Dylan Lightfoot was the standout performer for Team SA on Day 3 of the DAKINE ISA World Junior Surfing Championships yesterday, posting the highest heat tally of Round 2 in the U18 Boys division and then advancing to the last 16 in the Qualifying stream with a victory in his Round 3 heat later in the day.
Max Armstrong and Emma Smith also produced impressive displays with Armstrong maintaining his unbeaten record in Panama and progressing to the last 16 in the U16 Boys while Smith moved into Round 3 of the U18 Girls with a comfortable heat victory.
Those three are the only South Africans still in the Qualifying streams of their respective divisions as the rest of the Team SA members in action yesterday all finished third or fourth in their heats and dropped into the grueling Repercharge rounds where anything other than a first or second place finish results in elimination from the event.
Competing in head high glassy waves, Lightfoot started his Round 2 heat with a manoeuvre packed ride that earned him 7.67 out of 10 from the judges and followed that up with an even better ride of 8.33 to control proceedings throughout the encounter and leave his opponents from Brazil, the UK and Argentina scrapping for second place.
The confident 17 year-old from Jeffreys Bay, who clinched the runners-up silver medal in the U16 division of the ISA World junior event in Peru last year and is coming off an outstanding victory in an international event in Australia 10 days ago, followed that up with another dominant showing in Round 3 where a pair of six-point rides gave him the heat victory and a berth in the last 16 of the Qualifying stream.
Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) continued her good form and, although she could not emulate her high-scoring feats on Monday, she won her Round 2 heat convincingly to stay in the Qualifying stream. Teammate Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach) suffered the heartbreak of a last minute loss when she was overtaken for second spot by Nikki Viesins (USA) on the last ride of the heat.