The 2018 Sea Harvest SA Junior Surfing Championships has ended at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay with the Cape Town Surfriders team successfully defending the coveted Freedom Cup which is awarded to the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the five day tournament.
Their victory margin over traditional rivals, eThekweni Surfriders from KZN, was 45375 points to eThekweni’s 45140 points. The Capetonians claimed two of the eight individual national titles at stake while eThekweni took three championship titles. Buffalo City Surfriders from East London scored 42965 points and came third, their best result at the national junior championships since their runner up spot in 2003. They claimed two national titles while hosts Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders 38066 points gave them fourth place overall. They produced one new national champion.
Cape Winelands Surfriders came fourth with 33985, Ugu Surfriders from the KZN South Coast were sixth with 27360 points came sixth. The Garden Route based Eden Surfriders team posted 24058 points for seventh, Ilembe Surfriders from the KZN North Coast were eighth with 20640 points and the six strong SA Academy Team took ninth spot with 8960points.
The 22nd edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for five days with sunshine, offshore and onshore surf, great vibes and excellent memories. Although the final day of competition was held in tough onshore surf the finalists put on an excellent show and the 2018 can proudly add their names into the annals of South African surfing history.
The new champions are Max Elkington (Cape Town Surfriders) who adds the U18 Boys Title to his previous age division success at the SA Junior Championships. The Kommetjie surfer is the only surfer to win every age group at this event.
Nelson Mandela Bay surfer and Sea Harvest Surfing Excellence Award winner in 2018, Angelo came second with 2017 U16 Boys Champion Eli Beukes (Cape Town) ending third ahead of Karl Steen (eThekweni).
Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay), the 2017 U16 Girls champion added another SA title to her name by winning the U18 Girls Final. Former champion Sophie Bell (eThekweni) was second Tayla de Coning (Buffalo City) came third and Maya Shefer – Boswell (Cape Town) came fourth.
Tide Lee Ireland (eThekweni) took gold in the U16 Boys final edging fellow SA Junior Team member Mitch du Preez (Buffalo City) into second place. Manoa Robb and York Van Jaarsveldt (both Cape Town) came third and fourth respectively.
SA Open Women’s champion and 2014 winner last year, Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) showed her class in taking honours in the U16 Girls final. Talented Kayla Nogueira (eThekweni) came second, Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) was third and Gabi Lailvaux (eThekweni) was fourth. All four surfers are members of the SA Junior Team going to the ISA World Championships in three weeks’ time.
SA Junior Team member Luke Thompson (eThekweni) continued his good run of form by winning the U14 Boys title. Daniel Emslie (Buffalo City), who named male Surfer of the Contest, was runner up with Brad Scott and Connor Slijpen (both Cape Town) taking third and fourth respectively.
A stoked Aimee du Preez (Buffalo City) had a fantastic contest and sealed it with a win in the U14 Girls Division. Buffalo City teammate Adriel Wolmarans was second, Chloe Ribbink (eThekweni) came third and Gia Gillmer (Ugu) was fourth.
After some good results in the early round Nate Colby (eThekweni) won gold in the U12 Division beating Kai Hall (Ilembe) into second spot. Buffalo City surfers Josh Malherbe and Joel Fowles were third and fourth respectively.
Dynamic Sarah Scott (Cape Town) not only won the U12 crown but was also named as the female Surfer of the Contest for her efforts during the championships. Anastasia Venter (Cape Winelands) was second, Sea Harvest Surfing Excellence Award winner Zia Hendricks (Nelson Mandela Bay) was third and Mayah Potgieter (Ilembe came fourth).
According to Alex Milne, SSA Operations Manager and Event Director, the 2018 Sea Harvest SA Junior Championships was a huge success. “This contest has been amazing. The weather was good, the waves have been contestable and all the surfers have enjoyed themselves. The surfing standard has been really high and it is good to see new faces claiming the titles. Without a great partner such as Sea Harvest, Surfing South Africa would not have been able to present a five star tournament such as this one. We are already looking forward to the 2019 SA Junior Surfing Championships.”