Forty three of South Africa’s top junior surfers will compete with twenty one of the best junior surfers from France in a junior international surfing contest at Durban’s new Pier this weekend.
The South African contingent is made up of eight members of the recently selected South African Junior team and five members of the South African Junior Squad who attended a camp in Cape Town two weeks ago. The other twenty nine south Africans are drawn from the KZN province.
For the twenty one French visitors, the Surfing South Africa sanctioned tournament brings their three week training camp in Durban to a close. The French Surfing Federation has a strong relationship with Surfing South Africa and the decision to hold this junior international “friendly” was a mutual one.
The South African team members who will be using this event to prepare for the 2014 ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Ecuador are Under 18 representatives Shane Sykes and Nthando Msibi, current SA Champion Ethan Fletcher, Jordy Maree and Adin Masencamp who will be competing in the under 16 section, SA Champion Teal Hogg and U18 teammate Chanelle Botha and Cana Foster. The SA Squad members are Richard Kidd and Jason Harris (U18 division), Bevan Willis and Ford Van Jaarsveldt (U16 division) as well as Michelle Verreynne and Sophie Bell (U16 girls division).
The French have most of their top juniors competing and although many are unknown quantities local surfers will be aware of the talents of Mateo Poulot (U18),Mahe Javegny (U16 girls)who have both surfed in contests in South Africa before.
The KZN group were selected from the results of the KZN Championships held late last year and there is plenty of talent among the thirty locals. The KZN surfers are Sifiso Mhlongo, Liam de Villiers, Devin Whitehead, Dylan Gouws, Byron Wigmore, Oscar Wootton, Keagan Wright, Sam Christianson, Ben Dancaster, Seaton Swart, Oliver Packham, Kei Weyer, Braiden Coates,Slater Rudling, Koby Oberholzer, Karl Steen, Saxton Randall, Calvin Goor, Wesley Paul, Keagan and Nathan Wallace, Jade Mets, Kelly and Wade Simkiss, Sam Cele, Olivia Brand, Kaylee Dry,Christy Gilmour, Gabi Lailvaux and Olivia Izzard.
The Junior International Challenge gets under way at about 8am at New Pier in Durban on Saturday. Nineteen heats will be run on Saturday and the semi finals, Tag Team Final and individual Finals in the six divisions will take place on Sunday. The Award Ceremony will take place immediately after the final at New Pier.
The Junior International Challenge is presented by Surfing South Africa (SSA) in partnership with the French Surfing Federation (FFS). Both SSA and FFS are members of the International Surfing Association, the recognized governing body for World surfing.
The Junior International challenge is hosted by the KZN Central Surfriders Association. Surfing South Africa is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and acknowledged by Sport and Recreation South Africa as the governing body for the sport in South Africa.