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Seven SA competitors advance at World Juniors

The South African team posted a solid set of results on day four of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Japan on Wednesday, with seven of the eight team members in action advancing to the next round in their respective divisions.

The day got off to an inauspicious start when the experienced Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) became the first South African to be eliminated from the event, finishing in 81st position in the U18 boys, and contributing just 128 points to the team total.

But from then on team members progressed in every heat they contested, ending the day provisionally ranked sixth among the record 41 nations attending the event.

Adin Masencamp continued to lead by example, racking up a heat total of 13.84 as he and heat runner-up Dylan Moffat of Australia downed adversaries from Chile and the USA to the repechage rounds on their way to the last 16 in the U18 boys’ main event stream.

Despite the onshore winds and rain squalls, the rest of the team revelled in the bumpy head-high waves, with Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) and Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) both posting heat wins in their U18 boys repechage heats.

In the U16 girls, Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) and S’nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) secured comfortable runner-up finishes to keep alive their hopes for higher honours and a sizeable contribution to the team tally.

Eli Beukes and Max Elkington, both from Kommetjie, further reinforced the positive energy in the camp by posting convincing victories in their U16 boys’ repechage round 2 heats before the contest was called off early as the conditions deteriorated.

Another 64 surfers were eliminated from the event on Wednesday, leaving a total of 110 who now will be supporting their teammates in the world’s biggest event for surfers 18 and under.

Defending team champions France, Australia, the USA and hosts Japan are the only nations who still have all their team members still in contention.

South Africa and surfing powerhouses Hawaii and Brazil have lost one member each, while Argentina, Portugal and Costa Rica have lost two, with the rest having lost more.

All 11 of the South Africans remaining in the event will be action on Thursday, with Masencamp bidding to improve on his 13th place at last year’s event in the Azores, and his teammates fighting tooth and nail to avoid elimination in their repechage heats.

Picture of Elkington in action on Wednesday courtesy of ISA/Reed


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