Gonubie, East London - Durban surfer Slade Prestwich was a multiple winner at the Billabong Junior Series in East London, racking up the lion's share of the points and prizemoney on offer. In a tough U20 final, Slade was trailing behind a dominant Steven Sawyer from Jeffreys Bay before he stroked into a wide set wave and went to town on what was the highest scoring wave of the heat. The wave opened up for Slade, and after a big foam climb he strung together a series of powerful turns to impress the judges and jump into the lead. "I was lucky to get that wave," said Slade. "Steven was out of position and I took off in the white-water and managed a few good turns." The U20 win saw Slade pocket R10k. On top of that, Slade also won the VonZipper Flair Up Award of R10k for the Best Aerial for a big Air Reverse he pulled off in an earlier heat. Slade also won the Nixon Winner Takes All Award of an engraved Nixon Watch for the Highest Heat Score of 16.25 points out of a possible 20, making him the most successful surfer of the tournament.
Sarah Baum was the winner of the U20 Girls division and also took home R10k. The Durban-based goofy-footer has been traveling and competing on the WQS, and hasn't been home and competing for some time. "I haven't surfed in a contest in South Africa for so long. It was good to be competing at home again," said Baum. "The waves were fun, and it has been a great event." Sarah is home in South Africa until the Women's WQS kicks off again in August. "I'll be putting the money towards a car," said Baum. "I plan on doing some traveling and surfing in South Africa over the next few months."
Max Armstrong was the winner of the DaKine Youthful Movement Award of R10k for the Most Progressive Wave surfed during the event for a massive air 360 performed earlier in the day.
The tournament had a somewhat difficult start when the muncipality was forced to close the contest venue of Nahoon Beach due to sewage runoff from a burst pipe caused by the heavy rains over the Easter weekend. Luckily for all, Gonubie was chosen as the alternate venue by contest director Cyril Nel, and what a good choice that proved to be. Gonubie delivered great waves, ranging in the two to three-foot range all weekend, ideal for high action surfing from the country's best junior surfers. The sun poured down the whole weekend, and the wind forgot to blow.
Shane Sykes from Salt Rock was a very stoked winner of the U16 Boys division. "I havent had a good win in quite some time now," said Shane in his post-final interview. "I picked up a few good waves in the beginning of the heat and got some good scores for them. I'm happy to have won it."
In the U18 Girls it was Chanelle Botha who took the win for the second time, repeating her performance from the first event in Durban. Kai Woolf from Jbay won the U14 Girls division convincingly, Josh Smit won the U18 Boys, Adin Masencamp won the U14 Boys and Max Elkington was the winner in the U12 Boys division.
The next event in the Billabong Junior Series will be held in Kommetjie, Cape Town in August. The Billabong Junior Series is presented by BOS and Sony.
Billabong Junior Series (Event #2 of 4)
Gonubie, East London
1. Slade Prestwich (Dbn) R10 000
2. Steven Sawyer (Jbay)
3. Shane Sykes (Srock)
4. David Brand (Kom)
1. Sarah Baum (Dbn) R10 000
2. Heidi Palmboom (Bluff)
3. Emma Smith (Jbay)
4. Tahra Uren (Jbay)
1. Joshua Smit (Dbn) R5 000
2. Slade Prestwich (Dbnnth) R900
3. Mitch Henderson (EL) R600
4. Max Armstrong (Scarb) R500
1. Chanelle Botha (Warners) R5 000
2. Tahra Uren (JBay) R900
3. Gina Smith (JBay) R600
4. Crystal Hulet (Stfr)R500
1. Shane Sykes (Srock) R5 000
2. Matt McGillivray (JBay) R900
3. Jordan Maree (Cpt) R600
4. Ntando Msibi (Dbn)R500
1. Adin Masencamp(Strand) R2 500
2. Jose FaulknerJBay) R450
3 Ethan Fletcher(Kom) R300
4. Luke Malherbe(EL) R250
1. Kai Woolf (Jbay) R2 500
2. Sophie Bell (Umhlali) R450
3. Danica Stokigt (EL) R300
4. Olivia Izzard (Dbn) R250
1. Max Elkington (Htbay) R2 500
2. Angelo Faulkner (Jbay) R450
3. Julian Zens (Blbg) R300
4. Ryan Lightfoot (Jbay) R250
VonZipper Flair Up Award Best Aerial Manoeuvre
Slade Prestwich (Dbn) - R10 000
DaKine Youthful Movement Award Most Progressive Surfing
Max Armstrong (Scarb) - R10 000
Nixon Winner Takes All (WTA) - Highest heat total - Slade Prestwich (Dbn) - Custom engraved Nixon Watch
The Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for surfing. The events form part of the Pro Surf Tour (PST) with competitors in all the divisions earning points towards their 2013 PST rankings.