Billabong Junior Series Africa #3
Surfing South Africa
Big Bay Cape Town
9 - 11 May 2008
Third event in Billabong Junior Series gets underway at Big Bay in Cape Town
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 May, 2008 : - - The third of five events on the 2008 Billabong Junior Series kicked off at Big Bay today under cloudy skies with waves in the one to one and a half metre range. Two rounds of competition were surfed in both the Under 16 and Under 20 divisions, the waves clean and very contestable despite the slight cross-shore north westerly wind.
With a large crowd gathered on the beach in support of the youngsters competing for a top spot in the most prestigious junior surfing series in the country, it would be the locals from Melkbos that proved the standout performers of the day. Under 16 surfer Ike Forsyth won both his Round of 40 and Round of 32 heats, and fellow Melkbosstrand surfer Leon du Preez followed suit when he took top spot in his Round of 32 match-up.
JC Susan was yet another Melkbos surfer who claimed first place in his Under 16 heat today, scoring one of the highest individual wave scores of the day with a great 7.25. The Under 20 division was no different for the locals, with Diran Zakarian and Philip Visagie (both of Melkbosstrand) progressing through to the Round of 32 tomorrow.
Top performer of the day, however, was goofyfooter Davey Brand (Kommetjie), who won his Under 20 heat after scoring an 8.75 and a 6, and went on to win his Under-16 heat with a 6.5 and a 6. He was awarded his excellent 8.75 score after a solid display of critical surfing after three excellent turns, banking off the bottom and literally going backwards up the face before snapping around in the curl, the judges duly rewarded him with the highest score of the event thus far.
Davey's younger brother Benji Brand (Kommetjie) then went on to show similar form in the very next heat, taking a good Under-20 win against development surfer Bertie Stuurman from Jeffreys Bay.
Stuurman, who finished second in the Under 20s in the 2007 South African Championships, surfed extremely well and will find himself in a talent-stacked heat when he faces Klee Strachan (Winkelspruit), Jaco Steyn (Bloubergstrand) and Slade Prestwich (Park Rynie) in Heat 4 of the Round of 32 tomorrow.
The biggest upset of the day occurred in Heat 7 of the Round of 32 of the Under 16 division, when second seeded surfer Michael February (Kommetjie) was knocked out by Elroy Thomas (Muizenberg) and JP Olivier (Strand) to finish in third place. February's unexpected loss leaves the door wide open for the rest of the Under 16 contingent, who will no doubt take advantage of his early exit in order to build on their ratings for their year end totals.
Tomorrow will see an epic display of the country's top junior surfing as the higher seeded surfers take to the water. The likes of Dale Staples (St Francis Bay), Rudy Palmboom (Bluff), Nicholas Godfrey (Cape St Francis) and Matthew Bromley (Kommetjie) will face off against today's top performers in a bid to claim the coveted Under-20 title.
Conditions for tomorrow are forecast as wild and woolly Cape Town weather, and the juniors will have to be in top form as they battle not only each other, but the predicted 4 metre swell and 40km north westerly winds as well.
The finals in all age categories are scheduled for Sunday afternoon, along with the spectacular Von Zipper Air Show with its winner-takes-all R2 000 purse for the surfer completing the best aerial manoeuvre.
The Billabong Junior Series is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport, and the ratings points earned in each event also count towards the annual SSA Pro Surf Tour (PST) rankings. The series is proudly supported by First National Bank, Palmers, Kustom and Von Zipper.
After Cape Town, the 2008 Billabong Junior Series moves to Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape (7-10 August) before concluding in Jeffreys Bay (18-21 September) where the series champions will be crowned for the 12th successive year.
The final event is highlighted by a Grade 1 rated, R40 000 Pro Junior International event sanctioned by ASP Africa. The top four on the yearend ASP Africa Pro Junior ratings receive coveted invitations to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January 2009.
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