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Beyrick de Vries wins final event as Casey Grant secures Billabong Junior Series title

September 26th, 2009
Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) won the Pro Junior men's event at the Billabong Junior Series in Herold's Bay - Photo: Moonrocket / Billabong

Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) won the Pro Junior men's event at the Billabong Junior Series in Herold's Bay - Photo: Moonrocket / Billabong


2009 Billabong Junior Series
Event No. 3 of 3 on South Africa’s premier national junior surfing series
Victoria Bay, Southern Cape
September 23-26, 2009

Beyrick de Vries produced an awesome display of innovative surfing on the final day of the Billabong Junior Series on Saturday, defeating defending series champion Klee Strachan in the final to win the ASP Grade 2, R75 000 Pro Junior men’s division.

Organisers again opted to move the event from the small surf at the original venue of Victoria Bay to Herold’s Bay where head high, left breaking waves with light onshore winds gave the competitors at the business end of the event the ideal conditions to excel.

After overcoming Shawn Dennis (Durban) in the quarters and surprise package Bertie Stuurman (Jeffreys Bay) in the semis, de Vries started the final with a 7.5 and then sealed his first ASP Pro Junior victory with 6.20 on his sixth and final wave. Strachan, 20, from Winkelspruit, caught a great wave with 10 seconds remaining, but needing 7.21 points to win, the defending Series and ASP Africa champion fell after his first manoeuvre.

The win earned de Vries, 16, US $2 500 (approx. R18 000), rocketed the Umhlanga ripper into 5th place on the final series ratings and secured him a coveted invitation to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January by ending the year ranked No. 4 in the ASP Africa rankings.

Casey Grant (Scottburgh), who went into the final day leading the Pro Junior ratings in both the Billabong Junior Series and ASP Africa, was upset by Stuurman in the quarterfinals but still earned sufficient points to claim the prestigious Billabong title although he dropped to runner-up behind new ASP Africa Pro Junior men’s champion Chad du Toit (Berea).

Du Toit, Grant, Strachan, and de Vries will be joined by Kyle Lane (Umhlanga), the highest ranked ASP Africa member on the WQS who was not in the top four of the local ratings, in Australia in January, along with Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) who finished the highest rated ASP Africa Pro Junior woman.

Meanwhile Steven Sawyer from Jeffreys Bay secured both the event and series titles in the U16 boys by accumulating a heat winning two wave total early in the final and then sitting far inside at the take-off point to keep runner-up Dane Staples (St Francis Bay) and third and fourth placed Benji Brand and Jarred Veldhuis (both Kommetjie) off the high scoring waves.

Michael February (Kommetjie), who lost out in the quarters in a major upset, held on for the runner-up spot in the U16 series ratings while David van Zyl (Glenashley) took third.

Benji Brand, 13, was the standout of the final day, surfing with a maturity way beyond his tender years to rack up a phenomenal 17.4 points out of 20 in comprehensively out-surfing his opponents in the U14 final. Vertical top turns and powerful gouges saw the stockily built goofy-foot earn an 8.5 and an 8.9 from the judges with Josh Smit (Athlone Park), Max Armstrong (Scarborough) and Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) finishing in that order and all comboed.

Zakarian’s record in the previous two events – at Scottburgh and Jeffreys Bay – earned him the U14 series crown with Daniel Buitendag (George) and Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) sharing in the series prize-pool for second and third respectively. Brand finished fourth overall even though he only competed in two of the three events, winning both.

Rising star Jordy Maree did the double of event and series titles in the U12 boys. The talented pre-teen from Kalk Bay improved his scores on every ride throughout the final to total 16.25 from his last two rides and combo runner-up Shane Sykes (Salt Rock), Steffen Burrows (Strand) and Matthew McGillivray (Port Elizabeth).

Sykes grabbed second spot in the U12 series ratings and the vastly improved Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama) took third largely due to his win in the Billabong Occy Grom Comp at Jeffreys Bay, the second leg of the series.

The event ended on a high note with a sensational display of high-flying manoeuvres in the Von Zipper Air Show. Dozens of futuristic moves in the air above the waves were successfully completed with Mossel Bay local Shaun Joubert pocketing the R2 000 winner-takes-all prize-purse for the best aerial of the final.

