With an expected 8 – 10 foot swell accompanied by gale force South Westerly winds expected to batter the entire Southern Cape coastline, contest officials decided to make best use of the calm early morning conditions with an 8am start on day 2 of the Billabong Pro Junior at Vic Bay yesterday.
First up in the water was the premier Pro Junior Boys division round of 16, with all surfers eagerly vying for a coveted quarter-final spot.
And just like the previous day, it was all action from the get-go with Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) lighting up the score sheets with a high-performance display of competitive surfing, as he cruised into the quarter finals leaving behind frustrated birthday boy Mikey Venter.
The most impressive part of Beyrick’s heat was not only the fin’s free reverses and full rail to rail power turns but his careful wave selection on the smaller insiders afforded him the steeper walls needed for his brand of high-impact surfing.
Not to be outdone, J-Bay local Dylan Lightfoot surfed his way all over the line-up to take down one of the top seed’s in Mikey February (Kommetjie) and powered into the quarters alongside Dane Staples.
Older brother and one of the event-favourites; Dale Staples followed straight from where ‘baby bro’ left off with a patient albeit innovative performance of rail surfing in a star-studded 3’rd heat of the day.
Joining him was Slade Prestwich at the expense of a disappointed Steve Sawyer and Davey van Zyl.
The last two Pro Junior quarter final spots were filled in by the St Francis Bay style-master Nicky Godfrey and Durban’s Matt Pallet who squeaked through with a last minute win over Kommetjie’s Matt Bromley who missed out by a soul-destroying 0.05 of a point.
With the Pro Junior quarter finals decided for tomorrow, it was the turn of the U 16 Boy’s to have a go in the building swell. Heat 1 saw lanky goofer-footer Diran Zakarian securing a noteworthy heat win over Benji Brand, both of whom booked semi-final births going into tomorrow. KZN South Coaster Slade Prestwich posted yet another inspiring event heat win, advancing through alongside Dylan Wichmann.
Vigorous as always, Dylan Lightfoot made it a 1-2 with his second heat win of the day – albeit in the lower division – while Josh Smit took runner-up and will live to fight another day in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
The last heat of the day saw goofy-foot sensation Jordy Maree book his spot in the next round and will be joined in the semis by Mitchell Henderson.