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Masencamp and Bell crowned Africa Junior champions
- Updated: October 3, 2016
The 19th annual Billabong Junior Series champions were crowned at Seal Point in Cape St Francis after the second and final event in the 2016 series was completed in highly contestable one-metre waves and a stiff onshore breeze on Sunday.
Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) clinched the coveted U18 boys’ and girls’ Billabong Junior Series titles. The pair also topped the World Surf League (WSL) regional rankings lists and were crowned 2016 WSL Africa Junior champions.
The U16 boys’ and girls’ series titles were won by Max Elkington (Kommetjie), who was the only surfer across all divisions to win both the Ballito and Seal Point events, and Kai Woolf (Jeffreys Bay), who accumulated the same total as Bell over the two events, but won the title after a count-back.
Durbanites dominated the younger divisions with Tide-lee Ireland and newcomer S’Nenhlanhla Makhubu claiming the U14 series titles and Luke Thompson is the 2016 U12 boys’ series champion.
Masencamp secured both his titles after posting a phenomenal 17.93 heat total, including a near-perfect 9.33, in his semi-final victory over Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie). Masencamp went on to fall on two of his three rides in the final, finishing runner-up to 16 year-old Sebastian Williams (Durban), but his second place in the event was enough to earn the series crown and to overtake Jordy Maree (Kommetjie) on the WSL Africa Junior rankings.
Williams won his first WSL sanctioned junior event with great display of innovative surfing and rocketed into second place on the season-ending Billabong U18 series standings. He will join Masencamp, Maree and Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) in the four man squad who will represent WSL Africa at the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January 2017.
Bell won the U18 girls’ event on Sunday with Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) the runner-up. The pair finished in the same order in the Billabong and WSL Africa rankings and will join the four boys in Australia early next year.
Max Elkington defeated his SA junior teammate Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) in the U16 boys’ final . The 15-year-old from Kommetjie has now claimed a phenomenal 14 national age group titles and this is his fifth consecutive Billabong Junior Series crown.
In the U16 girls, Woolf emerged victorious over Bell to frank the tremendous form she has shown over the past couple of years. McGillivray ended third and rising star Anna Jellema Butler (Kalk Bay) in fourth place.
The U14 boys’ event title went to Nate Spalding who finished ahead of fellow Durbanite Ireland, York van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) and Sam Bennie (Vredehoek). Emerging talent Makhubu won the U14 girls with Kayla Nogueira (Durban), Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) and Gabi Lailvaux (Westbrook) taking second to fourth places.
Thompson won the U12 boys’ event, overcoming James Ribbink (Durban North) who was one of the standouts in Sunday’s action. The winner of the Ballito event, Daniel Emslie (East London), finished third and Christian Venter (Melkbosstrand) took fourth.
With the finals completed and the tide dropping, the VonZipper Air Show was moved to the beach break where Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) landed the best aerial manoeuvre and pocketed the R2 000 winner-takes-all prize-purse.
Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) won the BOS ‘Best Carve of the Event’ and a surfboard, with Mitch Du Preez (East London) claiming the R2 000 for the Neff ‘Forever Fun’ award and James Ribbink earning an additional R2 500 for the Skull Candy ‘Stay Loud’ award.
Picture of Masencamp in winning form courtesy of Billabong/Thurtell