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Grand Finale for 2009 Billabong Junior Series gets underway Victoria Bay

September 23rd, 2009

Pictured: Benji Brand (Kommetjie) was the highest point scorer on Day 1 of the Billabong Junior Series event at Victoria Bay
Pictured: Benji Brand (Kommetjie) Photo: Moonrocket Billabong

Wednesday 23 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

The third and final event in the 2009 Billabong Junior Series got underway today in overhead waves and light onshore winds that strengthened during the day at the picturesque venue of Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape.

More than 80 of South Africa’s best surfers aged 20-and-under and their entourages have flocked to the event which has R103 000 in prize-money at stake and will crown the series champions for the 13th successive year. The results will also determine the ASP Africa Pro Junior (U20) titles for men and women and see prestigious invitations to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia in January issued to the highest ranking four men and top ranked woman.

The competitors in Round 1 of the Pro Junior men were the first to take to the surf with Shawn Dennis (Durban) and Jacob Mellish (Somerset West) the standouts of the round, easily winning their respective heats and advancing to match-ups with the top 16 seeds in Round 2.

Others to impress included Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh), 14, who along with Daniel Wilson (Tokai), 16, caused the upset of the round by eliminating highly touted Jaco Steyn (Melkbosstrand) from the event. Heat 8, the final encounter of the round, was a non-stop affair with the lead changing hands after every ride before Justin Grey (Port Elizabeth) and Benji Brand (Kommetjie) secured their berths amongst the last 32.

Brand, 13, who is also competing in the U14and U16 divisions, was the top point scorer of the day, racking up a near perfect 9.0 point ride to go with a 7.0 that gave him a heat tally of 16.0 out of 20 while winning his U14 match-up. The stockily built goofy-foot also won his U16 heat with a 7.25 and a 6.0 to narrowly outpoint Sarah Baum, the top seed in the Pro Junior women’s division and one of three girls who are taking on the boys in the U16 age division.

Vic Bay local Bianca Buitendag (George) won her U16 heat to join Baum in the Round 2 of the U16 boys while Heidi Palmboom (Bluff), who was in the same heat as Brand and Baum, narrowly lost out when she finished third and will have to wait for the women’s event for her next competitive heat.

Standout performances also came from Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) in winning his U16 heat while in the U14’s, Max Armstrong (Scarborough) recorded the second highest heat total of the day’s action as he left all three of his opponents in a combo situation. Daniel Buitendag (George) and Matthew McGillivray (Port Elizabeth), 12, also tore the dropping swell apart with Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) delivering three excellent scores in his U12 heat.

Organisers are expecting offshore conditions but smaller swell for Day 2 of the event which runs until Saturday 26 September. Tomorrow will see the Pro Junior women in action alongside the other four divisions with a daily Von Zipper Air Show being run to determine the finalists who will compete for the R2 000 winner-takes-all prize-purse that goes to best aerial manoeuvre in the final on Saturday.

Video footage, images, results and news from the event will be 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.

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Pictured: Benji Brand (Kommetjie), 13, recorded the highest heat total of 16.0 out of 20 on Day 1 of the Billabong Junior Series event at Victoria Bay on Wednesday. Brand is competing in the U14, U16 and Pro Junior (U20) events in the contest and advanced to the next round in all three divisions.

Photo: Theron / Billabong

NB: High resolution images from the event are available daily 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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