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Casey Grant on fire as seeds dominate on Day 2 of Billabong Junior Series at Victoria Bay

September 24th, 2009

 

Pictured: Pro Junior top seed Casey Grant was on fire Photo: Moonrocket / Billabong

Pictured: Pro Junior top seed Casey Grant was on fire Photo: Moonrocket / Billabong

 

Thursday 24 September 2009 

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

Casey Grant showed the way as the seeded surfers in the Billabong Juniors Series dominated proceedings on Day 2, producing an outstanding display of new school, innovative surfing in the overhead waves and variable weather conditions at Victoria Bay.

The top seed for the Grade 2, R75 000 Pro Junior men’s division, Grant employed his full repertoire of fins-free manoeuvres to post scores of 7.5 and 8.0 out of 10 to leave his opponents in the four-man heat scrambling for second place and a spot in the last 16. The 20-year-old from Scottburgh, who won the first event of the Billabong Junior Series at his home beach at Easter and also leads the 2009 ASP Africa Pro Junior ratings, remains on track for a slew of honours, including an invitation to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January, if he can repeat his opening showing.

However, it won’t be easy as the likes of second seed Klee Strachan (Winkelspruit), Mossel Bay local Shaun Joubert, the Kommetjie trio of Matt Bromley, Brendon Gibbens and Michael February along with Chad du Toit (Durban) and Kyle Beach (Queensburgh) all delivered heat-winning performances in the rippable waves.

Bertie Stuurman (Jeffreys Bay) and Shawn Dennis (Durban) were the only two qualifiers from Day 1 to force their way into the next round while wildcard Remi Peterson (JBay) threw sheets of spray on his way to joining them.

The U16 boys division took to the surf as the onshore wind freshened and Josh Smit (Athlone Park) was most impressive, winning his heat and advancing along with second placed Dane Staples (St Francis Bay). Benji Brand (Kommetjie), the 13-year-old who is competing in the Pro Juniors (U20), U16 and U14 divisions, upset Scottburgh winner David van Zyl (Glenashley) by winning their match-up while Mikey Venter (Warner Beach) used a patient strategy to secure victory.

Top seed Michael February (Kommetjie) won his heat as did Daniel Wilson (Tokai), Diran Zakarian (Melkbos) and the Jeffreys Bay duo of Dylan Lightfoot and Steven Sawyer with Sawyer posting a ride of 9.0 in a heat that did not deliver many waves.

As conditions cleaned up, Vic Bay local Bianca Buitendag got the Grade 1, R18 000 Pro Junior women’s event underway in dramatic fashion by catching her first ride as the siren sounded and combining a series of vertical manoeuvres and sweeping cutbacks to earn a near-perfect 9.5 out of 10. Buitendag followed that up with an 8.25 on her next ride just six minutes later to leave her opponents comboed and needing to improve on both their rides throughout the heat.

Sarah Baum (Athlone Park), the top seed, won her encounter to advance to the last eight along with heat runner-up Kirsty Delport (Durban) while Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbos) and Heidi Palmboom (Bluff) progressed from Heat 3 and multiple SA champion and current WQS campaigner Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) and Alice McGregor (East London) joined them in the next round.

As the swell dropped the U12 VonZipper Air Show produced explosive aerial action with Matthew McGillivray (Port Elizabeth) earning his berth in Saturday’s final alongside Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) who won the U14 version yesterday. Two huge whales surfaced during the heat and, after gamboling on the other side of the bay, moved over to the take-off spot giving the youngsters some intimidating close-up views of their power.

Friday’s program sees the next rounds of the Pro Junior men, U16, U14 and U12 boys while the Pro Junior women will complete their Round of 8 and the one-on-one semifinals before the day ends with the women’s final.

Competitors, their families and VIP’s will be treated to the South Africa premiere of the award winning surf movie Still Filthy on Saturday. The performance will be at the Ster Kinekor complex in George on Saturday after the awards presentation where the Vic Bay event winners and the 13th annual Billabong Junior Series champions in all divisions will be crowned.

Results from the event will also determine the 2009 ASP Africa Pro Junior men and women’s titles and the four men and one woman who will receive the coveted invitations to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Sydney, Australia, in January 2010, the world’s premier annual junior surfing event.

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

The U16, U14 and U12 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 will be 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 concludes at Victoria Bay (23-26 September) where the series champions will be crowned for the 13th time.

\ends

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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