Staples and Godfrey stake their claim in Billabong Pro Junior
South Africa’s top junior surfers for U12, U14, U16 and Pro Junior Men took to the surf today on Day 1 of a four-day weekend of competitive surfing in the Billabong Pro Junior Vic Bay.
St Francis Bay’s Dale Staples in the Pro Juniors raised the bar with his fluid repertoire of cuttie’s, snaps and one attempted forehand punt, which, if landed would’ve undoubtedly resulted in one of the highest individual wave scores of the day. Despite the uncompleted air, Dale got the score and advanced into the next round, alongside Cape St Francis compatriot Nick Godfrey and Kommetjie’s Matt Bromley, fresh off the plane from Tahiti – having spent the past few days’ cheering from the channel as the world’s best took on one of the swell’s of the decade at Teahupoo.
ASP Africa ratings leader, Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) set an impressive trend in the Pro Juniors with a comprehensive heat win, after which the Cape-Town pairing of Jared Veldhuis and Mikey February answered back with equally impressive heat victories.
In ever-consistent 3-4ft swells running down the point and with much excitement top seeds staked their claim with successive wins from heat 1 of the U16 boys - a trend that continued throughout the day’s action.
Cape Town’s Benji Brand looked impressive in his round 1 heat, as did the lanky Diran Zakarian,. Both posted heat wins. Other standout’s in the U16s were stylish Slade Prestwich, J-Bay’s Dylan Lightfoot, PE’s Matt McGillivray and one of the brightest young surfing talents, Mr Jordy Maree, surfing above and beyond his 14 years.
The U14s then powered all the way through to the quarter finals with the talented duo of Ethan Fletcher and Adin Massencamp who secured semi-final births while seriously turning heads with mature rail-to-rail surfing, with the latter recording the highest heat score of the day – a 17.5 out of possible 20 points.
Jordy Maree again showed his class with another heat win advancing alongside Steffen Burrows, Shane Sykes, Donovan Wichmann and Matt McGillivray.
Then it was the turn of the not so patient U12s. In what amounted to overheard conditions for the groms, brothers’ Ford and York van Jaarsveld advanced while Jose Faulkner, Max Elkington, David Burrows and Rewaldo Abersalie all secured semi-final births with compelling round 1 heat wins.
After 28 heats surfed on day 1, all eye’s shift to tomorrow and the expected huge pulse of swell, forecast to begin slamming all along the Southern and Eastern Cape coastline.
There’s no way to predict the swell for certain. If the surf reaches the 6-8 metres as forecast, it will be an interesting decision as to whether the contest directors will choose to run any heats tomorrow.
According to the official schedule the Pro Junior round of 16 and the U16 Boys quarter finals are to be surfed tomorrow. Stand by for the 7 am call tomorrow.
All articles written, all photos taken, plus all adverts designed, by the Editor and printed in the St Francis Chronicle are protected by Copyright. Reproduction or copying of any part of the contents of this newspaper and its concept and design can only be done with the Editor’s written permission