St Mikes produces great waves for start of Billabong Junior Series
2007 Billabong Junior Series
Five-event national surfing series
St Mikes, Durban, Cape Town, Victoria Bay & Jeffreys Bay
February – September 2007
ST MIKES PRODUCES GREAT WAVES FOR START OF BILLABONG JUNIOR SERIES
The 11th annual Billabong Junior Series got off to a blazing start as more than 130 competitors were greeted with consistent overhead one to 1.5 metre (3-5 foot) waves peeling down the famous St Michaels-on-Sea point on day one of the four day event.
The opening rounds of the boys Pro Junior and U16 divisions took to the surf with gusto, busting huge manoeuvres on the clean offshore waves that had the judges awarding scores in the excellent category of more than 7.5 out of a possible 10 points.
Umhlanga’s Chris Leppan, Mark Shepperson and Devin Lane were amongst the top performers with Leppan earning 7.5 and the heat win for a ride that consisted of just two spectacular lip bashes.
Shepperson was not affected by arriving at St Mikes only minutes before his round two heat entered the water and racked up 7.75 and 5.0 point rides to advance to round three along with runner-up Lane, who held onto second spot despite breaking his surfboard during a 6.0 point ride and spending more than five minutes of the heat on the shore trying to find a replacement.
Peder Christensen from Strand was another who reveled in the juice, winning both his first and second round encounters to join the top 14 seeded surfers and two wildcards in the last 32 of the R12 500 Pro Junior boys division.
South Coast locals were happy to demonstrate their ability in home waters with bothers Haydn and Devan MacNicol and fellow Scottburgh standout Casey Grant all heat winners while siblings Brian and Brett Palmboom (Port Shepstone) and Prince Mayendi (Margate) remained in contention by placing second in their respective four-man heats.
Despite several disruptions caused by late arrivals due to flight delays, the first round of the U16 boys was completed with Remi Peterson from Jeffreys Bay the standout performer. Although he only competed in his first contest 18 months ago, the 14 year-old Billabong team rider used his experience in the fabled waves on J-Bay point to defeat highly rated Tyde Gatke, winner of the U14 division at St Mikes last year.
And it didn’t stop there as Peterson also qualified for the second round of the Pro Junior division, eliminating reigning U14 series champion Michael February (Kommetjie) in the process, before being ousted when he placed fourth behind Casey Grant, Cape St Francis ripper Nic Godfrey and national junior team member Lungani Memani (Port Alfred).
Friday sees the top seeds in the Pro Junior boys enter the fray in the round of 32 and the likes of Brandon Jackson (Durban North), Rudy Palmboom Jnr (Bluff), Brett Shearer (Kommetjie) and Brandon Roberts (Sun Valley) will be hoping that the surf conditions are as good as today so they can unleash their well-honed contest repertoires.
They will be followed by the Pro Junior girls where Nikita Robb (East London), Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) and the rest of the top contenders face the challenge of a host of rising stars led by Heidi Palmboom (Bluff), Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) and Bianca Buitendag (George), all of whom are only just into their teens.
And day two will continue with the opening rounds of the U14 and U12 divisions before wrapping up. The finals in all five divisions are scheduled for Sunday along with the Von Zipper Air Show where the country’s top ‘fly-boys’ display their aerial talents with the best completed manoeuvre earning the winner-takes-all R1 800 prize-purse.
The Billabong Junior Series is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport in this country, and proudly supported by First National Bank, Palmers, Kustom, Von Zipper, Red Bull and Silver Bullet Productions
Further information on the Billabong Junior Series, including profiles of the top performers, can be found at www.billabong.com/africa
First National Bank is a division of FirstRand Bank Limited
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
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
|Date: 23 Feb. 07||