Michael February (Kommetjie) throws an air-reverse at J-Bay Point on his way to a 10 point ride, the U20 boys title, the highest heat score and the Fly Away award at the RVCA Junior Series event. Photo: Luke Patterson
The final day of the inaugural RVCA Junior Series enjoyed classic one metre waves peeling all the way down the legendary Lower Point and providing the perfect canvas on for the cream of South Africa’s aged 20-and-under surfers to express their creative talent as they duelled for titles in seven age divisions, over R100 000 in cash and prizes along with points on the Pro Surf Tour rankings.
The saga unfolded with equal measures of elation for the winners and disappointment for the losers as a perfect 10 point ride was recorded, courageous performances were posted by the groms and high flying aerials and progressive manoeuvres were mixed with power carves and massive hacks.
The premierU20 boys final produced the tightest finish of the entire event when local J-Bay standout Dylan Lightfoot, needing just 5.76 to snatch victory from heat leader Mikey February (Kommetjie) as time ran out, was awarded 5.75 for his final ride, leaving the pair tied on 12.85 points in first place. February was awarded the title on a count back to each surfer’s best ride when his 8.25 trumped Lightfoot’s 7.0, with Davey Brand (Kommetjie) just 0.35 of point behind them in third and Slade Prestwich (Durban North) ending fourth.
By contrast, Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) was in a class of her own in the U20 girls, dominating every heat she contested, including the final where her total of 13.25 left her two points clear of runner-up Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) with Tahra Uren (J-Bay) and Nikita Kekana (Kalk Bay) taking the minor placings.
The U16 girls followed a similar script with top seed Anoush Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) delivering huge backhand manoeuvres to go unbeaten throughout the event. The newly capped SA Junior Team member clinched the title ahead of Ashleigh Vaughan (Port Elizabeth), Kayla Verreynne (Mossel Bay) and Robin van der Merwe (PE), who all started in Round 1 of the event and ousted the event seeds on their way to the final.
The U16 boys final featured three surfers from the U14 division led by 12 year-old Mexican Sebastian Williams who justified his ‘supergrom’ status by finishing second behind Steff Burrows (Stellenbosch), the only genuine U16 surfer in the final, and ahead of fellow U14’s Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie).
Rewaldo Abersalie was another whose local knowledge and powerful backhand attack groomed in the superlative waves at Jeffreys Bay led to a RVCA title. The J-Bay local secured the U14 boys division with Masencamp the runner-up, Williams third and Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) taking fourth place.
Saxon Randall (Durban) started his assault on the U12 boys title with an excellent 8.0 point ride which proved to be highest of final and he overcame the challenges of Max Elkington (Hout Bay), Karl Steen (George) and York van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie), who finished in that order.
The youngest division in the event, the U10 boys, made history by becoming the first final in this age category to be held in solid 3 to 4 foot (one metre) waves on a point break, which were overhead for most of the tiny competitors, without having assistance from coaches or caddies in the water.
The standard was set when newcomer Christian Venter (Melkbosstrand) courageously charged into the biggest wave of the day on his first ride, riding it the entire length of the point. However, it was RVCA team rider James Ribbink (Durban North), whose experience and expert advice from his father, former SA champion and all-round waterman Jason Ribbink, who went on to be crowned champion with Venter taking second, Alex Townsend (Cape Town) third and Viviers Strydom (George) placing fourth.
Michael February was a shoe-in for the ‘Fly-Away’ award for the surfer punting the biggest aerial manoeuvre during the event by producing a massive frontside air-reverse, where the tail of his board was higher than his head. MFeb, as he is known, received a trip for two to Jeffreys Bay courtesy of J-Bay Travel including return flights from anywhere in SA and accommodation at ‘African Perfection’, the premier B&B overlooking Supertubes.
The lanky 19 year-old ASP World Tour campaigner from Kommetjie also earned himself an Apple iPad and custom-built Nixon accessories for posting the highest heat total of the event. His near-perfect 19.50 out of 20 came in his semi-final clash where he started out with 9.50 and then recorded the only perfect 10 point score of the event on the ride that included the air-reverse and a series of searing manoeuvres before finishing with another punt that he completed with full control.
The ‘On Fire’ awards for the surfers displaying the most radical and expressive approach during the event saw U14 finalists Ford van Jaarsveldt and Adin Masencamp each become the proud owners of a state of the art Firewire surfboard.
David Van Zyl (Glenashley), another of the emerging crop of SA juniors competing on the ASP World circuit, was rewarded for his power surfing when he collected the Sector 9 skateboard for the ’Biggest Carve’.
RVCA Junior Series – Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay
1. Michael February (Kommetjie) 12.85 (Tied – count back to best ride – 8.25 vs. 7.0)
2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 12.85
3. David Brand (Kommetjie) 12.50
4. Slade Prestwich (Durban North) 9.75
1. Emma Smith (Jeffreys Bay) 13.25
2. Nicole Pallet (La Lucia) 11.25
3. Tahra Uren (Jeffreys Bay) 7.50
4. Nikita Kekana (Kalk Bay) 6.85
1. Steff Burrows (Stellenbosch) 12.0
2. Sebastian Williams (Mexico) 11.25
3. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 10.20
4. Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) 7.75
1. Anoush Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) 13.0
2. Ashleigh Vaughan (Port Elizabeth) 8.50
3. Kayla Verreynne (Mossel Bay) 6.25
4. Robin van der Merwe (Port Elizabeth) 5.60
1. Rewaldo Abersalie (Jeffreys Bay) 13.50
2. Adin Masencamp (Strand) 11.50
3. Sebastian Williams (Mexico) 7.50
4. Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) 6.50
1. Saxton Randall (Durban) 14.10
2. Max Elkington (Hout Bay) 11.35
3. Karl Steen (Morningside) 10.65
4. York van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) 10.25
1. James Ribbink (Durban North) 10.50
2. Christian Venter (Melkbosstrand) 9.50
3. Alex Townsend (Cape Town) 5.65
4. Viviers Strydom (George) 2.60
Fly Away Award
Michael February (Kommetjie)
On Fire Awards
Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie)
Adin Masencamp (Strand)
David van Zyl (Glenashley)
Highest Heat Score
Michael February (Kommetjie) – 19.50 out of 20 in U20 boys semi-final
All the results from the RVCA Junior Series can be found at www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and the activities were filmed with the photos and videos available for free download.
The RVCA Junior Series is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), recognised as the national controlling body for surfing and a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). The events form part of the Pro Surf Tour (PST) with competitors in all the divisions earning points towards their 2013 PST rankings.
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RVCA South Africa
Contact: Robin Kietzmann
Ph: 042 293 2199
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