Michael February on hand at Huntington Beach California on Day Three to support South Africa’s junior surfers

Huntington Beach, California, USA, October 29, 2019 – South Africa’s former ISA World Junior Championships and World Surfing Games competitor, Michael February, was at the beach on Day Three to support the young South African surfers who are representing the country at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships.

The 2018 Boys U-18 Bronze Medalist, Luke Slijpen (RSA), advancing in Main Event Round 1. Photo: ISA / Ben Reed

February, who has represented South Africa in four World Junior Championships, the ISA China Cup and three ISA World Surfing Games, spoke about his experience at the ISA World Junior Championships between 2008 and 2011.

“Competing in the ISA World Junior Championships is definitely among some of my fondest memories,” said February. “It is a great experience for these kids as they begin their surfing careers. They get to travel to a rad destination with their closest friends and see the rest of the world. You hear about all the big names from Australia, the USA and so on but you come here and see everyone from all over the world in the same place”

February added “Surfing’s inclusion in the Olympics is awesome. I’ve seen it come full circle from competing in the ISA World Juniors, the World Surfing Games, and now seeing the sport included in the Olympics. My advice to these young surfers would be to soak it all in and enjoy it for what it is. This is the most fun you will ever have.”

South Africa’s Luke Thompson from Durban who posted the highest heat score on Day One, and his team mates, Daniel Emslie of East London and Brad Scott of Kommetjie, all made it through their Round Two Main Event heats in the Boys U16 division.

“I came here last year for the first time and it was the best trip of my life,” said Thompson. “I surfed against the best in the world and came 9th. This year I am aiming for gold. I am super proud to represent South Africa. It can be a lot of pressure representing a whole nation, but regardless, it’s amazing to have this opportunity.”

The first group of surfers were eliminated in the Repercharge Rounds on the third day of competition at the 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship presented by Visit Huntington Beach.

Twenty-four surfers out of 342 competitors bowed out of the event after losing for their second time in the competition. Due to the unique team spirit of ISA events, these surfers still will remain at the event to support their compatriots in the upcoming heats.

Day three of competition kicked off with 3 foot waves and variable winds. The Main Event and Reperchage heats ran across the dual podium format.

 Japan’s Monnojo Yahagi locked in the highest heat total of the day with 15.87 in the Boys U16 Division.

Team New Zealand’s U18 Girls made impressive rebounds in the Reperchage Rounds with Saffi Vette and Estella Hungerford producing the two highest heat scores in the division.

Peru’s Sol Aguirre posted the highest heat total in the U16 girls division.

In the U18 Boys Repercharge Round One Maksymilian Michalewski of Poland was managed the highest heat score of the round.

Another surfer from Africa, Morocco’s Lamiri Alaoui Ranya advanced through her Girls U18 heat and spoke about the unique Reperchage format, as well as her pride to surf for her country.

“It’s great to have another chance to compete in the Reperchage Rounds. It’s a second opportunity to show what you are able to do and, if you are lucky, you can continue to fight and try to keep advancing.

“It’s an honour to represent Morocco and especially to be part of the development of women’s surfing in my country.”

American Samoa’s Liam Wilson advanced through his Reperchage heat in the U18 Boys division, to keep his dreams alive. Wilson is representing American Samoa for the first time in the World Junior Championships after making his and his country’s ISA debut in the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan last month.

The official Surfline forecast is predicting a reinforcing south swell to mix in with a peaking northwest swell on Wednesday. Offshore winds are expected throughout the day, which should create excellent conditions for the world’s best U18 surfers.

The 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship is broadcast live until November 3 on www.isasurf.org

Photos, videos, heat results and the daily schedule can also be found at www.isasurf.org.

Competition takes place at the North and South podiums at Huntington Beach Pier each day from 4pm South Africa time.

The Vissla ISA World Junior Championships Event site. Photo ISA – Reed

Media release Robin de Kock, General Manager, Surfing South Africa