Sunday September 29th 2019: The Buffalo City Surfriders junior team made history today when they recorded their first ever Team Title at the 2019 Sea Harvest SA Junior Surfing Championships, which was completed in 3 foot offshore surf at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay.
The closest the East London junior team has ever come to winning the Freedom Cup in the 23 history of the National Junior Championships was in 2003 when they came second at their home break of Nahoon Reef. Last year they were third behind Cape Town Surfriders and eThekweni Surfriders.
The coveted Freedom Cup is awarded to the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the five day tournament.
Buffalo City’s accumulated 45221 points to runners up Cape Town Surfriders 43264 points. eThekweni were third with 37050 points, hosts Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders were fourth with 36445 points and Cape Winelands Surfriders posted 31597 points for fifth place. 2019 Loud and Proud Team Spirit Award winners, UGU Surfriders from Southern KZN were sixth with 28127 points; the Eden Surfriders from the Garden Route scored 26310 points and came seventh while ILembe Surf riders from Northern KZN’s 25575 points gave them eighth place. The small but determined SA Development Academy Team were eighth with 10680 points.
The 23rd edition of this important surfing championship will be remembered for its difficult onshore conditions and small surf on the first four days but the conditions for the finals were good and the vibes throughout the competition were excellent.
The annual Sea Harvest also determines four female and four male South African Champions in the U12, U14, U16 and U18 Divisions.
This year Bryce du Perez (Buffalo City) is the U18 Boys champion after beating Karl Steen of eThekwini into second place. JBay local, Angelo Faulkner (Nelson Mandela Bay) was third and Eli Beukes (Cape Town) came fourth.
Female Surfer of the Contest,Tayla de Coning gave the Buffalo City team the double in the premier U18 Division when she beat Gabi Lailvaux (eThekweni) into second place to secure the U18 Girls Championship title. Cape Town Surfriders representatives Caroline Brown and Summer Sutton were third and fourth respectively.
Daniel Emslie took gold in the U16 Boys final edging Buffalo City Surfriders team mate, Mitch du Preez into second place. Brad Scott (Cape Town) was third and Christian Venter (Cape Winelands) came fourth.
Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) successfully defended her U16 Girls title beating Kayla Nogueira (eThekweni) into second place. Ceara Knight and Katie Winter (both Cape Town Surfriders) came third and fourth respectively.
2018 U12 Boys Champion Nate Colby (eThekweni) added the U14 Boys title to his growing list of wins when he beat River Gericke (Eden) into the runner up spot in this division. Joel Dace (Nelson Mandela Bay), who won the TCS – WiFi award and a Samsung Galaxy tablet for his efforts, was third and Connor Slijpen (Cape Town Surfriders) filled the fourth spot)
2018 U12 Champion Sarah Scott ( Cape Town) won gold in the U14 Girls Final this year with Mayah Potgieter (ILembe) second, Gemma Hannafey (Buffalo City) third and Scarlette van Jaarsveldt (Cape Town) fourth.
Cooper Smith (ILembe) won the U12 Boys title, Male Surfer of the Contest Levi Kolnik (Cape Town) came second, SA Development Academy Team representative Gordon Falangile was third and Ryan Schoon (Cape Town) came fourth.
The U12 Girls gold went the way of talented Anastasia Venter (Cape Winelands) with plucky Gabbi Herbst (eThekweni) second, tiny Louise Lepront (UGU) third and gutsy Meka Loots (Buffalo City) taking fourth spot.
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 the Department of Sport and Recreation.
All the individual Heat Results from Round One to the Finals can be found on www.liveheats.com/surfingsouthafrica
Photos from all five days of competition are posted on the Surfing SA Facebook page at Surfing SA.
The 2019 SA Junior Surfing Championships was sponsored by Sea Harvest, supported by Sport and Recreation SA and powered by TCS – WiFi, the Computer Shop. The Kouga Municipality hosted the event which was presented by Surfing South Africa.