The South African Junior Surfing team placed seventh out of the 36 national teams at the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship which ended on Sunday in Oceanside, California.
The hosts, USA, won the coveted ISA World Junior Team Trophy for the first time since the ISA junior worlds were inaugurated as a stand-alone event in Durban in 2002. The winners accumulated 7 536 points from the results of their 12 person team, well ahead of runners-up France with 6 565.
Defending team champions Hawaii clinched the bronze medal this year followed by Australia, Japan, Portugal, South Africa and Costa Rica. The top eight teams in the final standings qualify for the Aloha Cup tag-team event at the next edition of the event in the Azores in September 2016.
Italy’s Leonardo Fioravanti won the Boys’ U18 division, earning a perfect 10 point ride in the final and then adding a near-perfect 9.23 for the highest heat total of the entire event – 19.23 out of 20.
France’s Tessa Thyssen took the gold medal in the Girls’ U18’s, USA’s Stevie Pittman prevailed in the Boys’ U16 final and Hawaii’s Summer Macedo clinched the Girls’ U16 title.
Team captain Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) was SA’s top performer, advancing to the Main Event semi-finals before dropping in the Repercharge Rounds where he was eventually eliminated in ninth place overall in the division.
Sebastian Williams (Jeffreys Bay) finished 13th in the U16 boys, Teal Hogg (Umhlanga) ended 25th on the U18 girls and Olivia Izzard (La Lucia) also claimed 25th place in the U16 girls.
The Aloha Cup squad made up of Richard Kidd (Ballito), Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach), Ntando Msibi (Durban) and Michael Monk (East London) placed fourth in their semi-final and equal seventh overall in the tag-team event.
The SA team were a presence on the beach throughout the eight day event, vociferously supporting their team mates by blowing vuvuzelas, waving flags, whistling and cheering.
The team was well managed by Isaac February Kommetjie) and coached by Greg Emslie (East London) and David Malherbe (Coffee Bay).
All the news, results, photographs and video footage from the 2015 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship can be found at http://isaworlds.com/juniors/en/
VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), Gold Medal
Nommé Mignot (FRA) Silver Medal
Jake Marshall (USA), Bronze Medal
Shun Murakami (JPN), Copper Medal
9. Shane Sykes (Salt Rock)
17. Ntando Msibi (Durban)
49. Richard Kidd (Ballito)
49. Michael Monk (East London)
Tessa Thyssen (FRA), Gold Medal
Tia Blanco (USA), Silver Medal
Frankie Harrer (USA), Bronze Medal
Mahina Maeda (HAW), Copper Medal
25. Teal Hogg (Umhlanga)
33. Chanelle Botha (Warner Beach)
Stevie Pittman (USA), Gold Medal
Reef Heazlewood (AUS), Silver Medal
Marco Mignot (FRA), Bronze Medal
John Mel (USA), Copper Medal
13. Sebastian Williams (Jeffreys Bay)
21. Luke Malherbe (East London)
25. Adin Masencamp (Strand)
29. Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay)
Summer Macedo (HAW), Gold Medal
Macy Callaghan (AUS), Silver Medal
Brisa Hennessey (HAW), Bronze Medal
Teresa Bonvalot (POR), Copper Medal
25. Olivia Izzard (La Lucia)
33. Sophie Bell (Umdloti)
1. France, Gold Medal
2. Japan, Silver Medal
3. Brazil, Bronze Medal
4. USA. Copper Medal
=7. South Africa
Final Team Standings:
1. USA – Winner of the ISA World Junior Team Champion Trophy
2. France – Team Silver Medal
3. Hawaii – Team Bronze Medal
4. Australia – Team Copper Medal
7. South Africa
8. Costa Rica
11. Great Britain
15. New Zealand
20. Puerto Rico
31. El Salvador