Tricky conditions with inconsistent waves and onshore winds saw four members of the South African team being eliminated on day four of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship at Oceanside in California on Thursday.

Shane Sykes continued to lead the team by example and is the only South African left in the Main Event stream. The captain placed second in his Under-18 boys’ Round 3 heat to advance to the last 16 in the division and is now halfway to reaching the Grand Final.


Joshe Faulkner, Teal Hogg and Olivia Izzard all clinched runner-up berths in their Repercharge Round 2 encounters in the U16 boys’ and the U18 and U16 girls’ divisions respectively. The trio stay on track for the business end of the event while steadily accumulating additional points for South Africa in the team standings.

Ntando Msibi dropped into U18 boys’ Repercharge Round 4 after ending fourth in his Main Event Round 3 heat, as did Sebastian Williams, Luke Malherbe and Adin Masencamp who finished outside the top two in their U16 boys’ Main Event Round 3 heats. All will resume their campaigns in the repercharge rounds where competitors are given a second chance in the cut-throat 15 minute heats.

The other four South Africans team members dropped out of the event after losses in their respective repercharge heats. U18 boys Richard Kidd and Michael Monk placed equal 49th overall and contributed 240 points each towards SA’s team total while Chanelle Botha (U18 girls) and Sophie Bell (U16 girls) placed equal 33rd in their divisions and added 320 points each to the team tally.

South Africa have now dropped to 10th place in the provisional team standings. Hawaii, France and the USA still have all 12 team members in contention while Japan, Australia and Portugal have had one surfer eliminated, Costa Rica and Tahiti have ‘lost’ two and Peru three.

All eight South African still in the event will be competing on Friday.

Picture of Williams, courtesy of ISA/Chris Grant

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