The awards ceremony, where the Billabong Junior Series champions in all divisions were crowned for the 13th consecutive year, was staged at the Ster Kinekor complex in George followed by the South African premiere of the award winning surf movie ‘Still Filthy’.

2008 Billabong Junior Series

Final Series ratings

Pro Junior men

1.  Casey Grant (Scottburgh)                         1 915 pts
2.  Chad du Toit (Berea)                                  1 825 pts
3.  Klee Strachan (Winkelspruit)                 1 690 pts
4.  Brendon Gibbens (Kommetjie)             1 610 pts
5.  Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga)                1 500 pts

Pro Junior women

1.  Bianca Buitendag (George)                       2 500 pts
2.  Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbos)          2 020 pts
3.  Kirsty Delport (Durban)                           1 693 pts

U16 Boys

1.  Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay)                 2 360 pts        R2 000
2.  Michael February (Kommetjie)            2 310 pts        R1 500
3.  David van Zyl (Glenashley)                    2 005 pts        R1 000

U14 Boys

1.  Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand)          2 390 pts        R2 000
2.  Daniel Buitendag (George)                     2 110 pts        R1 500
3.  Slade Prestwich (Park Rynie                 2 070 pts        R1 000 

U/12 Boys

1.  Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay)                         3730 pts         R2 000
2.  Shane Sykes (Salt Rock)                         3720 pts         R1 500
3.  Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama)  2800 pts     R1 000

Victoria Bay Results

Pro Junior Boys (ASP Grade 2 Pro Junior men)

1.  Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga)                  US $2 500
2.  Klee Strachan (Winkelspruit)                  US $1 500
3.  Bertie Stuurman (Jeffreys Bay)              US $1 000
3.  Chad du Toit (Berea)                                   US $1 000
5.  Shawn Dennis (Durban)                             US $   500
5.  Casey Grant (Scottburgh)                         US $   500
5.  Chris Leppan (Umhlanga)                         US $   500
5.  Dale Staples (St Francis Bay)                   US $   500

Pro Junior Girls (ASP Grade 1 Pro Junior women)

1.  Bianca Buitendag (George)                        US $1 000
2.  Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbos)           US $   500
3.  Sarah Baum (Athlone Park)                      US $   300
3.  Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie)               US $   300

U16 Boys

  1. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay)                  R2 000
  2. Dale Staples (St Francis Bay)                   R1 000
  3. Benji Brand (Kommetjie)                           R   750
  4. Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie)                 R   550 

U14 Boys

  1. Benji Brand (Kommetjie)                           R1 500
  2. Josh Smit (Athlone Park)                          R   850
  3. Max Armstrong (Kommetjie)                  R   550
  4. Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand)            R   350 

U12 Boys

  1. Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay)                             R1 000
  2. Shane Sykes (Salt Rock)                             R   750
  3. Steffen Burrows (Strand)                           R   500
  4. Matthew McGillivray (PE)                        R   350 

Von Zipper Air Show

Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay)                                 R2 000

Video footage, images, results and news from the event are available at www.billabong.com. The TV documentary produced by Silver Bullet Productions will be broadcast on the DSTV channel Vuzu – watch the media for details.

The U16, U14 and U12 boys events in the Billabong Junior Series form part of the Pro Surf Tour (PST) sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport. The internationally rated Pro Junior events are sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.

Other prizes were awarded daily courtesy of Von Zipper, Kustom and Billabong.

Billabong Events & Contest Coordinator Laureen Payne can be contacted for queries at 042 200 2600 / 072 898 1001 / laureen.payne@billabong.co.za

The 2009 Billabong Junior Series started in Scottburgh (8-11 April) and continued with the inaugural Billabong Occy Grom Comp in Jeffreys Bay (9-15 July). The series concluded at Victoria Bay (23-26 September) where the series champions were crowned for the 13th time.


NB: High resolution images from the event are available for MEDIA outlets.

Issued on behalf of:

Billabong South Africa
Tel:                   042 200 2600
Fax:                  042 293 2478
Email:               laureen.payne@billabong.co.za

Compiled & Issued by:
Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie, 7976 South Africa
Tel / Fax:     +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile:        +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email:          lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

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