South African surfers making waves this weekend featured Bianca Buitendag who claimed the Swatch Girls Pro France Pro Junior title on Saturday.
Competing in one metre wind affected waves at Les Bourdaines, Seignosse, France, Buitendag defeated Cannelle Bulard (REU) 18, in a one-sided final that saw Buitendag in control throughout, despite Bulard fighting back in the final minutes.
This was Buitendag’s second straight victory of the European Pro Junior season after her win earlier this year in Vendee, and saw the 18 year-old from George in the Southern Cape pocketing US $1,200.
“It was a long final of 25 minutes,” said Buitendag. “I got my two good scores in the first few minutes so I kind of relaxed a bit but I had to keep an eye on Cannelle during the whole final! She only needed a small score in the end so she could have got it easily.”
Buitendag had a difficult road to victory facing Leila Hurst (HAW) in the semis, and Johanne Defay (FRA) in the quarters, but managed to always step it up and take a little advantage over her opponents.
With the second-best scoring wave of the event and some of the highest heat totals of the week, Buitendag proved once again to be one of the strongest Junior surfers in the World and will leave France satisfied with her performance.
“It took so long to get a visa I don’t know how long it’ll take to have the French passport but yeah, I do love France, it’s been good to me so far! I plan on doing the full tour here in Europe and I’m also going to Peru soon for a Star event.”
Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie) was the next-best placed South African in the Pro Junior event, finishing ninth overall after winning her first two heats and posting the highest heat total of the entire event in Round 1.
Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) was the top SA campaigner in the 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro France, which was won by Courtenay Conlogue (USA).
Baum finished equal ninth overall, collecting $900 and 920 points which moved her up to No. 14 on the ASP Women’s Star rankings, one place behind Buitendag, who placed 25th in the 6-Star event that ran in conjunction with the Pro Junior contest.
Swatch Girls Pro France Junior Final Results: 1- Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.33 2- Cannelle Bulard (REU) 8.60
Semi-Finals: Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.96 def. Leila Hurst (HAW) 9.67 Heat 2: Cannelle Bulard (REU) 12.10 def. Philippa Anderson 9.00
Quarter-Finals: Heat 1: Leila Hurst (HAW) 10.50 def. Lucia Martino (ESP) 8.35 Heat 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.65 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.60 Heat 3: Cannelle Bulard (REU) 13.25 def. Maud Le Car (FRA) 7.25 Heat 4: Philippa Anderson (AUS) 9.75 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 4.50