Rory Dace © Kody McGregor
Finals Day yesterday at the 2021 Sea Harvest SA Junior Surfing Championships presented by SMTH Shapes delivered testing, 2-3 foot light onshore conditions for finalists to demonstrate the surfing abilities they have been honing over the past two years.
In a close battle between Cape Town Surfriders and Buffalo City, the prestigious Freedom Cup went to Cape Town Surfriders for amassing the most collective points across all divisions throughout the week. Cape Town Surfriders reclaim the award after losing it to Buffalo City in 2019.
In the premiere U18 Girls division, Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) displayed unwavering confidence in the small, fragmented onshore waves putting her fierce backhand attack through its paces to claim victory with an 11.93 (6.25 + 5.68) heat score total. The win marks the fourth Junior title of the young woman’s career.
U18 Boys’ Mitch Du Preez (Buffalo City) built on his performances in every heat surfed throughout the contest. His consistency paid off in the final, where his explosive, exceptionally vertical backhand turns earned him a 13.88 (6.75 + 7.13) heat score toal and the prestigious U18 Boys division title. Du Preez will cherish this title after coming in at a close second place in both 2018 and 2019.
Sarah Scott (Cape Town Surfriders) held on to her winning streak, taking out every heat surfed in the contest, all the way through to the final. Her slicing carves and powerful surfing in the crumbly conditions of the final left no inkling of doubt that she was much-deserving of the prestigious U16 Girls division title. The win marks Scott’s third Junior title, after U12 and U14 Girls division wins in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
As conditions deteriorated throughout the day Connor Slijpen (Cape Town Surfriders) demonstrated his nimbleness in challenging, small onshore waves in the U16 Boys final, generating ample speed and powerful turns; a testimony to his well-rounded surfing abilities. His performance was rewarded with a 12.18 (6.38 + 5.8) heat score total and an U16 Boys division title.
After winning their respective Semifinals, Louise Lepront (Ugu Surfriders) and Anastasia Venter (Cape Winelands Surfriders) went neck in neck in the U14 Girls Final, putting on a spectacular show. A combination of choice waves, beautiful forehand wraps and critical snaps propelled Venter into a significant win with a heat score total of 14.23 points, making her the 2021 U14 Girls Surfing champion. This is the young talent’s second Junior title, after winning the U12 Girls division in 2019.
Rory Dace: 3rd place U14 Boys
Joel Dace: 3rd place U16 Boys