The four girls in the South African Junior Surfing team all posted strong performances to advance to the next round of their respective streams on Day 3 of the 2011 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships taking place at Punta Hermosa, Peru.
Bianca Buitendag was again one of the standouts, racking up the third best heat tally of the girls’ division – 14.66 points out of a possible 20. Competing in 1.0 to 1.5 metre left-breaking waves at Senoritas, Buitendag used her patented forehand attack to earn scores of 7.83 and 6.83 (each out of 10) which left her three opponents combo’ed and needing to replace both their highest scoring rides.
“This competition is always difficult, but my coach tells me to have confidence in myself,” said Buitendag. “All the girls are surfing amazing but I stayed calm and focused on what I was doing. This is my first time in Peru, I love it and I am very happy with my results and the waves.”
Buitendag was joined in U18 Girls Qualifying Round 3 by teammates Emma Smith and Sarah Baum, both of whom comfortably progressed to the last 24 in the winner’s bracket with second place finishes yesterday (Tuesday).
Smith, who is a Jeffreys Bay local, shot out of the blocks in her heat, recording an excellent 8.33 point ride in the first two minutes and leading throughout before being overtaken by Kulia Doherty (USA) who, needing 6.14, produced a 6.60 point ride in the dying seconds.
Baum also led for more than half of her wave-starved heat thanks to a solid 6.17 point ride before being overtaken by Chelsea Tuach (BAR) with three minutes remaining. Baum still finished 3.13 points ahead of the third placed Brazilian who needed 6.40 points to avoid dropping to the repecharge rounds.
Meanwhile in U18 Girls Repecharge Round 1, SA’s Nikita Kekana bounced back from her third place finish on Monday with a confidence-boosting showing in the rights at Caballeros. The teenager from Southern KZN included rides of 8.33 and 5.10 in a heat tally of 13.43 to win her heat and move through to Repecharge Round 2.
Diran Zakarian and Dylan Lightfoot maintained Qualifying stream status in the U16 Boys division thanks to hard-fought second place results in Round 2 while Benji Brand and Slade Prestwich both finished third yesterday and were relegated to the gruelling Repecharge rounds.
Brand produced a pair of 4.27 point rides in the lefts at Senoritas but was ousted by Elivelton Santos (BRA) and Taylor Clark (USA) who both earned heat tallies exceeding 11 points. Prestwich also only totalled just over eight points and ended third behind heat-winner Deivid Silva (BRA) and 13 year-old Italian surprise package, Leonardo Fioravanti.
Team captain Davey Brand, Mikey February and David van Zyl, all of whom are through to U18 Boys Qualifying Round 3, had a lay day yesterday and will also not compete today when only Repecharge round heats will be run.