There was great improvement in the surf conditions for day two of the Billabong Junior Series Seal Point Finale pres. by BOS, and the Pro Junior Men's division was the first to hit the water. Solid three - foot sets were pouring down the point, and the high scores were reflecting these improved conditions.
Bryce Du Preez has been the stand-out in this event thus far, and continued his excellent performances with a heat win in the first encounter of the day. The powerful Luke Slijpen came in second to advance with Bryce, while Mitch Du Preez and Karl Steen bowed out.
Calvin Goor was the winner of the second heat of the day in what was a low scoring heat overall, taking the win with a heat total of 8.84. Thomas Lindhorst clinched second to advance as well, while York Van Jaarsveldt and Koby Oberholzer were unfortunately eliminated.
The third quarter was a loaded heat, and all eyes were on Cape Town's Eli Beukes and Aya Gericke from Wilderness who had both been impressing judges and spectators throughout the weekend with their innovative surfing styles. The heat was won by Beukes, but young Daniel Emslie took off on everything that moved and pushed his turns to the extreme and, despite falling while going for broke, he did enough to grab second spot ahead of Angelo Faulkner who was eliminated along with Gericke.
The final heat of the round was dominated by Max Elkington, who took a comfortable lead from Luke Thompson as both moved into the last eight in the final WSL Africa event of the year while Brad Scott and Dillon Hendricks were ousted.
The standout surfer in the WSL Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) events for the earlier part of the day however, was Zoë Steyn who banked a heat total of 15.50 to win her Quarterfinal, with Tayla De Coning coming in second and Aimee Du Preez and Olivia Izzard being eliminated in the process.
Steyn picked up one bomb wave and went to town on it on her backhand, blasting a series of critical turns in the pocket for the near-perfect best score of the morning, a 9.33.
"It was such a good wave, and I didn't have priority so I had to hussle a bit for it," said Steyn "Then I saw this section coming, and I could just hook it all the way to the rocks, and then I went straight over a rock!"
By the time the semifinals came around in the late afternoon the waves were vastly improved but a light onshore was puffing, making for some high performance sections on the long right-handers. The first women's semi saw Kai Woolf finally get a win over Ceara Knight, and it was the one that counted as it saw Woolf into the Final. The second semi saw Steyn oust De Coning and set up an all goofy-foot clash with Woolf with the event title on the line.
The men's semifinal encounters saw some tight battles among the top seeds as the onshore started freshening. The first saw a high performance showdown between Slijpen and Du Preez. The talented natural-footers went toe-to-toe until the final siren, but it was a polished performance by Slijpen that saw the current WSL Africa Junior men's rankings leader get the nod and advance to his fifth Final in nine events this year..
In the second semifinal Elkington put on a stellar performance against Thomson and outpointed the young Durbanite with huge backhand hooks, vertical manoeuvres and radical snaps over the shallow inside rocks to claim his place in Sunday's Final against Slijpen.
The forecast for the final day shows great waves and a slight onshore breeze. And there is much at stake, including the event titles, the 21st annual Billabong Junior Series titles and qualifying for the WSL Africa squad that will compete in the WSL World Junior Championships in Taiwan in December.