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Country’s Top Young Surfers Chasing WSL Africa Titles at Cape St Francis

September 26th, 2015
Bianca Buitendag advanced to Round 3 of the Cascais Women's Pro inPortugal on Friday WSL/ Poullenot

Bianca Buitendag advanced to Round 3 of the Cascais Women’s Pro inPortugal on Friday WSL/ Poullenot

Independent on Saturday – 26 September 2015

By Paul Botha

The country’s top young surfers are locked in a battle for the World Surfing League Africa Junior titles at Seal Point in Cape St Francis this weekend.

After a delay for fog, the third and final event in the 2014 / 2015 Billabong Junior Series got underway on Friday as excellent waves reeled down the long rock-strewn point. The highest ranked competitors justified their preferential seeding and confirmed that local competitive surfing has a bright future.

Jeffreys Bay local Dylan Lightfoot, who heads the Under 20 Men’s rankings, showed the benefit of campaigning on the international circuit by posting both the highest single ride score, a near perfect 9.25 out of 10, and the highest heat total of the day, 15.75 out of 20, in winning his round one heat.

Defending event winner and 2014 WSL Africa Junior Champion, Shane Sykes of Salt Rock, demonstrated that he will not be relinquishing his titles without a fight by winning his opening encounter convincingly, as did the next three on the rankings – Jordy Maree, Matt McGillivray and Adin Masencamp.

In the Under 20 Women, multiple South Africa team member Chanelle Botha and Taghiti Gericke were the standouts on the opening day. They will come up against the top seeds Nicole Pallet, Teal Hogg and Gina Smith when round two gets underway today.

Along with the country’s most prestigious titles for surfers aged 20-and-under, there are also four places at stake for men and two for women in the WSL Africa regional squad team who will compete in the World Junior Championships in January 2016.

The event runs until Sunday and includes events for boys and girls in the Under 14 and Under 16 age categories. Live scoring for the U20 heats can be followed at http://bit.ly/1G7v6Zt

Meanwhile in Europe, South African surf star and current world number four, Bianca Buitendag, slipped to second place in her first heat at the Cascais Women’s Pro which got going at the backup venue of Guincho in Portugal after three successive lay days due to small swell and adverse winds.

But Buitendag bounced back to form in round two, defeating local wildcard Theresa Bonvalot and she faces a matchup with number five ranked Californian Lakey Peterson and Hawaiian Alessa Quizon in round three when competition resumes. Watch the action in Portugal live at http://bit.ly/1NY72A5 from 9am daily.

And the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships presented by the Challenged Athletes Foundation also had its first day of action on Friday after the opening ceremonies and a well attending adaptive surfing clinic the previous day.

There are five South African athletes among the 65 competitors who are competing in divisions that include those who can ride kneeling or standing up, sitting on their craft, laying on their craft or those who need assistance catching waves and getting back onto their boards, but ride the waves independently.

These inspiring ocean lovers can be seen inaction at http://bit.ly/1jipcQc from 5pm today and tomorrow.


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