Full House for South African Boys on Day 3 of VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships
- Kai Woolf the First SA Team Member to Reach Round 3 of Main Event
- 11 SA Team Members Still in Contention
The South African team competing in the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in the Azores ended Day 3 of the nine day event in great form with all eight boys successfully though to Round 2 of the Main Event and Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) the first team member to reach Round 3 in her division.
Powerful 1.5 metre waves broken up by strong onshore winds created entirely different challenging conditions to the tiny surf of the opening two days of competition, with wave selection the key component and competitors facing an arduous paddle-out after each ride.
Jordy Maree, the first SA team member in action yesterday, stayed busy during his U18 Boys Round 1 encounter, catching nine waves in the 20 minutes and posting a narrow heat victory. Three heats later Bevan Willis (Salt Rock) dominated his first clash in the event, starting with an excellent 7.67 and added a 5.0 to finish ahead of Tahiti’s Eliot Napias as the pair relegated their third and fourth placed rivals from Israel and Italy to the Repercharge rounds.
Maree and Willis joined their teammates Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) and Adin Masencamp (Strand) in Round 2 of the U18 Boys Main Event.
Also on Podium 1, Woolf clinched victory in her low-scoring U16 Girls Round 2 heat to become the first SA team member to advance to Round 3 in the Main Event stream. In the same division, Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) struggled to find the right waves and dropped into Round 2 of the Repecharge stream after placing fourth.
The team suffered its first exit from the event when Crystal Hulett (Cape St Francis) finished third in her U18 Girls Repercharge Round 1 heat and was eliminated in 49th position overall in her division, contributing 240 points to the team total.
Meanwhile on Podium 2, Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) joined his three U16 Boys division teammates in Round 2 of the Main event when he finished runner-up to Brazilian standout Samuel Pupo. Oberholzer started with an outstanding 8.17 but could not add a strong second ride as Pupo overtook him with a 9.10 and a 6.90.
Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) placed third behind girls from France and Argentina in her U18 Main Event Round 2 heat and dropped into Repecharge Round 2. Bell will have two more heats in which she needs to finish in the top two to get back into the Main Event stream and challenge for higher honours.
South African team manager Karen Elkington, who celebrated her birthday with cake on the beach yesterday, is in the unique position of having her younger son Max in the SA team and through to Round 2 of the U16 Boys, while her older son Jake, competing for Great Britain, won his U18 Boys Repercharge Round 1 heat with the highest heat total of Day 3 – 17.27 out of 20.
Sophie Bell will be the first South African in action today, followed by Kirsty McGillivray and then all eight of the boys.
Surfline, the official forecaster, is predicting that the current surf will prevail for the morning before a longer period swell begins to fill in this afternoon and into tomorrow with larger, overhead waves.
The action at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship can be watched LIVE at www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za starting at approximately 11am SA time daily. The latest news, results, photographs and video footage are also available on the website.
Press release from SA Surfing