KZN’s Dolphin Coast to host opening event on 2010 Billabong Junior Series
The Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu-Natal between Umhlanga and Ballito will be the venue for the opening event on the 2010 Billabong Junior Series, the premier national tour for surfers aged 20 and younger, which will crown series champions for the 14th consecutive year in September.
Scheduled for Sunday to Tuesday, 25-27 April, the Dolphin Coast event will use a mobile format that takes the contest to the best waves available on each day. Breaks like Salmon Bay and Surfers in Ballito, Westbrook or Main Beach in Umhlanga have been identified as potential venues with the competitors and public notified of where the contest will be staged at 7am daily.
The event features an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade 1 Pro Junior men’s event with US $5 000 (approx. R37 000) in prize-money. There are also invaluable ratings points at stake that count towards the prestigious Billabong Junior Series title, the ASP Africa Pro Junior crown and for the four-man squad who receive coveted invitations to compete in the inaugural ASP World Junior Series that starts in Bali in October.
Alongside the men’s event are Surfing South Africa sanctioned Pro Surf Tour events for Pro Junior girls and Under 12, U14 and U16 age categories for boys that determine the series champions and count for the annual SSA PST age group titles.
Shaun Joubert, the 18 year-old standout from Mossel Bay who won the first Pro Junior men’s event of the year in Durban over Easter, heads a stellar line up that includes Billabong team mates Dale and Dane Staples (St Francis Bay), the Kommetjie pair of Matt Bromley, third in Durban, and Davey Brand and JBay local Bertie Stuurman.
Other top contenders who will be striving to overtake Joubert at the top of the 2010 rankings and pocket the Nixon 42-20 PU Watch valued at over R3000 that goes to the event winner are reigning ASP Africa Pro Junior champ Chad du Toit and fellow Durbanite Shawn Dennis, Beyrick de Vries and Devin Lane from Umhlanga and Brendon Gibbens (Kommetjie).
Billabong’s Tarryn Chudleigh returns from campaigning on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), where she reached the final in her opening event of the year in Australia, and will be the one to beat in the Pro Junior girls.
The 20 year-old from Kommetjie faces stiff opposition from 2009 Billabong Junior Series champion Bianca Buitendag (George), perennial standout Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand), Faye Zoetmulder (Port Elizabeth) and the Smith sisters, Emma and Gina, from Jeffreys Bay.
Reigning series champion Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) will be going all out to defend his U16 boy’s title from a group comprising Mikey Venter (Warner Beach), Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie), Diran Zakarian (Melbos) and Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay), amongst others.
Benji Brand (Kommetjie) heads a super competitive U14 boy’s field that features Dylan Wichmann (Marina da Gama), Steffen Burrows (Somerset West), Jason Harris (Scottburgh) and Dolphin Coast local Shane Sykes (Salt Rock).
The youngest division – the U12 boys – will see a shoot out between 2009 champ Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) and Cape Town rivals Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie), Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama) and Jake Elkington, the Somerset West pair of Adin Masencamp and David Burrows, PE’s Matthew Hobson and Bevan Willis (Durban).
Each event in the Billabong Junior Series also features a spectacular VonZipper Air Show where the surfer successfully completing the most innovative aerial manoeuvre earns the winner-takes-all R2 000 prize-purse.
The format for the Dolphin Coast event sees the opening rounds of all divisions staged on Sunday with the Pro Junior girls champion crowned on Monday and the boys titles decided on Tuesday, along with the VZ Air Show.
All competitors will receive an SMS with the venue and start time for each day of the contest while the location and daily event updates can be accessed throughout the event via the Event Hotline at 071 179 9813.
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 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.
Entries for the event have officially closed but there is still space for late entries in several divisions. Please contact Billabong Events & Contest Coordinator, Laureen Payne, at 042 200 2600 or firstname.lastname@example.org before entering online.
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
Compiled & Issued by:
Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie, 7976 South Africa
Tel / Fax: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
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