Cape St Francis – There were excellent waves for the opening day of the Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior, with the best junior surfers in the country reveling in the pristine conditions. One of the most important events on the junior circuit in South Africa, this contest always enjoys high attendance.
After an onshore start to the day, the wind switch came through a little earlier than expected, and by the time the contest got underway in the early morning light there were clean lines pouring down the point.
The east swell was consistent through the morning, and the conditions gradually cleaned up all day with the prevailing offshore, with some great rides and high scores going down.
The U12 Boys is a spirited division, and the top surfers to emerge from the early rounds were Rory Dace, Levi Kolnick and Josh Malherbe, who all won their round 1 heats. “It was a bit windy, and medium size, but it had a really good face for moves,” said Dace of the conditions.
“In the beginning I was looking for a wave, and the other two guys got waves straight away and I was scrambling a bit. Then I got a decent wave and when I was paddling back out I picked up an absolute cracker and I felt I had the heat down. For the rest of the contest I’m just going to do my best, and try and make the final, and take it from there.”
One of the most competitive divisions at this contest is the U14 Boys, and they strutted their stuff today in the long, high performance waves of Seal Point.
The conditions continued to improve during the day with the pushing tide, and the boys went to town. Local knowledge was definitely an advantage, with local surfers Joel Dace and Nathan Plomaritis both winning their opening encounters.
Other surfers who performed well to win their respective heats were River Gericke, Nate Colby, Connor Slijpen, Kyra Bennie and Joel Fowles.
The U14 Girls took to the lineup with gusto, with some brave and inspired surfing at the point. It was straight into the semifinals for these up and coming stars, and making it through to the finals were Sarah Scott, Olivia Winter, Zia Hendricks and Maya Figl.
Luke Thomson was on form in the U16 Boys, banking a heat total of 15.25, the highest heat score in this division for the day. Daniel Emslie, Christian Venter and Nate Spalding were also stand-outs, winning their heats as well.
Luke van Wyk won the first heat in the Pro Junior heat, with Jordan Boshoff in second and Eden Faclier in third, and in the second heat of this division Daniel Emslie emerged victorious ahead of Keegan Mitchell in second with Kye MacGregor in third.
Luke Van Wyk © Ian Thurtell
The forecast for the rest of the weekend looks great for this contest, with offshore winds and plenty of good surf around for the entire tournament.
There will be an early start today, and event organisers are looking at a full days worth of surfing.
The Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior 2019 runs from Friday to Sunday and there will be a prize giving on the beach afterwards.