Billabong Junior Series
Surfing South Africa
Victoria Bay South Africa
23 - 26 September 2009
Grand Finale for 2009 Billabong Junior Series gets underway Victoria Bay
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 September, 2009 : - - The third and final event in the 2009 Billabong Junior Series got underway today in overhead waves and light onshore winds that strengthened during the day at the picturesque venue of Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape.
More than 80 of South Africas best surfers aged 20-and-under and their entourages have flocked to the event which has R103 000 in prize-money at stake and will crown the series champions for the 13th successive year. The results will also determine the ASP Africa Pro Junior (U20) titles for men and women and see prestigious invitations to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January issued to the highest ranking four men and top ranked woman.
The competitors in Round 1 of the Pro Junior men were the first to take to the surf with Shawn Dennis (Durban) and Jacob Mellish (Somerset West) the standouts of the round, easily winning their respective heats and advancing to match-ups with the top 16 seeds in Round 2.
Others to impress included Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh), 14, who along with Daniel Wilson (Tokai), 16, caused the upset of the round by eliminating highly touted Jaco Steyn (Melkbosstrand) from the event. Heat 8, the final encounter of the round, was a non-stop affair with the lead changing hands after every ride before Justin Grey (Port Elizabeth) and Benji Brand (Kommetjie) secured their berths amongst the last 32.
Brand, 13, who is also competing in the U14and U16 divisions, was the top point scorer of the day, racking up a near perfect 9.0 point ride to go with a 7.0 that gave him a heat tally of 16.0 out of 20 while winning his U14 match-up. The stockily built goofy-foot also won his U16 heat with a 7.25 and a 6.0 to narrowly outpoint Sarah Baum, the top seed in the Pro Junior womens division and one of three girls who are taking on the boys in the U16 age division.
Vic Bay local Bianca Buitendag (George) won her U16 heat to join Baum in the Round 2 of the U16 boys while Heidi Palmboom (Bluff), who was in the same heat as Brand and Baum, narrowly lost out when she finished third and will have to wait for the womens event for her next competitive heat.
Standout performances also came from Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in winning his U16 heat while in the U14s, Max Armstrong (Scarborough) recorded the second highest heat total of the days action as he left all three of his opponents in a combo situation. Daniel Buitendag (George) and Matthew McGillivray (Port Elizabeth), 12, also tore the dropping swell apart with Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) delivering three excellent scores in his U12 heat.
Organisers are expecting offshore conditions but smaller swell for Day 2 of the event which runs until Saturday 26 September. Tomorrow will see the Pro Junior women in action alongside the other four divisions with a daily Von Zipper Air Show being run to determine the finalists who will compete for the R2 000 winner-takes-all prize-purse that goes to best aerial manoeuvre in the final on Saturday.
# 1 : SAs premier Junior titles go on the line at Victoria Bay
# 2 : Coming soon
# 3 : Coming soon
# 4 : Coming soon
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