Billabong Junior Series - Event 1, Mossel Bay 25-27 April

Craig Jarvis ǀ Photo: ©Kody McGregor ǀ Video: billabongsouthafrica

The best junior surfers in the country converged on Mossel Bay for the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS, Event 1, this weekend past and the best waves available in the country came to them.

Photo by: ©Kody McGregor

The location, Outer Pool in Mossel Bay, is a fun wave that breaks over a reef bottom and throws the odd barrel over the inside section. It fluctuated between three and five feet the whole weekend, with the biggest waves holding out for the finals on Sunday.

The event had an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) rated U20 Pro Junior Division, with the cream of the country’s best U20 surfers taking part. Points awarded at Event 1 would count towards a global tour, and seedings and ratings are awarded for every ASP-rated event that our surfers enter. It’s vital to enter as many as possible if a surfer wants to make a start on the international Pro Junior tour, and it was great to see Billabong raise the stakes in their event.

Day one was a warm, fun day with surfers greeting friends again and enjoying the cool set up that Billabong, BOS and the Mossel Bay locals had set up in front of the break. For those that were unfamiliar with the Mossel Bay waves, there were fine three footers reeling down the reef, perfect for loosening up and getting the feel of their equipment.

Day two was a rare day for the temperate Mossel Bay. The skies opened and it poured down for ages, leaving the surroundings pretty soggy. However, the surfing carried on unhindered in the rain as surfers focused on their bid for the best waves and scores. Highlights included South African surfer Sebastian Williams, who grew up surfing a perfect point break in Mexico, getting some great barrels and winning his heat with ease. Young Bevan Willis was another surfer who impressed all with his powerful surfing, and Richard Kidd surfed tight and in the pocket for some amazing scores in the perfect surf.

On the final day, the swell had kicked in and there were some nervous parents as the U12 boys were sent out in booming surf. On cue, the biggest waves of the whole event, a solid six foot maybe bigger, arrived to land on the poor kids’ heads. Boards were thrown, surfers were diving under the water, and the jet-ski safety crew looked on as the youngsters battled it out against the elements. Testament to their spirit, no assistance was asked for and they bravely soldiered on. Tide-Lee Ireland, from Durban, was the standout, catching the biggest waves and ripping them all the way through to the inside rocks.

Photo by: ©Kody McGregor

Max Elkington, from Hout Bay, was the standout in the U14 division, winning it convincingly on his backhand, while Jordan Maree, from Kalk Bay, was the winner in the U16 Boys division. Chanelle Botha, from Warner Beach, was the most impressive girl, winning the U18 Girls division and scoring a solid second in the ASP U20 Pro Junior Women's division.

Matt McGillivray, from Jeffreys Bay, was the winner in the U18 Boys division and he was also awarded the BOS Surfer Of The Contest award. Matt surfed extremely well, taking to the air whenever he could and going for big, futuristic moves and pulling them off.

Emma Smith, from Jeffreys Bay, charged into the lead in the ASP Pro Junior Women’s division, getting an early lead and maintaining it all the way to the end, with young Botha hot on her tail.

In the ASP U20 Pro Junior Men, it was Dylan Lightfoot, from Jeffreys Bay, against Diran Zakarian, from Melkbosstrand, in a man-on-man final. Lightfoot played a patient game, waiting for the good opportunities and was rewarded with two good waves that saw him take the win from his goofy-footed counterpart. "There were some good scoring opportunities out there," said Dylan, "and I chose to sit and wait for them. It wasn’t the big ones, but the ones in-between that I wanted. I’m stoked with my first win of the season and can’t wait for the rest of the events to kick in. There’s a contest next week in my home town and I’m keen to give it a good go."

For more on the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS, check out the Billabong South Africa website on


Watch the highlights from day one

Watch the highlights from day two

Watch the highlights from day three