Durban – Dylan Lightfoot was the star performer at the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS event in Durban on the weekend, winning every heat he contested and comfortably taking both the Under 20 and U18 boys’ titles.
Competing in rippable one metre waves at New Pier, the 18 year-old DaKine and Nixon team-rider from Jeffreys Bay earned a wildcard into the U20 specialty event by winning the U18 final. He went on to dominate his older competitors to pocket a total of R15 000 in prize-money and take the early lead in both the Billabong Junior Series and SSA Pro Surf Tour (PST) U18 rankings.
Heidi Palmboom (Bluff) snatched the winner-takes-all R10 000 prize-purse in the U20 girls while Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach) outclassed her opponents in the U18 girls, posting almost twice the score of runner-up Nicole Pallet (Durban) to add R5 000 to her bank balance.
Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) was just as dominant in the U16 boys, which like the U18 divisions, was 2A PST rated. Racking up a heat tally of 13.25 points out of a possible 20, Maree left runner-up Tim Baard (Jeffreys Bay) with too much to do as he cruised to victory.
The most impressive performance came from diminutive Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay).who posted a perfect 10 point ride and followed that with a 9.40 for a heat total of 19.40 in the U14 girls’ final. That not only clinched the title for Woolf but also earned her the Nixon WTA award of a custom engraved Nixon watch for the highest heat total of the entire event, which she accepted with an impressive speech that belied her tender years.
By contrast, the final of the U14 boys was a ding-dong encounter with the lead changing hands several times and Koby Oberholzer (Durban) narrowly outscoring Adin Masencamp (Strand) by less than a point to take the win.
The final of the U12 boys, the youngest division in the Billabong Junior Series, was also a see-saw battle with Max Elkington (Hout Bay) eventually pulling ahead to secure victory after a great display of progressive surfing.
The light onshore wind provided ideal ramps for aerial and progressive manoeuvres and the country’s top 20-and-under surfers took full advantage, pushing the limits and making it difficult for the judges to decide the special awards.
Once the spray had settled, the VonZipper Flair Up award and R10 000 went to Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) for the highest flying aerial while Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) received the DaKine Youthful Movement award and R10 000 for his progressive surfing.
The next stop on the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS will be held at Nahoon Beach in East London on 6&7 April before moving to Kommetjie in Cape Town in August and culminating at Seal Point in the Eastern Cape in September where the series champions in all divisions will be crowned.