St Mikes Hosts Billabong Juniors

by | Feb 22, 2007

More than 130 of the country’s top surfers aged 20 and younger will be taking to the waves at St Michaels-on-Sea on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast from Thursday to Sunday for the first of five events in the R220 000 Billabong Junior Series.

Competitors from virtually every beach on the coastline will be determined to start their challenge for the coveted series titles in Pro Junior (U20) boys and girls and U16, U14 and 12 boy’s divisions with a strong result in the classic right-hand point break waves that St Mikes is famous for.

The stakes are sky-high with over R30 000 in prize-money distributed to the top finishers on Sunday, and the highest-ranked Pro Junior girl at the end of the series receives a priceless invitation to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in Australia, the event Durban’s Jordy Smith won in the mens’ category this January.

A new event and series champion will be crowned in the girl’s division where Nikita Robb (East London), now a full-time pro surfer, takes on perennial rivals and fellow SA junior team-mates Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) and Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand).

And the future of SA’s female surfing talent will be trying their best to dislodge the top seeds with the likes of Sarah Baum (Athlone Park, KZN), Alice McGregor (East London), Bianca Buitendag (George) and Tanika Hoffman all in line to reach Sunday’s final.

Each event in the 11th annual Billabong Junior Series also features a spectacular Von Zipper Air Show where the winner pockets R1 800 for performing the best cutting edge aerial manoeuvre, the Best Kustomised Manoeuvre awards for the top local boy and girl and the Zigzag ‘Blowing Up’ award of R1 000 along with its unique replica hand grenade trophy.

Ratings points are awarded to competitors based on the position they achieve in each event and the series titles in the five divisions go to those accumulating the highest total from their best four results after the fifth and final event in Jeffreys Bay in September.

The R35 000 series prize-pool, half of which is provided by First National Bank (FNB) in the form of six-month fixed deposit accounts, is shared by the top three finishers in each division. FNB also cover the travel costs of the top girl invited to compete in the Billabong World Junior Championships in Australia annually.

The Billabong Junior Series is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport in this country, and proudly supported by First National Bank, Palmers, Kustom, Von Zipper, Red Bull and Silver Bullet Productions.

After St Mikes (February 22-25), the 2007 series visits Durban (March 29-April 1), Cape Town (May 17-20) and Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape (August 9-12) before wrapping up in the legendary surf Mecca of Jeffreys Bay (September 21-24) where the 11th annual series champions will be crowned.

Entry forms and further information on the Billabong Junior Series, including profiles of the top performers, can be found at the Billabong Africa web page.

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