Aerial tricks make waves

2016-10-11 06:00
 Ford van Jaarsveldt from Kommetjie came second (for the second year) in the u.17 boys’ division at the Billabong SA Junior Championships. He also won the coveted VonZipper Airshow award. PHOTO: Billabong/ Thurtell

Ford van Jaarsveldt from Kommetjie came second (for the second year) in the u.17 boys’ division at the Billabong SA Junior Championships. He also won the coveted VonZipper Airshow award. PHOTO: Billabong/ Thurtell

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Cape Town surfers could not defend their team title at this year’s Billabong SA Junior Championships which finished in Jeffreys Bay on Sunday.

This year the title was won by Nelson Mandela Bay, which clinched the Freedom Cup for the team accumulating the highest points at the event.

Team members from the host district also claimed two of the six individual national titles and provided five of the 24 finalists, earning a total of 28 440 points.

Cape Town (27 706 points) 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.

Ford van Jaarsveldt of the Cape Town Surf­riders achieved his second successive runner-up berth in the country’s most prestigious junior surfing event. Adin Masencamp (of Cape Winelands) capped a great year of competition by capturing the u.17 boys’ title in a hard fought final against Van Jaarsveldt.

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

Van Jaarsveldt, from Kommetjie, reduced the disappointment of finishing runner-up by successfully completing the best aerial manoeuvre and pocketing the cash in the winner-takes-all VonZipper Airshow.

Anna Jellema Butler of the Cape Town Surfriders came fourth in the u.17 girls’ division.

Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) made it back-to-back SA titles when she added the u.17 girls’ crown to the u.15 girls’ title she won last year. Using her local knowledge, the Jeffreys Bay local caught the best of the 1m offshore waves, with Nina Harmse (Eden) coming in second and Sophie Bell (eThekweni) third.

Max Elkington of the 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’s 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 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. He 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 seven,” Elkington says. “Then Angelo got a bomb and when I heard he scored 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. I am so stoked!”

Cape Town Surfriders teammates Summer Sutton and Julia Plougmann earned second and third places in the u.15 girls’ final. Great wave selection and her signature vertical backhand manoeuvres saw Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay) emerge triumphant in this event.

Cape Town Surfriders repeated their victory last year 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.

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

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