Hurley SA Junior Champs
A Premier Surfing South Africa (SSA) event
Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay
8-12 October 2014
Competitors revel in classic overhead conditions on day three
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 10 October, 2014 - The country’s best young surfers revelled in classic overhead waves that peeled down the fabled rock-lined Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay on Day 3 of the 2014 Hurley SA Junior Champs on Friday. The powerful new swell that arrived overnight produced 1 to 2 metre waves groomed by light winds that provided the ideal template for the competitors aged 17-and-under to showcase their talent. There were spectacular performances and several upsets in the battle for prestigious individual national titles and team points.
Shane Sykes, the KwaZulu-Natal Central top seed, was the standout of the day. Continuing the momentum from his victory at Seal Point last weekend, Sykes was surfing faster and more radically than his U17 Boys opponents. He posted the highest single ride score of the day (9.0 out of a possible 10) in his Round 4 encounter by tearing up a long J-Bay wall and ended with a huge aerial that makes him a frontrunner for the Red Bull Best Air award.
Sykes advanced to the last 12 in the division along with runner-up Michael Monk (Border).
Others who produced impressive performances in the U17 Boys included defending champion Matt McGillivray (EP), Ntando Msibi (Dev Academy), Matthew Sills (SKZN) and Sykes’ teammates Richard Kidd and Bevan Willis from KZNC, all of whom won their heats.
The biggest upset of the day came in the U15 Boys where Adin Masencamp (Boland) won his Round 3 heat and 2013 champion Ethan Fletcher (WP) was eliminated from the event when Calvin Goor (KZNC) caught one of biggest set waves of the day, punctuated his ride with huge manoeuvres and earned an 8.5 that relegated Fletcher to third place.
“The waves are so good out there,” said Masencamp. "Coming off a win at the recent Billabong Junior Series event I was feeling pretty confident and had no real strategy. I just wanted to catch some of the lined-up set waves and ended up getting a 7 and a 7.75 so I was stoked!"
Jake Elkington, Ford van Jaarsveldt and Joe Webster (all WP), Sebastian Williams and Jose Faulkner (both EP), Luke Malherbe (Border) and Koby Oberholzer (KZNC) were the others who progressed to the last 16 in the U15 Boys with heat wins.
The potent early morning waves had the administrators and parents of U13 Boys and Girls watching anxiously, and the jetski recue craft close at hand, while the competitors in the youngest division took to the surf. But their fears were allayed as the youngsters were fearless in the face of the intimidating conditions.
Kelly Medly (KZNC), who weighs barely 30 Kgs, deserves special mention as she paddled out to back only to be washed onto the rocks by one of the bigger sets of the day. She then courageously rode two waves on the inside to win her heat and move into the quarterfinals.
The battle for the coveted Freedom Cup, awarded to the provincial team that accumulates the highest points across all divisions, is hotting up as each team had several competitors eliminated with just two days to go before the champions are crowned on Sunday.
Solid but slightly smaller waves and light winds are predicted for Saturday with clean offshore winds expected for the final day.
In addition to the prestige of securing a place in South African surfing history, surfers will also be competing for several special awards totalling more than R12 000. These include the Red Bull Best Air, Oakley Highest Heat Score, Island Tribe Best Tube, Skullcandy Team Spirit Award and two surfboards shaped by Matt Biolos from Mayhem.