Yrrr, you kids rock! We're all bursting with pride at your amazing achievement The first win at an SA Junior Champs by an EP team ever! Nothing like saving it til we're on home ground too! Ha, watch out all you Durban, Border and CT ou's, our lighties are gonna come smoke you at SA Open Champs in a coupla years!
Thanks to Louisa Lightfoot for keeping us up to date with all the news and pics. Here's her event summary:
"The team worked extremely hard for this achievement, they went to bed every night early, woke up each day at 5.30 for a dawnie at 6 before the comp. Graham Hynes – at 83 yrs old – and Ettienne Venter were on the beach each day at 6 to coach the team. The team managers Alester and Heidi Smith were tireless in their support, demanding the best from the team, in the water and supporting their team on the beach.
The Eastern Province team lost two very experienced older surfers last year in Emma Smith and Steven Sawyer, but when Dylan Lightfoot qualified for ASP Worlds and had to leave the team to go to Bali, the team was so disappointed. The team then powered together and the fantastic result was achieved through every team member putting in the last little bit of energy they could muster. The fact that a surfer like Crystal Hulett won her division and Ashley Vaughn got into the final, two fairly unknown surfers upsetting some big names in junior surfing, showed the power of the team working together.
Hurley put on a fantastic competition with the Supertubes foundation improving the Point park and making it look really lovely for the event. EP Surfing would like to thank Billabong for their donation of clothing and all the smaller donations from the smaller companies, Moms and Dads."
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
Eastern Province dominated the Hurley SA Junior Champs in their home surf at Jeffreys Bay, clinching the coveted Freedom Cup team trophy for the first time in the 16 year history of the event and earning three of the six South African individual titles and three of the five special awards on offer.
South Africa’s premier event for surfers aged17-and-under ended today (Sunday) after enjoying a phenomenal five straight days of excellent surf at the Point with offshore winds every day grooming the waves and giving the competitors the every opportunity to showcase their talent.
The team title was extremely close with the powerful KwaZulu-Natal Central (KZNC) team from Durban finishing just 184 points behind EP in second place, with defending champions Western Province a distant third 1 143 points further back. Boland placed fourth followed by Southern KZN, Southern Cape, Border, the SA Development Academy and Zululand.
Matt McGillivray of EP was the standout performer in J-Bay, producing inspired surfing that saw him win every heat on his way to the national U15 boys’ title. He was deservedly crowned the Hurley Surfer of the Contest, in association with All Aboard Travel, earning a R20 000 voucher to any destination in the world, and then pocketed another R5 000 for winning the Red Bull Airshow where he beat the best aerial surfers at the event.
Benji Brand (WP) was on fire on the final day, employing his trademark vertical backhand repertoire to win the national U17 title and also taking home the R3 000 for the Citroën Highest Heat Score award when he posted a 17.0 point out of 20 total in his semi-final encounter. Diran Zakarian (Boland) took the runner-up spot with Jason Harris (KZNC) in third and Ethan Pentz (WP) placing fourth
J-Bay local Gina Smith (EP) was another who went unbeaten throughout the event, going on the be crowned the national U17 girls champion ahead of Inge McLaren (Border), teammate and last year’s U15 champion Tahra Uren (EP) and Caryn McNicol (KZNC).
McGillivray’s dominating victory in the U15 boys division saw Shane Sykes (KZNC) finish second with Jordy Maree (WP) taking third and Nthando Msibi (KZNC) in fourth place. Msibi received the Zigzag Blowing Up award and a R3 000 prize-purse.
The U15 girls’ final was a closely fought affair and when the spray settled Crystal Hulett (EP) was the champion with 2011 winner, Chanelle Botha (SKZN) close behind in second. Olivia Brand (KZNC) and Ruth Armstrong (WP) placed third and fourth respectively.
Adin Masencamp (Boland), who had held the lead in the Citroën Highest Heat Score award for the first four days of the tournament, successfully defended his U13 boys’ title, finishing just ahead of arch-rival Ethan Fletcher (WP). Jose Faulkner (EP) took third and Max Elkington (WP) placed fourth.
The U13 girls’ title went to Sophie Bell (KZNC) who racked up a massive 15.0 points to deny Kai Woolf (EP) a second successive title in her home surf. Ashleigh Vaughan finished ahead of Danica Stockigt (Border) in the final to grab third place.
The Skullcandy Team Spirit award was presented to Eastern Province whose enthusiasm and support for their teammates paid off with team and individual honours that will go down in the annals of South African surfing history.
Daily blogs, interviews, video uploads, images, event schedule and results from the Hurley SA Junior Champs are posted on www.sajuniorchamps.co.za with results and info also found atwww.surfingsouthafrica.co.za.
Hurley Surfer of the Contest, in association with All Aboard Travel
Matt McGillivray (EP) – R20 000 travel voucher
Red Bull Airshow
Matt McGillivray (EP) – R5 000
Citroën Highest Heat Score
Benji Brand (WP) – R3 000
Zigzag Blowing Up Award
Nthando Msibi (KZNC) – R3 000
Skullcandy Team Spirit Award