NMB dominates at Billabong champs

2016-10-13 06:00
Jeffreys Bay local, Joshé Joshé Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) added a significant contribution to his team’s total by finishing third at the 2016 Billabong SA Junior Champs.        Photo: IAN THURTELL

Jeffreys Bay local, Joshé Joshé Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) added a significant contribution to his team’s total by finishing third at the 2016 Billabong SA Junior Champs. Photo: IAN THURTELL

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NELSON Mandela Bay clinched the coveted Freedom Cup for the team accumulating the highest points at the 2016 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay on Sunday.

The team from the host district also claimed two of the six individual national titles at stake and provided five of the 24 finalists, earning a total of 28 440 points. Defending team champions Cape Town (27 706) finished in second position with eThekweni (26 290) in third place and Buffalo City in fourth. They were followed in the team standings by Cape Winelands, Eden, Ugu, the SA Development Academy and uThungulu.

Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) capped a great year of competition by capturing the u.17 Boys’ title in a hard fought final. The 17-year-old from the Strand relegated Ford van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) to his second successive runner-up berth in the country’s most prestigious junior surfing event.

Joshé Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) added a significant contribution to his team’s total by finishing third while Luke Malherbe (Buffalo City) took fourth place.

Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) made it back-to-back SA titles when she added the u.17 Girls’ crown to the U15 Girls’ title she won last year. Using her local knowledge, the Jeffreys Bay local caught the best of the one metre offshore waves, with Nina Harmse (Eden) coming in second, Sophie Bell (eThekweni) third and Anna Jellema Butler (Cape Town Surfriders) fourth.

Max Elkington (Cape Town Surfriders) clinched a third consecutive SA title, and his 15th national title overall, when he won the u.15 Boys’ division in an extremely narrow win over Nelson Mandela Bay standout Angelo Faulkner, who was the only surfer to earn a perfect 10-point ride during the event. Karl Steen (eThekweni) and Ryan Lightfoot (Nelson Mandela Bay) finished third and fourth respectively.

Elkington, who was crowned the u.13 Boys’ champion in 2014 and then topped the u.15 division last year, just five months after falling off the roof of his house and crushing his arm so badly that doctors considered amputation before managing to get the blood flowing and saving it, was elated with his last gasp victory.

“There weren’t many waves, but I started off with an okay ride and backed it up with a 7,” Elkington explained. “Then Angelo got a bomb and when I heard he had got an 8 I was a little nervous. Right at the end I caught an insider and rode it as well as I could and got a decent score. So stoked!”

Great wave selection and her signature vertical backhand manoeuvres saw Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay) emerge triumphant in the u.15 Girls’ final, where Cape Town Surfriders’ teammates Summer Sutton and Julia Plougmann earned second and third places ahead of Gabi Lailvaux (eThekweni), who was last year’s u.13 champ.

The u.13 Boys and Girls’ divisions were dominated by youngsters from Durban and East London. James Ribbink is the 2016 Boys’ champion after finishing ahead of fellow eThekweni team member Luke Thompson, with Buffalo City’s Mitch du Preez and Da- niel Emslie taking third and fourth in the final.

Kayla Nogueira (EThekweni), a finalist last year, grabbed her first SA title by outscoring Lhea Johnston (Buffalo City), Jessie Powell (Ugu) and Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) who finished in that order.

Ford van Jaarsveldt reduced the disappointment of finishing runner-up in the u.17 Boys’ for the second year running by successfully completing the best aerial manoeuvre and pocketing the cash in the winner-takes-all VonZipper Airshow. Kai Woolf received the BOS Highest Heat Score Award for her phenomenal total of 18.63 out of 20.

Cape Town Surfriders repeated their 2015 victory in the Billabong/ Bad Billy’s Tag Team Paddle Battle and Nelson Mandela Bay were again judged to be the team displaying the best spirit throughout the event and received their second successive Skull Candy Stay Loud Team Spirit Award.

The 2016 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS, the 20th edition of the country’s premier surfing contest for competitors aged 17 and younger, will be remembered by all who attended for the five days of epic waves at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay and the stellar performances by the country’s top young surfers.

“Phenomenal conditions and, in my humble opinion, this event had the best junior surfing standard I’ve ever seen at an SA Champs,” said experienced contest director Johno Hutchison of Ballito.

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