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   Oakley Pro Junior 2010 Set For Port Alfred

Dale Staples won the narrowest of victories in the Billabong Pro Junior men's event at Westbrook today, tying with Australian Ryan Callinan in the final of the ASP Grade-1 rated contest before being awarded the victory on a countback to each surfer's best ride, with Staple's top score of 8.5 better than Callinan's 7.0.

The organisers took the first Billabong Junior Series event to use a mobile event format back to Westbrook for the third and final day where 1-1.3 metre glassy waves produced the ideal scenario for high performance surfing by the country's top 20-and-under competitors.

The final of the US $5 000 (approx R37 000) Pro Junior men's event was a thrilling finale to a great event with Staples establishing his superiority right on the opening siren. Taking off on a set wave, the 17 year-old from St Francis Bay seamlessly combined a full repertoire of manoeuvres with powerful bottom turns punctuated by a fins-free tail-slide and a roundhouse cutback before successfully completing a vertical close-out re-entry.

With Staples awarded 8.5 out of 10 by the judges, which ultimately became the title-winning ride, Callinan had to play catch-up for the rest of the heat. The Australian’ netted a 6.0 at the 10 minute mark before Staples secured a 4.5 and leaving his opponent needing 7.01 for victory. With 10 seconds remaining Callinan took off on a wave and, as the siren sounded to end the heat, he produced a series of backhand bashes to earn 7.0 and tie the heat at 13.0 points each.

Staples was chaired from the water's edge and earned US $2 000 (approx. R15 000) along with a Nixon 42-20 PU Watch valued at over R3000 and a case of Monster Energy drink for his victory while Callinan pocketed $900 and a pair of Von Zipper sunglasses for the runner-up spot.

Equal third after losing out in their respective semifinals were Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay), who was competing in both the Pro Junior and U16 boys divisions and contested five heats on the day, including back to back finals, and David van Zyl, the lone Durbanite in any of the four finals.

The first final contested was the U12 boys where reigning Billabong Junior Series champion Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) stamped his authority on proceedings from the start by posting an excellent 8.0 point score on his first ride. Maree added a 3.5 later and his total of 11.50 out of 20 was sufficient to give him victory over talented newcomer Jake Elkington (Llandudno), Adin Masencamp (Somerset West) and Donovan Wichmann in an all Cape Town final.

Clearly exhausted from his earlier efforts, Maree could only manage fourth place in the U14 boys final. Matt McGillivray (Port Elizabeth) whose fearless charging in the larger surf yesterday was impressive, had to settle for third as Kommetjie friend and rivals max Armstrong and Benji Brand went head-to-head. When the spray settled if was Armstrong with his fully committed forehand attack that recorded the highest heat total of all four finals on the day - 15.50 out of 20 - who triumphed over Brand’s vertical backhand manoeuvres.

Not to be outdone, Brand stayed in the water after also qualifying for the U16 boy's final. Steven Sawyer led for the first 18 minutes despite snapping the nose off his surfboard early in the heat and having collect a replacement from the beach. However, a flurry of rides in the closing minutes saw Sawyer overtaken by fellow JBay ripper Dylan Lightfoot and then Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand).

But saving the best for last, Brand came up trumps with rides of 5.0 and 5.5 in the last five minutes to snatch the U16 title from Lightfoot, Zakarian and Sawyer, who finished in that order.

As the results were totaled and the cheques written, a dozen of the country’s best junior exponents of aerial manoeuvres paddled out for the 30 minute Von Zipper Air Show. The winner-takes-all R2 00 prize-purse was decided in the opening minute as former Kommetjie resident, Thomas Woods, now living in Australia, boosted himself more than a metre above the lip of the wave, effortlessly completed a full 360 degree turn in the air and landed successfully. While Umhlanga local Beyrick de Vries came closest to matching Wood's aerial, the Aussie was the clear victor and pocketed the cash.

The Billabong Junior Series Dolphin Coast was the first of two events and the Series champions will be crowned for the 14th successive year at stop No. 2 at Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape from 1-4 September.

Images, results and news from the event will be available at and a TV documentary, produced by Silver Bullet Productions, will be broadcast post event on Vuzu - DSTV Channel 123.

The Pro Surf Tour (PST) events in the Billabong Junior Series are sanctioned by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport, while the internationally rated Pro Junior men's event is sanctioned by ASP Africa, the regional office for ASP International.



Pro Junior Boys:

  1. Dale Staples (St Francis Bay) $2 000 + Nixon watch + Case of Monster Energy
  2. Ryan Callinan (Australia) $900 + Von Zipper eyewear
  3. David van Zyl (Glenashley) $550
  3. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) $550
  5. Matt Bromley (Kommetjie) $250
  5. Devin Lane (Umhlanga) $250
  5. Mikey February (Kommetjie) $250
  5. Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) $250

U16 Boys:

  1. Benji Brand (Kommetjie) R2 000 + Nixon watch
  2. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) R1 200 + Von Zipper eyewear
  3. Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) R800 + Nixon watch
  4. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) R500 + Kustom footwear

U14 Boys:

  1. Max Armstrong (Kommetjie) R1 500 + Nixon watch
  2. Benji Brand (Kommetjie) R1 000 + Von Zipper eyewear
  3. Matthew McGillivray (Port Elizabeth) R600 + Nixon watch
  4. Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) R400 + Kustom footwear

U12 Boys:

  1. Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) R1 000 + Nixon watch
  2. Jake Elkington (Llandudno) R750 + Von Zipper eyewear
  3. Adin Masencamp (Somerset West) R500 + Nixon watch
  4. Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama) R250 + Kustom footwear

Von Zipper Air Show:

  1. Thomas Woods (Australia) R2 000


Submitted: Tuesday 27 April 2010

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