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Top youngsters fight it out for Freedom Cup
- Updated: October 5, 2016
The Billabong SA Junior Champs, the country’s most prestigious surfing event for competitors aged 17-and-under, gets underway in the fabled high performance waves of the Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay on Wednesday and runs until Sunday.
The 20th edition of the five-day event, presented by BOS, will showcase the top young surfers from every nook and cranny of the coastline who have qualified for the SA Champs via gruelling trials conducted by their respective district associations.
At stake are individual national titles for Under 13, U15 and U17 boys and girls along with the coveted Freedom Cup, which was introduced in 2003 and goes to the district whose team members accumulate the highest points tally across all age divisions.
‘We’re really proud to be the sponsors of the Billabong SA Junior Champs presented by BOS,’ said Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. ‘This is the premier junior event on the Surfing South Africa calendar and to host it in our home town of Jeffreys Bay makes it even more special. Good luck to the country’s best young surfers in their quest for national titles.’
The event also offers number of lucrative specialty awards totalling more than R15 000 for both surfers and their teams. These include the Billabong / Bad Billy’s Tag Team Paddle Battle, BOS Highest Heat Score, VonZipper Airshow and the Skull Candy Stay Loud Team Spirit awards.
The Cape Town Surfriders team will be determined to retain the Freedom Cup while Nelson Mandela Bay, the 2014 and 2015 runners-up, will be hoping that local wave knowledge will tip the balance of power for them this year. The eThekweni team from Durban will present a strong challenge again and Cape Winelands, Buffalo City, Ugu, Eden, uThungulu and the team from the SA Development Academy will be going all out to improve on their final placing in the team standings.
‘The Billabong Sa Junior Championships is the most significant annual tournament for South Africa’s U17, U15 and U13 surfers,’ says Surfing South Africa GM, Robin de Kock. ‘Surfing South Africa is stoked that it is taking place at Lower Point in J-Bay for the fourth year in a row and to be partnering with Billabong once again is just the cherry on top. I hope the waves are epic. Good luck to all’
Max Elkington (Cape Town) and Brayden Bergset (eThekweni) will be defending their U15 and U13 boys’ titles while the other four divisions will all crown new champions. Last year’s champions Gabi Lailvaux (eThekweni) in U13 girls and Kirsty McGillivray (Nelson Mandela Bay) in U15 girls have moved up one division.
As part of Surfing South Africa’s commitment to transformation, the South African Development Academy team is participating thanks to a grant from Sport and Recreation South Africa.
Picture of McGillivray , the 2015 Under 15 girls’ SA champion courtesy of Ian Thurtell