Home > Contests, Girls Surfing > Bianca Buitendag wins Billabong Pro Junior women’s title in epic conditions on Dolphin Coast

Bianca Buitendag wins Billabong Pro Junior women’s title in epic conditions on Dolphin Coast

April 26th, 2010

Pictured: Bianca Buitendag (George), left, celebrates her victory in the Pro Junior women’s division of the Billabong Junior Series event at Westbrook on Monday, along with runner-up Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand) Photo: Billabong / Patterson

Bianca Buitendag showed the benefit of her international experience by selecting the best waves and riding with speed, flow and control to record a comfortable win over Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand) in the Pro Junior women’s final at the Billabong Junior Series event on the Dolphin Coast on Monday.

The well traveled 16 year-old from George, who won the Gromsearch International Final at Bells Beach in Australia at Easter, was in a class of her own throughout the event as epic 1.5 to two metre waves peeled through the lineup at Westbrook.

“I’m stoked to win and the waves were epic, so well done to the organisers for completing the girl’s event today even though it was starting to get dark,” Buitendag said after being awarded the R2 000 winner’s cheque and raft of prizes that included a case of Monster Energy drink, a Nixon watch and a pair of Kustom footwear.

Heather Klug (Durban) and Alice McGregor (East London) placed equal third, losing to Buitendag and Rautenbach in their respective one-on-one semifinals as they struggled to find waves with good scoring potential. The upset of the day came when event favorite Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) let an early lead slip away as first Rautenbach and then McGregor overtook her in the Round of 8.

The competitors in the premier ASP Grade-1 rated Pro Junior men’s event reveled in the pristine early morning conditions. Matt Bromley (Kommetjie) and Devin Lane (Umhlanga) advanced to the man-on-man quarterfinals from Heat 1 with full commitment late drops and deep tube rides while Australian Ryan Callinan led throughout his encounter to progress along with heat runner-up Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay).

Mikey February (Kommetjie) waited for 11 minutes before catching his first wave in Heat 3 but then bagged pair of sixes to run out the winner with 13 year-old Slade Prestwich grabbing the runner-up spot from fellow Scottburgh surfer Haydn MacNicol, 19.

Heat 4 produced the encounter of the day as the lead changed hand on virtually every wave before Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) took off inside the barrel, tucked in and then emerged from under the lip which the judges rewarded with an excellent 8.5 out of 10. From then the battle was on for second place and when the siren went to end the clash it was David van Zyl (Glenashley) who was ahead of Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay) and Shawn Dennis (Durban).

The scene is set for an exciting conclusion to the Pro Junior event with R37 000 at stake, of which R15 000 plus a Nixon 42-20 PU Watch valued at over R3000 goes to the winner, along with priceless ratings points towards the Billabong and ASP Africa Pro Junior series titles and invitations to the inaugural ASP Junior World Championship Series later this year.

The U16 boys had the benefit of taking to the surf first and the six of the top eight seeds – Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie), Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh), Steven Sawyer (JBay), Mikey Venter (Warner Beach), Benji Brand (Kommetjie) and No. 8 Dylan Lightfoot – won their heats to progress to the last 16.

Joshua Smit (Athlone Park), the No. 6 seed, placed second behind Wade Simkiss (Durban) to also advance while No. 7 Simo Mkise (Umzumbe) was the only casualty, placing third behind on-fire U14 standout Matt McGillivray (Port Elisabeth), who charged into some of the gnarliest waves of the day, and Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) who snagged the runner-up spot despite incurring an interference penalty by dropping in on Max Armstrong (Scarborough) on the first wave of the heat.

The U14 boys division was dominated by a performance from Benji Brand that was simply mind blowing. After slipping out of the Pro Junior event and quietly winning his U16 heat, the stockily built 14 year-old from Kommetjie posted rides of 9.0 and 7.5 in the first five minutes of his U14 heat. He followed that up with an 8.75 and an 8.15 in the next five minutes before tailing off with a 7.0 and a couple of short rides towards the end.

Yet even with a heat tally of 17.75 out of 20, Brand was less than two points ahead of runner-up Matt McGillivray as the youngster from PE posted excellent scores of 8.5 and 7.5 of his own to stay in contention for higher honours. Others to move into tomorrow’s semis included heat winners Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay), Max Armstrong and Steffen Burrows (Somerset West).

Competitors in the youngest division – the U12 boys – also charged in the classic conditions with Cape Town surfers Jordan Maree, Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) and Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama) taking the heat victories. They will be joined in the semis by David Burrows and Aiden Masencamp (both Somerset West) and newcomers Jake and Max Elkington from Cape Town and sole Durbanite Bevan Willis.

The swell is forecast to drop further for the final day and the organisers will be checking all the breaks for the best waves between Umhlanga and Ballito on KZN’s Dolphin Coast before making the call on where to stage the finale of the mobile event.

The location for each day of competition can be accessed throughout the contest via the Event Hotline at 071 179 9813.

The finals in all divisions will be followed by the Von Zipper Air Show where the surfer completing the most futuristic aerial manoeuvre will pocket the R2 000 winner-take-all prize-purse.

Images, results and news will be available daily during the event at www.billabong.com and a TV documentary, produced by Silver Bullet Productions, will be broadcast post event on Vuzu – DSTV Channel 123.

The Pro Surf Tour (PST) events in the Billabong Junior Series are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport, while the internationally rated Pro Junior men’s event is sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.

The series is proudly supported by Von Zipper, Kustom and Nixon and fueled by Monster Energy.

The 2010 Billabong Junior Series starts on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal from 25-27 April and concludes at Victoria Bay (1-4 September) where the series champions will be crowned for the 14th time.


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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