Tayla de Coning of East London has been crowned U16 girls champion at the 20th Annual Billabong Junior Series at Seal Point in Cape St Francis yesterday. Daniel Emslie, also of East London, won the U14 boys' championship title.
The event was the fourth and final stop on the 20th edition of the world's longest running contest series for surfers 18-and-under and crowned event and series champions in seven divisions from U12 to U18 as well as the 2017 WSL Africa junior champions.
Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) clinched the premier U18 boys’ and girls’ Billabong Junior Series titles which earned them each a coveted trip to the tropical surfing paradise of Bali thanks to All Aboard Travel. The same pair also topped the World Surf League (WSL) Africa Junior regional rankings lists and are the 2017 WSL Africa Junior champions.
According to Surfing South Africa, the seven finals run at Seal Point on Sunday produced phenomenal surfing with Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) capturing his first WSL Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) men’s event victory after defeating Calvin Goor (Salt Rock). The lanky 18-year-old Capetonian posted a near perfect score of 9.0 out of ten plus three rides in the seven point range, the best of which was a 7.87, and his heat total of 16.87 left Goor still needing a 9.76 when time ran out.
Van Jaarsveldt had earlier defeated 14-year-old East London standout Mitch Du Preez in their semifinal clash while Goor overcame the challenge of Luke Malherbe, also from East London, to earn his place in the final.