Lower Point at Jeffreys Bay provided clean contestable conditions for the opening day of the 2014 Hurley SA Junior Champs where the country’s top young surfers are competing for national team and individual titles.
The premier junior event on the South African surfing calendar runs from 8 to 12 October at the Mecca of South African surfing and will crown champions in age divisions including Under 13, U15 and U17 for Boys and Girls.
The provincial team accumulating the highest points total clinches the coveted Freedom Cup.
The small waves favoured the light-footed competitors and with hordes of surfers and their supporters lining the rocky point and overlooking dunes, JBay local and Eastern Province top seed Matt McGillivray gave his team mates plenty of reason to cheer as he started the defence of his U17 Boys title by winning the first heat of the event.
McGillivray and heat runner-up Bevan Willis (KwaZulu-Natal Central) advanced directly to Round 3 of the division while third and fourth placed Rigter Markgraaff (Boland) and Brandon Lange (Southern KZN) will compete again in cut throat 15 minute Round 2 heats tomorrow.
Eking every ounce of energy out of the waves, the provincial top seeds held sway in most heats with Donovan Wichmann from defending Freedom Cup holders Western Province, Shane Sykes (KZNC), Michael Monk (Border) and Matthew Sills (SKZN) all winning their respective match-ups.
The U15 Boys heats followed a similar pattern with Sebastian Williams from EP, Jake Elkington (WP), Adin Masencamp (Boland), Koby Oberholzer (KZNC) and Luke Malherbe (Border) all finishing on top in their clashes.
Defending U15 Boys champ Ethan Fletcher (WP) posted some of the highest scores of the day while Paul Sampson from the SA Development Academy caused the biggest upset by racking up a comprehensive heat win and booking a berth in Round 3.
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 R 12 000.