VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Champs
International Surfing Association
5 - 13 April, 2014
ZAF surfers make it through Day 1 of ISA WJSC
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 April, 2014 - The South African Junior Surfing Team posted an unblemished record on the opening day of the VISSLA ISA World Surfing Championships in Salinas, Ecuador on Sunday with all four surfers in both the U18 and the U16 Boy’s divisions finishing either first or second in their respective Round 1 heats.
The 2014 edition of the world’s largest surfing event for surfers aged 18 and under features nearly 300 participants in 32 national teams who are competing for gold, silver, bronze and copper medals in U18 and U16 divisions for boys and girls, the Aloha Cup tag team event and the coveted team title.
The contest is being staged at La FAE beach which is on an airforce base just outside the tourist town of Salinas in Southern Ecuador which can provide a good left hand point break when the swell is 1.5 metres or bigger and excellent peaks in the middle of the beach.
Sunday saw one metre crumbling onshore waves that were made even more difficult to negotiate during the early high tide affected heats, but Shane Sykes got the SA team challenge off to an impressive start with a dominatant performance over opponents from Peru, hosts Ecuador and Chile in his opening U18 Boys’ heat.
Steffen Burrows, Ntando Msibi and SA team captain Max Armstrong all placed second in their U18 Round 1 heats to progress to the next round of the Qualifying stream while those finishing third or fourth in the heats dropped into the gruelling Repecharge rounds where another finish outside the top two results in elimination from the event.
Msibi, a former Durban street child who turned his life around thanks to surfing and received an ISA Scholarship in 2013, was inspired after progressing to the next round in his first visit outside South Africa and is looking forward to a career as a professional surfer.
“This is my first time overseas and first time I have competed in a big event and it’s nice, it’s great,” Msibi enthused. “I want to surf to get into Kelly Slater’s position, go on tour, and meet new people. It’s just you having fun out there, that’s what I love about surfing.”
Meanwhile on the second podium in the middle of the beach, Adin Masencamp and Jordy Maree recorded comprehensive victories while Joshe Faulkner and Ethan Fletcher took second places in their U16 Boys encounters.
All 12 members of the team will be in action in today’s second day of competition when Round 2 of theU18 and U16 Boys Qualifying stream will be run at Podium 1 while the U18 Girls, featuring SA’s Teal Hogg and Chanelle Botha, and the U16 Girls with Cana Forster and Ruth Armstrong take to the surf in front of Podium 2.
The ISA World Junior Championships were officially opened on Saturday when the 32 teams marched through the streets of Salinas in the Parade of Nations before gathering for the emotive Sands of the World Ceremony where each team pours sand from their home beach into a glass container, symbolizing the peaceful gathering of nations through the love of surfing.
On Friday South Africa reclaimed the SANZ trophy in their traditional match up with New Zealand which has been used as part of the pre-World Junior Championships preparation since 2002. The SA boys took the honours against their NZ counterparts, but the girls from the ‘land of the long white cloud’ turned the tables, with SA narrowly prevailing in the overall team total.
The 2014 VISSLA ISA World Surfing Games resumes on Monday at 8am local time (4pm SA time). Surfing South Africa (SSA) is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa. SSA is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and of the International Surfing Association (ISA).