Light onshore winds did little to affect the performance of the country’s top young surfers while waves continued to pump through the line-up at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay on Day 2 of the Billabong SA Junior Champs.
The girls took centre stage as Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) and Sophie Bell (eThekweni) in the U15’s and Kayla Verreynne (Eden) in the U17’s delivered excellent performances in the solid but lumpy one metre surf.
The day’s action started with Round 1 of the U15 girls and Sophie Bell set the standard with a strong performance in the first heat, carving bottom turns and linking vertical manoeuvres together seamlessly as she charged to victory and a pass directly to Round 3.
Jeffreys Bay local Kirsty McGillivray has seen the Lower Point in all its moods and used her wide repertoire of radical turns to clinch the highest heat score of the round, counting 8.0 and 9.0 rides for a heat tally of 17.0 out of 20.
“It looked a little messy from the beach but there were actually some really fun sets coming through,” said McGillivray. “I did some turns that I was happy about and the board that I am riding felt really good under my feet.”
Kelly Fenton (Nelson Mandela Bay) and Kayla Noguera (eThekweni) shone in the U13 girls before Round 2 of the U17 boys took to the waves and the first surfers were eliminated from the event.
Rewaldo Abersalie flew the flag for the host Nelson Mandela Bay district, while Gabriel Fernandes (Cape Town), Cullum Carlson (Uthungulu) and Cody Coetsee (Ugu) all ensured they stayed in contention for higher honours by winning their encounters.
“It’s been a really good contest so far – really great conditions,” said Vangie Boettger, Billabong Women’s Marketing Manager. “Coming into Day 2 the girls showed some dynamic surfing and we’re really stoked that Kirsty and Crystal came through from the Billabong Team riders side and Olivia and Sophie Bell showed some great backhand surfing.”
The Billabong SA Junior Champs runs until Sunday when the winners in the U17, U15 and U13 boy’s and girl’s divisions will be crowned the 2015 SA Junior Champions.
The district team accumulating the highest point tally across all divisions will be awarded the highly prized Freedom Cup and the winners of the U17 and U15 divisions will be awarded national team blazers.