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SA youngsters on the rise at World Juniors
- Updated: September 23, 2016
The South African junior surfing team climbed four places to seventh spot among the 38 nations in the provisional team rankings after an action-packed sixth day of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in the Azores Archipelago off the coast of Portugal on Thursday.
Tricky overhead waves and variable winds at Praia Monte Verde, along with the introduction of single elimination heats from Round 3 in all divisions, saw four South African team members eliminated from the event and four progressing to the next round with great performances in their respective divisions.
The team still has six members in contention for individual medals and trails Australia with 11, France (10), Hawaii (9), Japan (8) and the USA and Brazil with seven each.
Adin Masencamp (Strand) was South Africa’s top performer on the day, squeaking through his U18 Boys Round 3 heat in second place before delivering one of the rides of the event to win his Round 4 match-up and move into the last 16 of the division.
The 17 year-old from Strand in the Western Cape was rewarded with a 9.07, one of only six rides over 9.0 points in the event to date, for two massive backhand re-entries on a hollow overhead wave. He then added a 5.17 to his tally on his next ride which left his three opponents in a combination situation where they needed more than a perfect 10 point ride to overtake him.
Masencamp is the only South African left in the U18 Boys division of the four who started the day. Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) and Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) both finished third in their Round 3 clashes, leaving the event in equal 33rd place and contributing 320 points to the team total.
Bevan Willis (Salt Rock, pictured above) won his Round 3 heat with a strong performance and then narrowly missed out on second place, and berth in the last 16, in Round 4. Willis’ equal 17th place result in the division earned 400 points for the team.
On Podium 2, Max Elkington (Kommetjie), Sebastian Williams (Durban) and Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) all won their U16 Boys Round 3 encounters, with Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) the only casualty when, despite riding six waves, he finished fourth in a low-scoring affair.
Surfline, the official forecaster, is calling for continued Northwest swell for Friday, with more size in the morning and slowly fading through the day. The remnants of this powerful swell will provide plenty of surf for the rest of the contest period through finals day on Sunday, September 25.
South Africa will have five team members in action on the two podiums on Friday.
A five-strong South African squad, four males and one female) will also contest the semi-finals of the Aloha Cup tag-team event on Friday afternoon. The Aloha Cup is a form of relay surfing and features the top eight ranked teams from last year’s ISA World Junior Champs in California, where South Africa finished seventh overall.
Picture of Willis courtesy of ISA/Evans