Excellent conditions, perfect weather and light offshore winds greeted the competitors in the opening day of the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS Event 1 in Mossel Bay. It was an excited group of young surfers who took to the warm water with relish and went to town, embracing the start of the junior surf season in South Africa.
Contest director Cyrl Nel was thrilled with the "good conditions," succinctly described the surf at Outer Pool. "Three foot, the odd four-footer, and highly contestable."
Early standouts were Joshe Faulkner, on a roll after his recent 6th place at the ISA World Games in Ecuador, Matt McGillivray from JBay, and Steffan Burrows from Boland, with all three winning their ASP Pro Junior Men's heats thing this morning.
Eyes often wandered away from the drama of the heats and across to Inner Pool, where the waves were also firing, watching the outrageous free-surfing moves being performed by competitors waiting for upcoming heats or who had just completed their heats. The sun poured down as the best junior surfers gathered on the grass in front of Outer Pool to watch and cheer on their friends as Mossel Bay welcomed junior surfing back to the town.
"It's great to have Billabong, BOS and junior surfing here in Mossel Bay," said Southern Cape Surfing Association Chairman Mike Sheppard. "We have a great setup here, and good point break waves for the junior surfers to compete in, and this sort of event brings out the best in our junior surfers. I''m stoked to have it all going on in Mossel Bay."
Standout of the early afternoon session at Inner Pool was Shane Sykes from Salt Rock, getting good practice in for when he hits the water again tomorrow. Mexican grom surfing star Sebastian Williams also took to the water today, and advanced from his U16 Round of 24 Heat. Williams will be based in South Africa for the winter and will be competing in junior surfing events for the season.
Apart from the heats and divisions, there are also a number of awards and mini-events going down within the main competition. There is the BOS Surfer Of The Event as well as the BOS Surfer Of The Series. The DaKine Youthful Movement Award will reward the surfer who displays the Most Progressive Surfing with a prize of R2,500 in product, while the Kinetic Racing Fins Free Award is for R2,500 for the most radical fins-free move of the contest.
With an increase in swell and favourable conditions forecast for tomorrow, competitors are excited for day two of the Series. Contest updates can be tracked via FaceBook on the Billabong Page www.facebook.com/Billabong.South.Africa and the Billabong Women's Page www.facebook.com/BillabongWomensSA.