Max goes to the max on the waves

2016-10-04 10:04
Max Elkington from Kommetjie in action at the Billabong Junior Series at Seal Point, Cape St Francis on Friday. He won the u.16 boys’ series title.

Max Elkington from Kommetjie in action at the Billabong Junior Series at Seal Point, Cape St Francis on Friday. He won the u.16 boys’ series title. (Billabong/ Kody McGregor)

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Many local youngsters, from Komme­tjie, Kalk Bay and Vredehoek, were among the champions of the 19th annual Billabong Junior Series. They were crowned at Seal Point in Cape St Francis after the second and final event in this year’s series was completed in highly contestable 1m-waves and a stiff onshore breeze on Sunday.

Max Elkington (15) from Kommetjie won the u.16 boys’ series title while Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) won the girls’ series title. Elkington was the only surfer across all divisions to win both the Ballito and Seal Point events.

Elkington defeated his SA junior teammate Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) in the u.16 boys’ final. He has now claimed a phenomenal 14 national age group titles and this is his fifth consecutive Billabong Junior Series crown.

With the finals completed and the tide dropping, the VonZipper Air Show was moved to the beach break where Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) landed the best aerial manoeuvre and pocketed the R2000 prize.

Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) clinched the coveted u.18 boys’ and girls’ series titles. The pair also topped the World Surf League (WSL) regional rankings lists and were crowned WSL Africa Junior champions of 2016.

Durbanites dominated the younger divisions with Tide-lee Ireland and newcomer S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu claiming the u.14 series titles. Luke Thompson is the u.12 boys’ series champion.

Masencamp secured both his titles after posting a phenomenal 17.93 heat total, including a near-perfect 9.33, in his semi-final victory over Ford van Jaarsveldt (Komme­tjie). Masencamp fell on two of his three rides in the final, finishing runner-up to 16-year-old Sebastian Williams (Durban), but his second place in the event was enough to earn the series crown and to overtake Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) on the WSL Africa Junior rankings.

Williams won his first WSL-sanctioned junior event with a great display of innovative surfing. He rocketed into second place on the season-ending Billabong u.18 series standings. He will join Masencamp, Maree and Elkington in the four-man squad who will represent WSL Africa at the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January next year.

Bell won the u.18 girls’ event with Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) the runner-up. The pair finished in the same order in the Billabong and WSL Africa rankings and will join the four boys in Australia.

In the u.16 girls series, Woolf emerged victorious over Bell with the tremendous form she has shown over the past couple of years. McGillivray ended third. Rising star Anna Jellema Butler (Kalk Bay) was in fourth place.

The u.14 boys’ event title went to Nate Spalding who finished ahead of fellow Durbanite Ireland, York van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) and Sam Bennie (Vredehoek).
Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) and Gabi Lailvaux (Westbrook) took third and fourth place respectively the u.14 girls series, which Makhubu won.

Thompson won the u.12 boys’ event, overcoming James Ribbink (Durban North). The winner of the Ballito event, Daniel Emslie (East London), finished third and Christian Venter (Melkbosstrand) took fourth spot.

Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) won the BOS ‘Best Carve of the Event’ and a surfboard, with Mitch du Preez (East London) claiming the R2 000 for the Neff ‘Forever Fun’ award and James Ribbink earning an additional R2 500 for the Skull Candy ‘Stay Loud’ award.

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