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SA’s top junior surfers head for season-ending Billabong Pro Junior at Victoria Bay

August 30th, 2010

Pictured: Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) displays the form that took him to the victor’s dais in the Billabong Pro Junior Dolphin Coast in April. Photo: Billabong / Patterson

The country’s top pro junior surfers (20-and-under) are heading for Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape where the outcome of the crucial, season ending Billabong Pro Junior will see two surfers receive sought after invitations to compete internationally on the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour.

Scheduled for Wednesday to Saturday, 1-4 September, the Billabong Pro Junior features a R37 500, Grade-1 ASP Pro Junior men’s event alongside Pro Surf Tour (PST) events for Under 16, U14 and U12 boys and Pro Junior women and the spectacular VonZipper Air Show.

The absence of Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), who has already wrapped up the 2010 ASP Africa Pro Junior men’s title and is overseas engaged in improving his ASP World Ranking, leaves the way open for fellow Billabong team rider, Dale Staples from St Francis Bay, the current ASP Africa No. 2 and winner of the Billabong Pro Junior Dolphin Coast event in April, to grab one of the two coveted invitations.

Staples, a former Vic Bay winner and the fourth seed here, faces a strong challenge from 2009 ASP Africa Pro Junior Champion and this week’s top seed, Chad du Toit (Berea), along with last year’s event champion Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga) and the Kommetjie pair of Brendon Gibbens and Billabong’s Matt Bromley, all of whom are capable of earning the R15 000 winner’s paycheque and the precious rankings points.

With the balance of the 40 strong field snapping at their heels, the competition amongst the five contenders will be fierce, particularly as a change in the allocation of the invitations sees just the top three in the ASP Africa rankings plus the top two Pro Juniors on the ASP World Rankings invited to challenge for the ASP Pro Junior Champion title. In previous years the top 4 from ASP Africa and one from the international rankings gained entry to what was a one-off World Pro Junior Championship.

Vic Bay local and SA’s highest ranked surfer on the ASP Women’s World Rankings, Bianca Buitendag (George), heads a very competitive Pro Junior Women’s field at Vic Bay that includes fellow international campaigner, Billabong’s Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie).

Recently crowned SA Open women’s champion Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbos), Alice McGregor (EL), Kirsty Delport (Durban), Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) and rising star Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) are others with strong credentials.

In the U16 boys, top seeds Jarred Veldhuis (Kommetjie) and Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) face a titanic struggle against Billabong’s Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay), a finalist in the both the men’s and Pro Juniors in the SA Open in East London on the weekend, and Benji Brand (Kommetjie), winner of the U16’s on the Dolphin Coast.

Brand and Prestwich will also face off in the U14 boy’s against the likes of Max Armstrong (Scarborough), Matt McGillivray (Port Elizabeth), Steffen Burrows (Strand) and Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) 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.

The visually dynamic VonZipper Air Show will again reward the surfer successfully completing the most innovative aerial manoeuvre pockets with a winner-takes-all R2 000 prize-purse

There will be daily video and picture uploads for each day of the event on www.billabong.com/za and the heat results can be followed as they happen throughout the event on twitter and Facebook (Username- BillabongSA).

Anyone who would like to be included onto the Billabong Junior Series event SMS notification database can send their name and mobile number to brendon.kegel@billabong.co.za

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.

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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