Cape Town Surfriders clinched the Freedom Cup for the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the 2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs, which was completed in excellent one metre waves at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay yesterday.
eThekweni (42,777) finished runners-up with hosts and defending team champions Nelson Mandela Bay (41,792) in third place and Buffalo City (40,277) in fourth.
They were followed in the team standings by Cape Winelands, Ugu, Eden, debutants Ilembe and the SA Development Academy.
The 2017 edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for the incredible waves across all five days with sunshine, whales sightings, great memories and after an excellent final day, a new set of champions will have their names inscribed in the annals of South Africa surfing history.
Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) was consistent throughout the U18 boys’ division, winning every single heat he contested. He was elated to improve on his runner up position in the u/17 boys’ division at SA champs last year by claiming the premier boys’ title this year.
Nelson Mandela Bay surfer Joshe Faulkner was relegated to second place by a mere 0.21of a point leaving Koby Oberholzer (eThekweni) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth places respectively.
Jeffreys Bay local Kirsty McGillivray added another SA title to her name with her powerful and precise surfing, capturing the crown in the dying seconds of the u/18 girls final.
Nina Harmse (Eden) maintained her runner-up berth from last year while goofy foot Natasha Van Greunen (Cape Winelands) finished third above her teammate Sarah Ingram in a heat with few waves.
After a heat total of 19.47 in his semi final earlier in the day, Eli Beukes had unshakeable confidence in the u/16 boys final, sealing his title with a big air-reverse on his last wave.
Aya Gericke (Eden) read the waves beautifully for a second place finish above Saxton Randall (eThekweni).
After a rocky start Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) went for broke with a huge aerial manoeuvre but was unable to stick the landing and had to settle for fourth place.
The talented u/16 girls had a slow final but Nelson Mandela Bay surfer and JBay local Kai Woolf knew just the right waves to pick to claim another SA title with her ferocious backhand attack.
Runner-up S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (eThekweni) was a good match for Woolf on her backhand and held the highest single score in the final, an 8.5, but struggled to find a heat winning back up ride.
Tayla De Coning (Buffalo City) was narrowly bumped to third place with Summer Sutton (Cape Town Surfriders) finishing fourth.
The u/14 boys were blowing up throughout the contest but in the end it was Buffalo City’s Mitch Du Preez who claimed his first SA title with a total of 16.44, despite only surfing three waves in the 20 minute final.
Teammate Daniel Emslie finished close behind in second place ahead of Luke Thompson (eThekweni) and Kye Macgregor (Nelson Mandela Bay).
Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) had a fantastic final in the u/14 girls, dominating proceedings and winning with a 16.33 heat total. Katie Winter (Cape Town Surfriders) finished in second place leaving Lhea Johnston (Buffalo City) and Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth place respectively.
The u/12 groms were a pleasure to watch as they fearlessly charged the overhead waves. In the girls final Gabbi Herbst (eThekweni) held the lead with a series of great scores while Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) earned a well warranted second place in her first SA champs.
In third was Nelson Mandela Bay rider Zia Hendricks and in fourth was Maya Figl (Cape Winelands).
The charismatic Kyra Bennie (Cape Winelands) was chaired from the water’s edge to the podium by his teammates after taking out the u/12 boys’ title.
Nate Colby (eThekweni), who on Saturday scored the only perfect ten-point ride of the contest, finished runner-up while Ethan Currin (Buffalo City) edged into third place ahead of River Gericke (Eden).
2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS
1st Cape Town Surfriders 42,840
2nd eThekweni 42,777
3rd Nelson Mandela Bay 41,792
4th Buffalo City 40,277
5th Cape Winelands 37,679
6th Ugu 28,052
7th Eden 25,969
8th Ilembe 15,220
9th SA Dev Academy 13,022
1st Ford van Jaarsveldt 13.90 CTS
2nd Joshe Faulkner 13.70 NMBS
3rd Koby Oberholzer 12.16 ETK
4th Adin Masencamp 12.04 CW
1st Kirsty McGillivray 12.00 NMBS
2nd Nina Harmse 9.83 Eden
3rd Natasha van Greunen 7.83 CW
4th Sarah Ingram 4.13 CW
1st Eli Beukes 16.90 CTS
2nd Aya Gericke 14.37 Eden
3rd Saxton Randall 10.17 ETK
4th Angelo Faulkner 9.16 NMBS
1st Kai Woolf 14.17 NMBS
2nd S’nenhlanhla Makhubu 11.83 ETK
3rd Tayla de Coning 11.23 BC
4th Summer Sutton 9.20 CTS
1st Mitch du Preez 16.44 BC
2nd Daniel Emslie 14.90 BC
3rd Luke Thompson 11.67 ETK
4th Kye Macgregor 7.27 NMBS
1st Zoe Steyn 16.33 BC
2nd Katie Winter 11.67 CTS
3rd Lhea Johnston 9.13 BC
4th Ceara Knight 7.56 CW
1st Kyra Bennie 14.5 CW
2nd Nate Colby 12.67 ETK
3rd Ethan Currin 11.90 BC
4th River Gericke 10.33 EDEN
1st Gabbi Herbst 16.16 ETK
2nd Scarlette van Jaarsveldt 12.87 CTS
3rd Zia Hendricks 11.36 DEV
4th Maya Figl 8.34 CW
Photo: Kai Woolf – Billabong