SA surfers shine at World Junior Champs
1 February 2010
Team South Africa turned in a solid performance on the weekend at the Quiksilver International Surfing Association World Junior Championships, held at Piha Beach in New Zealand, finishing fourth in the team event, and with two finalists in the individual events.
Victory went to Team Australia, with Hawaii finishing second and the USA third.
In the under-18 girl's division Durban surfer Sarah Baum made it through to the final. She fought a tough battle, but despite some strong rides and her goofy-foot flair she ended in third place.
Baum had been in good form all week in the beach-break conditions, but was unable to turn that form into victory in the final heat.
Another Durban surfer Beyrick De Vries also had a great week. He turned heads in all of his heats with his dynamic surfing and looked like a good bet for the under-18 boys' title.
In the title-deciding heat, De Vries again turned in a good performance, but he was overshadowed by a crew of determined international surfers who were going crazy in the three-foot right hand bowls. After the hooter had sounded, the SA team captain found himself in fourth place.
The under-18 title was captured by Brazilian sensation Gabriel Medina with a brilliant final heat score of 19.90 points out of a possible 20. Jordin Watson of Australia finished second and Tamaroa McComb of Tahiti third.
In the under-16 division, Australian Matt Banting came out on top, while his Aussie team mate Tyler Wright fended off a strong field to take the under-18 girls' title.
The Olympic style International Surfing Association (ISA) Aloha Cup, which pits national teams against each other, was also won by Team Australia. France finished second, with South Africa in third place.
There was good news for Quiksilver surfer Jarred Veldhuis, who was awarded a 2010 ISA Individual Scholarship, along with fellow South African team member Papi Makanyane.
Quiksilver South Africa's Marketing Manager Dane Patterson was pleased with the results. "We are very happy with Beyrick, Sarah and Jarred's achievements," he said.
"They flew the SA flag high. The event was great and really showcased the best junior surfers in the world.
"Beyrick was on fire and really proved that he's one of the best junior surfers in the world at the moment. He will be a forced to be reckoned with in the years to come!"
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