Hout Bay’s Luke Slijpen finished third in the boys’ u.18 division after the final day at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Surfing Championships on Sunday 4 November. Slijpen was South Africa’s last hope of bringing home a medal from the championships after the teenager from Hout Bay won his u.18 boys’ main event semi-final heat in California on Saturday 3 November to advance to finals day.Slijpen had been foot perfect throughout the event which started last Saturday 27 October, winning three of the five heats he contested and finishing runner-up in the other two, as well as taking a first place in his first heat which saw him progress to the grand final where he was guaranteed an individual gold, silver, bronze or copper medal.Vissla founder and CEO, Paul Naude, said: “It was an incredible week with many inspiring performances. I think the future of surfing is in great hands. It’s amazing to see countries that over the years come back to compete and continually advance. “A huge thank you to the people of Huntington Beach for sharing your break with us.”Teammate Luke Thompson posted a convincing heat win in his u.16 boys’ repecharge round seven match-up to move into the last 12 in his division. But despite earning an even better heat tally of 13.84 out of 20 in round eight, the young Durbanite was relegated to third place by American Kade Matson (16.03) and Japan’s Riaru Ito (14.40) and he was eliminated from the event in joint ninth place.As a result, South Africa finished eighth on the final team rankings.Finishing the event ranked in the top seven nations would have guaranteed South Africa a place in the unique ISA Aloha Cup at next year’s ISA World Juniors. This form of team relay surfing features the top seven ranked national teams from the previous year’s championships, plus the host nation. If the host nation already qualifies in the top seven, then the eighth ranked team from the previous year is included.The USA won the gold medal in the 2018 Aloha Cup final held on Saturday, convincingly outpointing France, Japan and Hawaii who claimed the silver, bronze and copper medals respectively.