claiming the premier boys’ title this year.
Nelson Mandela Bay surfer Joshe Faulkner was relegated to second place by a mere 0.21of a point leaving Koby Oberholzer (eThekweni) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth places respectively.
Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) added another SA title to her name with her powerful and precise surfing, capturing the crown in the dying seconds of the u/18 girls final. Nina Harmse (Eden) maintained her runner-up berth from last year while goofy foot Natasha Van Greunen (Cape Winelands) finished third above her teammate Sarah Ingram in a heat with few waves.
After a heat total of 19.47 in his semi final earlier in the day, Eli Beukes had unshakeable confidence in the u/16 boys final, sealing his title with a big air-reverse on his last wave. Aya Gericke (Eden) read the waves beautifully for a second place finish above Saxton Randall (eThekweni). After a rocky start Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) went for broke with a huge aerial manoeuvre but was unable to stick the landing and had to settle for fourth place.
The talented u/16 girls had a slow final but Nelson Mandela Bay surfer and J-Bay local Kai Woolf knew just the right waves to pick to claim another SA title with her ferocious backhand attack. Runner-up S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (eThekweni) was a good match for Woolf on her backhand and held the highest single score in the final, an 8.5, but struggled to find a heat winning back up ride. Tayla De Coning (Buffalo City) was narrowly bumped to third place with Summer Sutton (Cape Town Surfriders) finishing fourth.
The u/14 boys were blowing up throughout the contest but in the end it was Buffalo City’s Mitch Du Preez who claimed his first SA title with a total of 16.44, despite only surfing three waves in the 20 minute final. Teammate Daniel Emslie finished close behind in second place ahead of Luke Thompson (eThekweni) and Kye Macgregor (Nelson Mandela Bay).
Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) had a fantastic final in the u/14 girls, dominating proceedings and winning with a 16.33 heat total. Katie Winter (Cape Town Surfriders) finished in second place leaving Lhea Johnston (Buffalo City) and Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth place respectively.
The u/12 groms were a pleasure to watch as they fearlessly charged the overhead waves. In the girls final Gabbi Herbst (eThekweni) held the lead with a series of great scores while Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) earned a well warranted second place in her first SA champs. In third was Nelson Mandela Bay rider Zia Hendricks and in fourth was Maya Figl (Cape Winelands).
The charismatic Kyra Bennie (Cape Winelands) was chaired from the water’s edge to the podium by his teammates after taking out the u/12 boys’ title. Nate Colby (eThekweni), who on Saturday scored the only perfect ten-point ride of the contest, finished runner-up while Ethan Currin (Buffalo City) edged into third place ahead of River Gericke (Eden).
“This event has been amazing with awesome waves every day here at Lower Point!” enthused Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager, Chad Darcy. “The surfing standard has been really high – the groms have been blowing up and it’s great to see some new faces claim the titles. From Billabong’s point of view we are really stoked, it’s a great way to end the 2017 contest season.”
There were a number of specialty awards at stake with newly crowned SA U16 boys’ champ Eli Beukes (Cape Town Surfriders) claiming both the BOS Highest Heat Score and the VonZipper Airshow prizes. The Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys went to Nate Colby (eThekweni) and for Girls to Caroline Brown (Cape Town Surfriders). The Skull Candy Loud & Proud trophy for the team displaying the best spirit throughout the five-day event went to the enthusiastic team from Ugu on the KZN South Coast.
2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS
1st Cape Town Surfriders 42,840
2nd eThekweni 42,777
3rd Nelson Mandela Bay 41,792
4th Buffalo City 40,277
5th Cape Winelands 37,679
6th Ugu 28,052
7th Eden 25,969
8TH Ilembe 15,220
9th SA Development Academy 13,022
1st Ford van Jaarsveldt 13.90 CTS
2nd Joshe Faulkner 13.70 NMBS
3rd Koby Oberholzer 12.16 ETK
4th Adin Masencamp 12.04 CW
1st Kirsty McGillivray 12.00 NMBS
2nd Nina Harmse 9.83 Eden
3rd Natasha van Greunen 7.83 CW
4th Sarah Ingram 4.13 CW
1st Eli Beukes 16.90 CTS
2nd Aya Gericke 14.37 Eden
3rd Saxton Randall 10.17 ETK
4th Angelo Faulkner 9.16 NMBS
1st Kai Woolf 14.17 NMBS
2nd S’nenhlanhla Makhubu 11.83 ETK
3rd Tayla de Coning 11.23 BC
4th Summer Sutton 9.20 CTS
1st Mitch du Preez 16.44 BC
2nd Daniel Emslie 14.90 BC
3rd Luke Thompson 11.67 ETK
4th Kye Macgregor 7.27 NMBS
1st Zoe Steyn 16.33 BC
2nd Katie Winter 11.67 CTS
3rd Lhea Johnston 9.13 BC
4th Ceara Knight 7.56 CW
1st Kyra Bennie 14.5 CW
2nd Nate Colby 12.67 ETK
3rd Ethan Currin 11.90 BC
4th River Gericke 10.33 EDEN
1st Gabbi Herbst 16.16 ETK
2nd Scarlette van Jaarsveldt 12.87 CTS
3rd Zia Hendricks 11.36 DEV
4th Maya Figl 8.34 CW
BOS Highest Heat Score
Eli Beukes (CTS)
VonZipper Airshow – R2 000
Eli Beukes (CTS)
Wazoogles Surfer of the Event – Boys
Nate Colby (ETK)
Wazoogles Surfer of the Event – Girls
Caroline Brown (CTS)
Skull Candy Loud & Proud Trophy (Team Spirit)
Ugu District Team
As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team participated in the event thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.
All the action from the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS can be followed via:
Website: Contest schedule, results and images will be posted daily on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
Surfing South Africa (SSA) is the recognised governing body for surfing in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA)