The final day of the inaugural RVCA Junior Series enjoyed classic one metre waves peeling all the way down the legendary Lower Point and providing the perfect canvas on for the cream of South Africa’s aged 20-and-under surfers to express their creative talent as they duelled for titles in seven age divisions, over R100 000 in cash and prizes along with points on the Pro Surf Tour rankings.
The premierU20 boys final produced the tightest finish of the entire event when local J-Bay standout Dylan Lightfoot, needing just 5.76 to snatch victory from heat leader Mikey February (Kommetjie) as time ran out, was awarded 5.75 for his final ride, leaving the pair tied on 12.85 points in first place.
February was awarded the title on a count back to each surfer’s best ride when his 8.25 trumped Lightfoot’s 7.0, with Davey Brand (Kommetjie) just 0.35 of point behind them in third and Slade Prestwich (Durban North) ending fourth.
By contrast, Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) was in a class of her own in the U20 girls, dominating every heat she contested, including the final where her total of 13.25 left her two points clear of runner-up Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) with Tahra Uren (JBay) and Nikita Kekana (Kalk Bay) taking the minor placings.
The U16 girls followed a similar script with top seed Anoush Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) delivering huge backhand manoeuvres to go unbeaten throughout the event. The newly capped SA Junior Team member clinched the title ahead of Ashleigh Vaughan (Port Elizabeth), Kayla Verreynne (Mossel Bay) and Robin van der Merwe (PE), who all started in Round 1 of the event and ousted the event seeds on their way to the final.
The U16 boys final featured three surfers from the U14 division led by 12 year-old Mexican Sebastian Williams who justified his ‘supergrom’ status by finishing second behind Steff Burrows (Stellenbosch), the only genuine U16 surfer in the final, and ahead of fellow U14’s Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie).
Rewaldo Abersalie was another whose local knowledge and powerful backhand attack groomed in the superlative waves at Jeffreys Bay led to a RVCA title. The JBay local secured the U14 boys division with Masencamp the runner-up, Williams third and Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) taking fourth place.
Saxon Randall (Durban) started his assault on the U12 boys title with an excellent 8.0 point ride which proved to be highest of final and he overcame the challenges of Max Elkington (Hout Bay), Karl Steen (George) and York van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie), who finished in that order.
The youngest division in the event, the U10 boys, made history by becoming the first final in this age category to be held in solid 3 to 4 foot (one metre) waves on a point break, which were overhead for most of the tiny competitors, without having assistance from coaches or caddies in the water.