25 September 2015 – local Sirf news
South Africa’s top junior surfers are in action in the third and final event on the 2014/15 Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS, which will decide the men’s and women’s World Surf League (WSL) Africa Junior Champions for 2015.
And St Francis Bay’s surfer, Crystal Hulett, rated in the top five, is there and she has the talent to spring great surprises.
Running from today until Sunday, September 25-27, in the long right-hand point break waves of Seal Point at Cape St Francis, the WSL Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1, 000 rated events offer prize-purses of R20 000 for men and R10 000 for women along with coveted ranking points that count for the WSL Africa Junior titles and the selection of the Africa regional squad for the WSL Junior Championships in January 2016.
Men’s top seed Shane Sykes faces a stacked field of top-class performers. The 18-year-old from Salt Rock will have to be at his best to defend his 2014 event and WSL Africa Junior Champion titles against the likes of Dylan Lightfoot from nearby Jeffreys Bay, who finished runner-up for both titles last year
Lightfoot, 20, heads the rankings after second place finishes in both the earlier events in the current series. He has been campaigning on the Qualifying Series (QS) around the world this year, posting several stellar results in JQS events, including reaching the Semifinals at the US Open of Surfing in August.
Right behind that pair in the rankings are Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), third in the event at Magnatubes in July; Jeffreys Bay standout Matt McGillivray and Adin Masencamp from the Strand, both of whom will be starting from Round 1 after submitting late entries for this event; and Durban’s Josh Smit, all of whom will be battling for spots among the four from the regional rankings who will represent WSL Africa at the World Junior Champs.
The women’s event is equally competitive with Nicole Pallet (Durban), winner of the Magnatubes event in July, holding a narrow rankings lead over Jeffreys Bay local Gina Smith and Olivia Brand (Durban) in the race for the regional title.
With just two spots for women in the WSL Africa squad, competition will be fierce and Teal Hogg (uMhlanga), St Francis Bay standout Chrystal Hulett and multiple SA national team member Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach) will all be trying to stake a claim to participate in the prestigious WSL Junior Champs.
Started in 1997, the series has hosted 52 individual events over its illustrious history and has paid over R1.3 million in prize money, making it South Africa’s richest junior surfing series. All of the country’s top international performers, including current and former WSL Championship Tour (CT) members Jordy Smith, Bianca Buitendag, Travis Logie, Royden Bryson, Roseanne Hodge and Nikita Robb have honed their skills by competing in series events.
The Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS at Seal Point can be followed at www.worldsurfleague.com where there will be live scoring during the event.
WSL Africa Men’s Rankings (After Billabong Junior Series event #2 at Magnatubes)
- Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 1500pts
- Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) 1280
- Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) 840
- Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 840
- Adin Masencamp (Strand) 825
WSL Africa Women’s Rankings (After Billabong Junior Series event #2 at Magnatubes)
- Nicole Pallet (Durban) 1420 pts
- Gina Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 1310
- Olivia Brand (Durban) 1050
- Teal Hogg (uMhlanga) 980
- Chrystal Hulett (St Francis Bay) 945
Caption: Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) leads the WSL Africa Junior men’s rankings heading into the final event of the Billabong Junior Series event at Seal Point this weekend Image: Billabong / Thurtell
About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL) organizes the annual tour of professional surf competitions and broadcasts each event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing — anywhere and anytime it’s on. The WSL sanctions and operates the following tours: the Junior Tour, Longboard Tour, the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour and the crown jewel of the sport, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) which determines the sport’s undisputed world champions. The organization is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with Commercial Offices in New York. The offices are supported by regional centers in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America.