Seal Point, Cape St Francis - Cold and blustery conditions greeted the competitors on the first day of the final event of the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS, but underneath the wind a fine swell was running with some highly contestable waves reeling down the point.
Due to the strong offshore wind, surfers were opting for carves and open face moves, as well as pulling into a few barrels when the waves allowed. In the U12 Boys division young Eli Beukes from Kommetjie kept the spectators entertained by pulling into barrels along the inside and claiming them, despite being eventually beaten by Durban surfer Karl Steen.
The red-hot U16 Boys trio of Steffen Burrows (Stellenbosch), Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) and Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) showed why they are known as some of the best up-and-coming surfers in the country, with all three of them easily winning their round of 32 heats and advancing into the next round.
In the U18 Girls division Inge McLaren (East London) and Teal Hogg (Durban) were the stand-outs, both winning their opening heats convincingly with the highest heat score tallies of their division. Lara Odendaal (Jeffreys Bay) and Britney Linder (Port Elizabeth) also impressed.
Day one finished with some of the best surfing of the day as the U18 Boys took to the water in fast, high tide conditions. Slade Prestwich took off on his first wave guns blazing to score an 8.5, the highest scoring wave of the day thus far. He followed this up with a 6.5 to win his heat with ease.
"That first wave really set me up for the heat," said Slade afterwards. "It was actually my first real wave on a new board, and luckily it went so well. Afterwards I was just looking for a good backup, and I got that one with some time to spare. There are such bombs coming through and I hope there are still good ones tomorrow."
Other surfers to win their heats in the U18 Boys were Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), Jason Harris (Durban) and Dylan Wichmann (Cape Town), with Josh Smit (Durban) the surprise elimination.
The final event of the series see the series winners crowned as well a number of specialty awards presented:
- BOS Surfer Of The Series award.
This award will go to the surfer who has performed the most consistently across the whole series. It will be open for entries from all divisions and the winner will walk away with a 20K overall prize consisting of R10K cash, a custom made BOS surf board, special BOS merchandise and a year's supply of BOS Ice Tea.
- All Aboard Travel will award a Sportsmanship Award of a return ticket to Bali with four nights accommodation valued at R20k for the surfer from any division who displays the best sportsmanship over the series.
- The DaKine Youthful Movement Award goes to the surfer who performs the most innovative or progressive move performed during the competition.
- The VonZipper Flair Up Award will go to the surfer who successfully lands the biggest or most stylish aerial move of the event.
- The Nixon WTA (Winner Takes All) prize of an engraved Nixon watch will go to the surfer with the highest heat score. Nixon have also put up a limited edition 48-20 All Black / Multi LTD Watch, one of only 15 in the country, to the winner of the U20 Boys Division, as well as headphones for every competitor in the event.
The event can be tracked on the following Social Media platforms:
Billabong South Africa www.facebook.com/Billabong.South.Africa
Billabong Womens South Africa www.facebook.com/BillabongWomensSA
Billabong South Africa www.twitter.com/billabongsa
Billabong Womens South Africa www.twitter.com/@bbwomens_za