A day of silver for the SA Junior Surf team at World Surf Championship.
On the final day of competition at the World Junior Surf Champs in Peru, South Africa was in third position, with USA and Peru ahead of them. The surfers left in the competition were Davey Brand in the qualifying round with Mikey February and Davey Van Zyl in the repo round in U18.
Biance Buitendag was in the U18 Repo round and J’Bay local Dylan Lightfoot relegated to the repo round in the dying seconds of his last heat the previous day.
Davey therefore had to surf only once to get into the final, but those in the repo had to surf a grueling three times in a space of 4 hours to get into the final.
As the swell slowly grew to waves producing 8 – 10 foot faces, it was February and Van Zyl who buckled under the pressure finishing with a third in Round 8.
However, Lightfoot and Buitendag were becoming more confident in the big swell . Buitendag came 2nd in round 8 and 9 then won round 10. Lightfoot got 2nd in round 8 and won round 9 and 10.
Brand won his his heat 6 with a fantastic 14.50 heat total to progress to the final.
With the American team dropping out dramatically in Round 9 and 10 South Africa started to push their position higher in the rankings.
The final started with Bianca surfing brilliantly but Cannelle Bulard from France took the final with Bianca earning a well deserved second.
The U16 Boys final was a tight affair. Lightfoot, who was relishing the big wall and powefrul swell , hit the lead very quickly with an opening ride of 6.5. The battle then ensued as wave after wave was ridden by the worlds top u16’s.
At the five minute mark Lightfoot had only dropped to second for a few minutes before going up to first again. Lightfoot and Del Castillo were tie with a heat score of 11.22, but Lightfoots highest score being a 6.5 to Castillo’s 6.14 put Lightfoot in the lead.
Seconds before the final horn, with Lightfoot keeping a close eye on Castillo to secure his win, the man in third place, Toledo from Peru, uses his local knowledge to hook a small wave on the inside and with nothing to lose attempts and air, lands it and beat Lightfoot by 0.06.
Davey Brand who was the only South African to make it through the whole competition in the qualifying round, surfed very well into a third place and brought Team South Africa to the silver medal overall.
U18 Boys – 3rd place Davey Brand from Cape Town
U18 Girls – 2nd Place Bianca Buitendag from George.
U16 Boys- 2nd Place Dylan Lightfoot from Jeffreys Bay