Cape Town Surfriders Clinch Freedom Cup at Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS

Cape Town Surfriders clinched the coveted Freedom Cup for the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the 2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS, which was completed in excellent one metre waves at the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay today (Sunday).

The victory margin was the closest in the 21 history of the trophy with the team from Cape Town reclaiming the cup they won in 2015 by scoring just 63 points more than their arch rivals from eThekweni. The Capetonians also claimed two of the eight individual national titles at stake and provided five of the 32 finalists, earning a total of 42,840 points.

eThekweni (42,777) finished runners-up with hosts and defending team champions Nelson Mandela Bay (41,792) in third place and Buffalo City (40,277) in fourth. They were followed in the team standings by Cape Winelands, Ugu, Eden, debutants Ilembe and the SA Development Academy.

The 2017 edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for the incredible waves across all five days with sunshine, whales sightings, great memories and after an excellent final day a new set of champions will have their names inscribed in the annals of South Africa surfing history.

Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) was consistent throughout the U18 boys’ division, winning every single heat he contested. He was elated to improve on his runner up position in the u/17 boys’ division at SA champs last year by claiming the premier boys’ title this year.

Nelson Mandela Bay surfer Joshe Faulkner was relegated to second place by a mere 0.21of a point leaving Koby Oberholzer (eThekweni) and Adin Masencamp (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth places respectively.

Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) added another SA title to her name with her powerful and precise surfing, capturing the crown in the dying seconds of the u/18 girls final. Nina Harmse (Eden) maintained her runner-up berth from last year while goofy foot Natasha Van Greunen (Cape Winelands) finished third above her teammate Sarah Ingram in a heat with few waves.

After a heat total of 19.47 in his semi final earlier in the day, Eli Beukes had unshakeable confidence in the u/16 boys final, sealing his title with a big air-reverse on his last wave. Aya Gericke (Eden) read the waves beautifully for a second place finish above Saxton Randall (eThekweni). After a rocky start Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) went for broke with a huge aerial manoeuvre but was unable to stick the landing and had to settle for fourth place.

The talented u/16 girls had a slow final but Nelson Mandela Bay surfer and J-Bay local Kai Woolf knew just the right waves to pick to claim another SA title with her ferocious backhand attack. Runner-up S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (eThekweni) was a good match for Woolf on her backhand and held the highest single score in the final, an 8.5, but struggled to find a heat winning back up ride. Tayla De Coning (Buffalo City) was narrowly bumped to third place with Summer Sutton (Cape Town Surfriders) finishing fourth.            

The u/14 boys were blowing up throughout the contest but in the end it was Buffalo City’s Mitch Du Preez who claimed his first SA title with a total of 16.44, despite only surfing three waves in the 20 minute final. Teammate Daniel Emslie finished close behind in second place ahead of Luke Thompson (eThekweni) and Kye Macgregor (Nelson Mandela Bay).

Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) had a fantastic final in the u/14 girls, dominating proceedings and winning with a 16.33 heat total. Katie Winter (Cape Town Surfriders) finished in second place leaving Lhea Johnston (Buffalo City) and Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) in third and fourth place respectively.

The u/12 groms were a pleasure to watch as they fearlessly charged the overhead waves. In the girls final Gabbi Herbst (eThekweni) held the lead with a series of great scores while Scarlette Van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town Surfriders) earned a well warranted second place in her first SA champs. In third was Nelson Mandela Bay rider Zia Hendricks and in fourth was Maya Figl (Cape Winelands).

The charismatic Kyra Bennie (Cape Winelands) was chaired from the water’s edge to the podium by his teammates after taking out the u/12 boys’ title. Nate Colby (eThekweni), who on Saturday scored the only perfect ten-point ride of the contest, finished runner-up while Ethan Currin (Buffalo City) edged into third place ahead of River Gericke (Eden).

“This event has been amazing with awesome waves every day here at Lower Point!” enthused Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager, Chad Darcy. “The surfing standard has been really high – the groms have been blowing up and it’s great to see some new faces claim the titles. From Billabong’s point of view we are really stoked, it’s a great way to end the 2017 contest season.”

There were a number of specialty awards at stake with newly crowned SA U16 boys’ champ Eli Beukes (Cape Town Surfriders) claiming both the BOS Highest Heat Score and the VonZipper Airshow prizes. The Wazoogles Surfer of the Event for Boys went to Nate Colby (eThekweni) and for Girls to Caroline Brown (Cape Town Surfriders). The Skull Candy Loud & Proud trophy for the team displaying the best spirit throughout the five-day event went to the enthusiastic team from Ugu on the KZN South Coast.

2017 Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS


Freedom Cup

1st       Cape Town Surfriders         42,840

2nd     eThekweni                            42,777

3rd      Nelson Mandela Bay          41,792

4th      Buffalo City                           40,277

5th      Cape Winelands                  37,679

6th      Ugu                                        28,052

7th      Eden                                      25,969

8TH     Ilembe                                    15,220

9th      SA Development Academy            13,022


U/18 Boys    

1st       Ford van Jaarsveldt             13.90  CTS

2nd     Joshe Faulkner                    13.70  NMBS

3rd      Koby Oberholzer                  12.16  ETK

4th      Adin Masencamp                 12.04  CW


U/18 Girls     

1st       Kirsty McGillivray                 12.00  NMBS

2nd     Nina Harmse                                    9.83    Eden

3rd      Natasha van Greunen        7.83    CW

4th      Sarah Ingram                        4.13    CW


U/16 Boys    

1st       Eli Beukes                             16.90  CTS

2nd     Aya Gericke                          14.37  Eden

3rd      Saxton Randall                    10.17  ETK

4th      Angelo Faulkner                  9.16    NMBS


U/16 Girls     

1st       Kai Woolf                               14.17  NMBS

2nd     S’nenhlanhla Makhubu     11.83  ETK

3rd      Tayla de Coning                  11.23  BC

4th      Summer Sutton                    9.20    CTS


U/14 Boys    

1st       Mitch du Preez                     16.44  BC

2nd     Daniel Emslie                       14.90  BC

3rd      Luke Thompson                   11.67  ETK

4th      Kye Macgregor                     7.27    NMBS


U14 Girls                              

1st       Zoe Steyn                              16.33  BC

2nd     Katie Winter                          11.67  CTS

3rd      Lhea Johnston                     9.13    BC

4th      Ceara Knight                                    7.56    CW


U12 Boys                             

1st       Kyra Bennie                         14.5    CW

2nd     Nate Colby                            12.67  ETK

3rd      Ethan Currin                         11.90  BC

4th      River Gericke                        10.33  EDEN


U12 Girls                              

1st       Gabbi Herbst                         16.16  ETK

2nd     Scarlette van Jaarsveldt     12.87  CTS

3rd      Zia Hendricks                       11.36  DEV

4th      Maya Figl                               8.34    CW


BOS Highest Heat Score

Eli Beukes (CTS)

VonZipper Airshow – R2 000

Eli Beukes (CTS)

Wazoogles Surfer of the Event – Boys

Nate Colby (ETK)

Wazoogles Surfer of the Event – Girls

Caroline Brown (CTS)

Skull Candy Loud & Proud Trophy (Team Spirit)

Ugu District Team

 As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team participated in the event thanks to support from Sea Harvest and a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.

Cape Town Surfriders team celebrate winning the Freedom Cup by the narrowest margin in 21 years at the Billabong SA Junior Champs pres. by BOS at Jeffreys Bay on Sunday.
Photo: Billabong / McGregor