Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.
Seal Point, Cape St Francis – The best junior surfers in the country are arriving in Seal Point for the final event in the 2018 Billabong Junior Series. The surf forecast for the contest has signs that it might be an epic weekend of surfing at the ever-consistent Seal Point, with plenty of swell around for the competitors to display their top surfing skills to the judges.
This event is possibly one of the most crucial junior surfing tournaments of the year, with much at stake for the competitors. Firstly there are the stand-alone event results, with surfers wanting to win this contest for points and prize money. Leading on from this, there are the Billabong Junior Series winners. Two event results count for these winners – from both the Billabong Junior Series Ballito and Seal Point events. This event will also crown the World Surf League (WSL) Africa Junior champions, which will also lead on to the qualification for the WSL World Junior Championships, including the top four men and top two women surfers who will compete in the World Junior Championships in Taiwan in December 2018. It promises to be an action-packed and dramatic weekend of surfing.
The WSL Africa Men’s Junior Tour is currently being led by Luke Slijpen, with Eli Beukes and Max Elkington hot on his heels, and Dillon Hendricks and Bryce Du Preez not far behind. Slijpen has had an excellent competitive year and has a healthy lead in this division, with Beukes more than one thousand points behind him.
In the WSL Africa Women’s Junior Tour rankings, Kai Woolf is out in front with a comfortable lead over second ranked Zoe Steyn, with Sophie Bell in third place going in to this event. Kirsty McGillivray and Kayla Nogueira make up the remainder of the top five positions.
Both divisions contain a number of surfers who have improved dramatically over the last year, and there is every possibility of an upset in either division from the likes of Karl Steen and Daniel Emslie in the men’s, and Ceara Knight and Sne Makhubu in the women’s divisions respectively, to name a few.
In the U16 Boys division, all eyes will be on Tide Lee Ireland, York Van Jaarsveldt and Mitch du Preez, while in the U16 Girls division Zoe Steyn, Kayla Nogueira and Gabi Lailvaux are just three surfers who look set to dominate.
“It has been a good year for Junior Surfing in the country, and the Billabong Junior Series has been a great success,” said Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “We’re immensely proud of this series as it finishes its 21st year in the country, and we are looking forward to another positive year next year for both Junior Surfing as well as the Billabong Junior Series.”
The Billabong Junior Series runs from Friday to Sunday when all the event and series champions will crowned at the awards ceremony on the beach.
Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens
The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.