Jeffreys Bay's  Tahra Uren will enjoy home-ground advantage as one of the favourites for the U17 title at the Hurley SA Junior Champs, from 3-7 October in J-Bay. Uren is pictured on her way to winning gold, in the U16 final of the National Women's Day Surf Challenge, at Muizenberg on 9 August, 2012. Photo Claire Butler

The country’s top young surfers will be flocking to the surfing Mecca of Jeffreys Bay next month to compete for prestigious team and individual national titles in the annual Hurley SA Junior Champs.

Scheduled for 3-7 October, this premier Surfing South Africa (SSA) event features the best 17-and-under surfers selected by their respective provincial associations and will be staged at the high performance surf break known as The Point for the first time in its 16 year history.

“Junior surfing is what drives the future of South Africa’s next crop of great surfers and the dream of adding to the pool of World Champion from our shores,” says Jevon le Roux, MD of Hurley SA. “Hurley is proud to be associated with Surfing South Africa’s Junior champs as the kids are an inspiration to us. We look forward to them showing up and blowing up at J-Bay in October.”

Competitors from defending team champions Western Province and hosts Eastern Province will be joined by squads from KZN Central, Southern KZN, Border, Boland, Zululand, Southern Cape and the SA Development Academy in their quest to secure the Freedom Cup and SA titles in Under 17, U15 and U13 categories.

Kai Woolf (EP) will be back to defend her U13 girls’ title. Last year’s U17 girls’ champion Sarah Baum (KZNC) is now competing on the World Tour and U15 girls’ champion Tahra Uren (EP), has moved up to the U17 division leaving the way clear for the top contenders to stake their claim for a place in the annals of South African surfing history.

Eastern Province surfers, including 2011 finalists Tahra Uren and Kai Woolf, will benefit from hometown advantage at Jeffreys Bay but face strong challenges from the defending champions and the likes of Nicole Pallet (KZNC) and Chanelle Botha (SKZN).

In addition to the national titles at stake, winners will also be crowned for the Citroën Surfer of the Contest, All Aboard Travel Highest Heat Score, Zigzag Blowing Up Award, the Red Bull AirShow and the Skullcandy Best Team Trophy, which is awarded to the provincial team that displays the best team spirit throughout the event.

Follow the event via the Hurley Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/Hurley.ZA and on Twitter @HurleyZA using the hashtag #sajuniorchamps. Daily blogs, interviews, video uploads, images and results will be posted on the SA Junior Champs website and can also be found at the Surfing SA website.