South Africa's top junior surfers are prepping for the third and final event on the 2014/15 Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS, which will decide the men's WSL Africa Junior Champion for 2015.
With an event window of September 25-27, in the long righthand pointbreak of Seal Point at Cape St. Francis, the 1,000-rated Junior Tour (JT) event offers a R20,000 prize purse along with coveted ranking points that count toward the WSL Africa Junior title and the selection of the Africa regional squad for the WSL Junior Championships in January 2016.
Top seed Shane Sykes faces a stacked field of top-class performers. The 18-year-old from Salt Rock will have to be at his best to defend his 2014 event title against the likes of Dylan Lightfoot from nearby Jeffreys Bay, who finished runner-up for both the event and Africa Junior titles last year.
Lightfoot, 20, heads the rankings after second place finishes the earlier events in the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS. He has been campaigning on the Qualifying Series (QS) around the world this year, posting several stellar results in JT events, including reaching the Semifinals at the US Open of Surfing in August.
Right behind that pair in the rankings are Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), third in the event at Magnatubes in July, Jeffreys Bay standout Matt McGillivray and Adin Masencamp from the Strand, both of whom will be starting from Round 1 after submitting late entries for this event. Durban's Josh Smit will also be battling for one of four spots from the regional rankings who will represent WSL Africa at the World Junior Champs.
Started in 1997, the series has hosted 52 individual events over its illustrious history and has paid over R1.3 million in prize money, making it South Africa's richest Junior surfing series. All of the country's top international performers, including current and former WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfers Jordy Smith, Bianca Buitendag, Travis Logie, Royden Bryson, Rosy Hodge and Nikita Robb have honed their skills by competing in series events.
Live scoring for Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS at Seal Point can be followed on the WSL event site starting September 25.