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SA captain leads from the front in California
- Updated: October 14, 2015
Shane Sykes was the star performer for South Africa on Tuesday as the team posted mixed results on the second day of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship at Oceanside, California.
Spectacular one-to-1.5 metre waves, warm water and pristine weather continued to provide the 322 competitors from 36 countries in the world’s biggest junior surfing event with the ideal conditions in their quest for individual and team honours.
Team captain Sykes again led by example, accumulating a heat total of 13.43 to relegate Nolan Rapoza from the strong USA team to the runner-up berth as the pair moved into the last 32 in the U18 boys’ Main Event.
Ntando Msibi joined Sykes in Main Event Round 3 when he finished second behind Colt Ward (USA) in a nail-biting heat where the Durbanite avoided dropping into the do-or-die Repercharge Rounds by finishing just 0.03 of a point ahead of third placed Ramon Barreca from Argentina.
Richard Kidd was not as fortunate, ending his heat 0.06 of a point behind second placed Alejandro Fuenzalid from Chile, and he now faces the prospect of competing in the Repercharge Rounds along with teammate Michael Monk who also placed third in his heat on Tuesday.
The U16 boys completed 12 of their 16 Main Event Round 2 heats. Both Sebastian Williams and Luke Malherbe grabbed runner-up spots to remain in the top tier of the event while Adin Masencamp will be action in Heat 15 on Wednesday against Day 1 highest point scorer Logan Bediamol (HAW) and competitors from Argentina and Ecuador.
Girls’ competition got underway in front of the judges on the South side of the Oceanside pier. All three South Africans in action struggled to find the waves offering high scoring potential and dropped into the Repercharge stream.
In the U18 girls division Teal Hogg could only muster 2.27 points and ended fourth in her opening heat while Chanelle Botha was unlucky to finish third, just 0.10 of a point behind Sofia Loewy from Colombia, in a tightly contested and low-scoring encounter.
Olivia Izzard was third in her U16 girls’ heat while Sophie Bell will start her campaign in Heat 14 of Round 1 when competition resumes.
Leonardo Fioravanti, the sole competitor representing Italy, recorded the standout performance in the U18 boys’ Round 2, earning the highest heat total (18.97) and highest single wave score (9.8) out of all the competitors in action on Day 2.
After two days of competition only USA and France have all their team members in the Main Event. Traditional surfing powerhouses including defending team champions Hawaii, along with Australia, Brazil and Peru all have one or more competitors in the Repercharge Round. The first competitors will be eliminated from the event when the 15-minute Repercharge Rounds get underway on Wednesday.
Picture of Sykes in action during his competition action courtesy of ISA/Sean Evans