A top class field of South African and International junior surfers enjoyed perfect 1.0 to 1.5 metre surf all day at Magnatubes in Jeffreys Bay on the opening day of the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS.
Shane Sykes, top seed for the World Surf League Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 got the event off to a great start by winning the opening heat before Griffin Colapinto (USA) dropped the first ten-point ride of the event in Heat 2 for a perfect wave that reeled all the way through the break, allowing the American to perform multiple high-performance manoeuvres.
Most of the favourites progressed to Round 2 with Matt McGillivray and fellow Jeffreys Bay local Dylan Lightfoot, Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) and Adin Masencamp (Strand) winning their heats along with Miguel Blanco (PRT)
The first heat of Round 2 provided a shock result when Americans Ethan Osborne and Colapinto eliminated both Sykes and Slade Prestwich in the near perfect surf.
"That was the gnarliest heat I've ever been in," Osborne said. "I didn't think I was going to make it at all. I mean, Slade Prestwich was surfing in the WSL event earlier. But then I got that one wave, and made it, and was so stoked. This is my first time to South Africa, and this is my third day here and the waves are some of the best I've ever surfed."
The second heat also provided drama when McGillivray launched into a massive do-or-die full rotation air reverse to sneak into second place behind Ethan Ewing (AUS) as the pair ousted Masencamp and highly rated Hawaiian Seth Moniz.
"That was so stressful," McGillivray said. "I hadn't really had a good wave until that last one. The wave didn't offer me much so I knew I just had to throw it out there."
Lightfoot, Maree, Blanco and Bevan Willis (ZAF) advanced from the other two heats. The Quarterfinals, Semis and Final will be decided by man-on-man heats.
The event runs until Friday 17 July with a total of R20 000 in prize-money and points towards the WSL Africa JQS title at stake.
The Billabong Junior Series Presented By BOS is part of the JBay Winterfest - www.jbaywinterfest.com - a multi-sports and music festival in Jeffreys Bay.