After almost two years of no competitions in South Africa due to COVID-19 postponements and delays, the first Junior Qualifying Series is finally here.
South Africa's best U20 boys and girls will be frothing to pull on the rashie at the O'Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers JQS 1,000 at Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal from 12-14 December 2021.
Since the Ballito Pro event was postponed in June, this is the first time ever that the competition takes place in December.
With no internationals in the line-up this year due to travel restrictions around the globe, it will be an all African field. This is a golden opportunity for the former event winner, Zoë Steyn to get the title back after losing out to Australia's Piper Harrison in 2019.
Steyn will have strong competition from close rival Ceara Knight, Durban favourite S'Nenhlanhla Makhubu and Adriel Wolmarans who will be riding a wave of confidence after winning the South African Surfing Championships Open Women's title on Saturday in Ballito.
Defending event winner Luke Thompson is ranked nr.1 going into the Junior men's event, but he will have to overcome fellow Durban youngsters Ntokozo Maphumulo and Jordan Boshoff and Brad Scott in the first heat of competition.
The O'Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers is scheduled from 12-14 December 2021 at Willard Beach, Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal.