South Africa Ranked Among Top Seven Nations at VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships

After four days of competition in the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships, South Africa is one of only seven nations who still have all 12 team members in contention for honours in the annual event being staged at Huntington Beach in California.

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

South Africa, who finished eighth last year, is joined by defending team champions Japan, event hosts USA, traditional surfing powerhouses Australia and Hawaii and rising stars Spain and Portugal at the top of the provisional rankings for the 44 nations in attendance.

Luke Slijpen has already reached the last 16 in the U18 Boys Main Event stream and is on track to equal or improve on the bronze medal he clinched for finishing third at Huntington Beach last year. His teammates Eli Beukes, who posted the highest single wave score and heat total in the division earlier in the event, and Tide-Lee Ireland have dropped into the gruelling Repercharge Rounds.

Daniel Emslie is flying the South African flag in the last 16 of the U16 Boys Main Event stream, while Brad Scott and Luke Thompson, the standout performer on the opening day of the world’s biggest junior surfing event, will be doing their best to reach the grand finale of their division via the Repercharges

All three of the U18 Girls have lost once in the double elimination format used at ISA events. Caroline Brown and Summer Sutton will be up against each other, along with rivals from Canada and Israel in their next heat. Tayla de Coning will take on her peers from USA, Netherlands and Morocco with only the top two in each heat advancing to the next round.

Ceara Knight franked her talent by earning an excellent 8.33 point score from the judges in her opening encounter and along with Zoe Steyn remains in the U16 Girls Main Event stream. Kayla Nogueira will be taking the longer route to honours via the Repercharge Rounds.

Main Event competitors from all four divisions will be in action in the waves on the North side of the Huntington Beach pier today (Thursday), while the Repercharge rounds for the U16 Boys and Girls will be run on the South side.


All the action on each day of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships can be followed live at which also features news, images, video footage and statistics for every heat.

The competition runs until Sunday 3 November and starting at 4pm South Africa time daily.

Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).