Round-Up: Masters Update, Billabong Junior Series, Fun & Games

So much going on on the surf scene at the moment, so here’s a quick round-up of events:

– According to the latest update from Panama, all of our surfers are still alive in the competition at the Panama ISA World Masters Surfing Championship! This means that South Africa is tied for first place with Brazil and Australia. The winners will be determined tomorrow, 4 September 2010. Good luck, guys and gal!

– In the mean time, back in home surf, the Billabong Junior Series has gotten underway in Herold’s Bay, near George, after organisers made the decision to relocate the event from Victoria Bay in search of better waves. The move paid off and now South Africa’s top junior surfers, including the likes of Dylan Lightfoot, Sarah Baum, Bianca Buitendag, Tarryn Chudleigh, Alice McGregor, SA Open champion Chantelle Rautenbach, Kirsty Delport, Benji Brand, Steven Sawyer, Mikey Venter, Jarred Veldhuis and Slade Prestwich are all vying for the title and one of three spots in the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour to take place in Bali at the end of October.

-For those of us who aren’t quite as skilled on the board, here’s your chance to conquer the biggest waves in some of the world’s top surf spots – including South Africa’s very own J-Bay – simply by using your fingers when you play a new game called Billabong Surf Trip. The arcade-simulation surfing game, which was developed by Billabong and Biodroid, a Portuguese game developer, can be played on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Featuring some of the best professional surfers in the world, such as Andy Irons, Taj Burrows, Joel Parkinson and Tiago Pires, players will be able to experience super-realistic waves from Billabong Surf Trip destinations such as Mundaka in Spain, Pipeline in Hawaii and many others.

The surf-art style graphics create super-realistic visuals, and the game has many highlights that create a whole world inside the surfing culture. Future platforms will include Sony PSP, Wii Ware, Xbox 360

Junior Saffas Take Reunion Island Challenge

Last weekend saw our local junior 2010 team fare extremely well in the team contest in the Reunion Island Challenge that took place at Kalk Bay Reef in Cape Town on Sunday.

Western Province, the hosts, took second place and the visitors from Reunion Island came third. The Emergin South African team came fourth and Boland came in at fifth place.

The U18 Boys Final title was snatched up by South African junior team member David Brand, who managed to beat current SA champion Matt Bromley of Western Province, pushing him down to second place. Hugo Dubosc of Reunion Island came third and Mikey February, another member of the South African team, came fourth.

This victory has managed to distinguish Brand as the top seed in the U18 SA Team when they compete in the ISA World Junior championships in New Zealand in January 2010.

The U18 Girls’ Final title went to Sarah Baum of the SA Team. She beat Camilla Davila of Reunion Island, who came second. Heidi Palmboom of the SA Junior Team came third and current U18 Girls’ champion Alice McGregor of the Emerging SA Team ended up in fourth place.

The U16 Boys’ finals saw the title going to Daniel Wilson of the Western Province. South African team members Steven Sawyer and Jarred Veldhuis came second and third. Fourth place went to another WP surfer, Benji Brand.

The U14 Boys’ Final victory also went to a WP surfer: Max Armstrong. He beat SA Emerging team member Benjamin de Castro. Lucas Jannier of Reunion Island came third and Brandon Benjamin of the Emerging SA Team came fourth.

The Reunion team members have been spending this past week training in Durban, where they will take on the SA team again, as well as a team from Central KwaZulu-Natal and Southern KwaZulu-Natal in Durban tomorrow and Saturday. The Reunion Islanders return home on Sunday, but they’ve already promised to host a reciprocal event on their home turf next year.

Well done Junior SA Team! Hopefully this weekend’s challenge against Reunion Island and the KwaZulu-Natal teams will see a stellar repeat performance!

Young Surfers Gear Up For Billabong Junior Series

South Africa’s hottest under 20 surfers are going to convene at Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape next week (23 – 26 September) to battle it out during the 13th annual Billabong Junior Series championships.

Apart from determining winners in the U20 category, there will also be U16, U14 and U12 categories. The event will also determine the ASP Africa Pro Junior champions for 2009 and who will be selected for the ASP Africa squad that will be taking part at the Billabong ASP World Championships in Sydney in January – which is THE top event in junior surfing.

Surfers who will be taking part include Casey Grant (20) of Scottburgh, Shaun Joubert of Mossel Bay, Matt Bromley of Kommetjie, Brendon Gibbens (also of Kommetjie), Klee Strachan of Winkelspruit, Chad du Toit of Durban, Dale Staples and Nick Godfrey of Cape St Francis, Kyle Lane of Umhlanga and another Scottburgh surfer, Haydn MacNicol.

The girls include Victoria Bay’s Bianca Buitendag, Tarryn Chudleigh of Kommetjie, Sarah Baum of Athlone Park, Heidi Palmboom of the Bluff, Chantelle Rautenbach of Melkbosstrand, Tanika Hoffman of Kommetjie, Alice McGregor of East London and Faye Zoetmulder of Port Elizabeth.

The U16 boys event will see the likes of Michael February of Kommetjie, Dane Staples of St Francis Bay, Steven Sawyer of Jeffrey’s Bay, David van Zyl of Glenashley and Capetonians Jarred Veldhuis and Daniel Wilson in action.

The U14 boys are Daniel Buitendag of Vic Bay, Benji Brand of Kommetjie, Slade Prestwich of Park Rynie, Diran Zakarian of Melkbosstrand, Max Armstrong of Scarborough and Dylan Lightfood of Jeffrey’s Bay.

The U12 boys will include Shane Sykes of Salt Rock, Donovan of Marina da Gama, Jody Maree of Kalk Bay, Ethan Fletcher and Jonah Paarman – both from Kommetjie – Matthew McGillivray of Port Elizabeth, and Steffen Burrows of the Strand.

The event will coincide with the Von Zipper Air Show, where selected surfers will show off and be rewarded for their skill at performing aerial manoeuvres.