For the third day in a row the Eastern Cape delivered epic lines to the point at Cape St Francis, and a few rain squalls and howling offshore wind did little to quell the enthusiasm of the junior surfers.
The previous two days saw some incredible surfing taking place, and the finals day saw the levels upped, and some red hot action go down as everyone vied for the number one slot in the respective divisions.
The U12 Girls final was action-packed. Anastasia Venter was in the lead until the last few moments, when Gabi Herbst picked up a bomb and surfed it all the way through for an excellent 8.35 score and victory from Venter. Louise Lepront was in third, Yannah Figl in fourth and Meka Loots in fifth.
Then all eyes turned onto the U12 Boys division, as this ultra competitive division always has plenty of excitement. David Emslie took the winner’s slot with a very comfortable victory over Levi Kohlnick, with Rory Dace in third spot and Josh Malherbe in fourth.
It was young Sarah Scott who took the deserved win in the U14 Girls final with some fine surfing in the at-times tricky low tide conditions. She took victory from Olivia Winter in second place. Third was Maya Figl and Zia Hendricks came in fourth.
Local surfer Nathan Plomaritis was in great form in the U14 Boys Final and used his experience at the break to full effect. He banked a couple of solid 6-point rides before nailing a 7.25 toward the end of the heat and sealed the victory against Nate Colby. River Gericke surfed well in third place but failed to find any epic rides in the final, and Kyra Bennie was fourth.
The U16 Girls final was one of the most exciting heats of the day, with the some of the best female surfers in the country going full-tilt for the victory.
Zoë Steyn was in a league of her own though, with a perfect ten point ride awarded for a series of backhand cracks down the point, with power and flow.
She backed it up with a 9.25 ride for the highest heat total of the event. She had all three of her opponents combo’ed at the end of the heat, with final tally being Kayla Nogueira in second, Ceara Knight in third and Aimee Du Plessis in fourth.
Luke Thompson continued his in-form streak by winning the U16 Boys final, with Brad Scott in second and Mitch Du Preez in third, and with Dan Emslie in fourth place.
Then all eyes were on the Pro Junior divisions, and in particularly the Pro Junior Women. Once again it was a face-off between Zoë Steyn and Ceara Knight, and even after Steyn’s massive U16 final, she still managed to hold steady for her second win of the day, keeping Knight at bay with another well-deserved victory.
“I was really stoked to win,” said Steyn after the final. “The waves were cooking for the whole event, and to get high scores in the final was really nice. Thanks to everyone who put on such a great event.”
In a freshening southerly breeze the Pro Junior men’s final took to the water, and it was natural-footer versus goofy-footer in the high performance conditions. The southerly breeze gave the waves a little ruffle along the lip-line, perfect conditions for big off-the-top cracks and power gouges.
Tom Lindhorst on his backhand found a few good runners, but was unable to find the walled-up sets, and was struggling to execute the high scoring moves, but Bryce Du Preez on his forehand found the bombs and performed some radical, high-risk moves for the big scores from the judges.
His final wave was a 7.75 for a series of power turns and big lip hits that saw him surf all the way through to the inside, and get the big score and the deserved win.