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Billabong Pro Junior Vic Bay to decide spots on ASP World Junior Tour

August 10th, 2010

Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) performs a fins-free tail-slide on his way to victory in the final of the ASP Grade-1 rated Billabong Pro Junior men’s event at Westbrook on the KZN Dolphin Coast in April. Photo: Billabong / Patterson

The country’s top pro junior surfers (20-and-under) will be vying for coveted invitations to compete in the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour when the Billabong Pro Junior event is run at Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape from 1-4 September.

The event is the fourth and final contest on the 2010 ASP Africa Pro Junior Series and the top four surfers in the yearend rankings will be awarded the sought after invitations to take on their peers from around the globe in the quest to be crowned the ASP World Junior Champion in Sydney, Australia in January 2011.

Billabong team rider Shaun Joubert has already clinched the ASP Africa Pro Junior title for 2010 thanks to victories in two of the first three events of the season and the 19 year-old from Mossel Bay is now focused on improving his position on the ASP World Rankings.

Joubert will not be competing at Victoria Bay, leaving Billabong teammate Dale Staples (St Francis Bay), the winner of the Billabong Pro Junior event on KZN’s Dolphin Coast in April, in the box seat for one of the remaining three invitations.

Staples, a previous winner at Vic Bay, has been in stellar form recently, winning the VonZipper Super Heat to earn a wildcard into the ASP World Tour Billabong Pro J-Bay event where he posted impressive performances against superstars Taj Burrow and Bede Durbidge in the opening rounds.

Chad du Toit (Berea, Durban) and Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) currently occupy the third and fourth positions in the rankings with Matt Bromley (Kommetjie) just outside the cutoff point. With each surfer’s best three results counting towards the yearend ranking, Devin Lane (Umhlanga), Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) and Brendon Gibbens (Kommetjie) are also within striking range of snagging a top-four spot with victory in the season-ending event.

Along with the prized rankings points, the ASP Grade-1 Billabong Pro Junior Vic Bay offers a prize-pool of US $5 000 (approx. R37 500) of which $2 000 goes to the winner.

The Billabong Junior Series also sees the country’s top Under 16, U14 and U12 boys and the Pro Junior (U20) girls in action competing for prize-money and ratings points that count toward the annual Surfing South Africa Pro Surf Tour (PST) titles.

ASP qualifying series campaigner Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) along with Dolphin Coast event winner and Vic Bay local Bianca Buitendag (George) are the standouts for the girls’ title. But this well traveled duo will need all their international experience to stave off the challenges from Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) and Billabong team riders Heidi Palmboom (Bluff) and rising star Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay).

Billabong’s Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay), who reached the last four in both Pro Junior and U16 divisions in April, and Benji Brand (Kommetjie), winner of the U16’s on the Dolphin Coast and also a favourite in the U14 division, head a highly competitive field in the U16 boys division.

They will do battle with Dylan Lightfoot (J-Bay), Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand), Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie), Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) and Mikey Venter (Warner Beach), amongst a host of other emerging rippers.

Kommetjie friends and rivals Benji Brand and Max Armstrong will go head to head with Slade Prestwich, Matt McGillivray (Port Elizabeth), Steffen Burrows (Strand) and Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) in the U14 division while Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay), Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie), Adin Masencamp (Strand), Donovan Wichmann (Marina Da Gama) and brothers Jake and Max Elkington from Cape Town look the pick of the U12’s.

Billabong Junior Series events also feature a spectacular VonZipper Air Show where the surfer successfully completing the most innovative aerial manoeuvre pockets the winner-takes-all R2 000 prize-purse

Images, results and news from the event will be available daily at www.billabong.com.

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.

Entries for the Billabong Pro Junior Vic Bay have officially closed but there is still space for late entries. To enter go to www.aspafrica.com. Entries for the PST events close 14 days before the scheduled dates. Entries can be made at www.billabong.com/girls/za/entries/enter.php for the Pro Junior girls and the U16, U14 and U12 boys’ divisions.

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

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Issued on behalf of:

Brendon Kegel – Media and Communications
Billabong South Africa
Tel: 042 200 2747
Fax: 042 293 2478
Cell: 083 799 0110
Email: brendon.kegel@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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