Home > Contests, Girls Surfing, SSA, WSL > Semi-Finalists Decided on Opening Day of Billabong Junior Series at Ballito

Semi-Finalists Decided on Opening Day of Billabong Junior Series at Ballito

June 22nd, 2016
Max Elkington (Kommetjie) blasts a fins-free manoeuvre on his way to the semi-finals of the U16 boys’ division on the opening day of the Billabong Junior Series  Photo: Kelly Cestari

Max Elkington (Kommetjie) blasts a fins-free manoeuvre on his way to the semi-finals of the U16 boys’ division on the opening day of the Billabong Junior Series  Photo: Kelly Cestari

The Semi-Finalists in the Under 14 and U16 Boys’ and U16 Girls’ divisions were decided on an exciting opening day of surfing in the Billabong Junior Series event at Willard beach in Ballito on Wednesday.

Overcast conditions and clean one metre (hip to head high) waves that improved during the day gave the country’s top junior surfers the canvas on which to utilise their full repertoire of manoeuvres as they battled to advance to the business end of the prestigious 3A rated SSA Pro Surf Tour (PST) events.

Sebastian Williams (Jeffreys Bay), the reigning Billabong Junior Series U16 boys’ champion, was one of the standout performers on the day, winning both his opening heat and his Quarter-final clash to move into the Semi-Finals.

“That heat went good, I saw the previous heats were slow but I got a decent wave in the first 5 minutes and that kind of set my tone for the rest of the heat,” said Williams. “I’m hoping to defend my title as it’s my last year in the under 16’s. I’ve been doing this division since I was under 12, but I enjoy competing a couple of divisions above my age.”

Max Elkington was seeded into the Quarter-Finals and won his opening heat to advance to the semis along with heat runner-up and fellow Kommetjie resident Eli Beukes. Elkington and Beukes will be up against Williams and Koby Oberholzer in the second Semi-Final where the top two will progress to the four-man Final.

Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay) produced her customary display of high performance surfing in the U16 girls’, moving into the semis along with runner-up and Salt Rock local Sophie Bell. Kayla Nogueira and Zoe Smith won their Round 1 encounters and newcomer S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) finished second to reach the semis in a PST event for the first time.

The day’s action started with the U14 boys’ division in what for many were overhead waves. The three Round 1 heats were won by York van Jaarsveldt, Nate Spalding and Mitch du Preez who advanced to the last six together with their respective runners-up.

The youngest division, the U12 boys, will get the Day 2 action underway followed by the U14 girls before the U18 boys and girls take to the surf on Day 2 of the event on Thursday.

The finals of all the divisions will be run on Saturday when an exciting lineup of speciality awards will also be decided:

• VonZipper Airshow – surfer landing the aerial manoeuvre – R2,000
• Zigzag Blowing Up Award –standout performance, most impressive surfing over the week – R2,000
• BOS Award – Best Carve of the Contest – wins a surfboard
• Neff – Forever Fun – “The surfer that spits out something new, exciting and has the most fun doing it” – R2,000
• Skull Candy – #StayLoud Award – “Takes risks, steps away from the herd, expresses themselves in their surfing style and lives life to full volume” – R2,500

The U12, U14 and U16 divisions are Surfing South Africa 3A Pro Surf Tour events with prize-money of R2,600 for the U12’s and while the other divisions each share R4,600.

The premier U18 boys’ and girls’ divisions are internationally rated World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 events offering prize-purses of R20,000 and R10,000 respectively. The points earned count towards determining the Billabong Junior Series and WSL Africa overall champions.

The U18 boys have an added incentive as the top two placed surfers will be awarded wildcards into the SSA Ballito Pro Trials presented by Billabong on Sunday 26 June. The winner of the all-South African trials event will land a berth in the R4 million Ballito Pro presented by Billabong.

Scheduled for Wednesday to Saturday, 22-25 June, the Billabong Junior Series is supported by KwaDukuza Municipality, VonZipper, Zigzag, BOS, Neff, and Skull Candy, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.

Hashtag: #BillabongJNR

ENDS

NB: High resolution images are available on demand for media outlets

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

Surfing South Africa
The Ballito Pro, Ballito Women’s Pro, SSA Trials and Billabong Junior Series are registered with Surfing South Africa, recognised by the Dept. of Sport and Recreation as the national controlling body for the sport and a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 082 699 4493
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

KwaDukuza Municipality and Organiser of the Ballito Pro Festival
Contact: Collette Bundy
Mobile: 072 287 9839
Email: collettebundy0@gmail.com

For more information about the beach and food festivals plus the music concerts please contact:

Olivia Jones Communications
Cell: 083 653 1720
Work: 031 303 9341
Email: media@oliviajones.co.za

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