First for EP in surfing

Matt McGillivray and Gina Smith both won their divisions and Springbok blazers in the Hurley SA Junior Champs and are now the first seeds for the SA team competing in the World Games in Nicaragua next yearEASTERN Province dominated the Hurley SA Junior Champs in Jeffreys Bay last weekend , clinching the Freedom Cup team trophy for the first time in the 16-year history of the event for surfers aged 17 and under.

The team picked up three of the six South African individual titles and three of the five special awards on offer.

Competitors enjoyed a phenomenal five straight days of excellent surf at the Point, with offshore winds every day grooming the waves and giving surfers every opportunity to showcase their talent.

The team championship was extremely close with KwaZulu-Natal Central (KZNC) team finishing just 184 points behind EP in second place, with defending champions Western Province a distant third 1143 points further back.

Boland placed fourth followed by Southern KZN, Southern Cape, Border, the SA Development Academy and Zululand.

J-Bay local Gina Smith (EP) was another who went unbeaten throughout the event, going on the be crowned the national U17 girls champion ahead of Inge McLaren (Border), teammate and last year’s U15 champion Tahra Uren (EP) and Caryn McNicol (KZNC).

Matt McGillivray of EP won every heat on his way to the national U15 boys’ title. He was deservedly crowned the Hurley Surfer of the Contest, in association with All Aboard Travel, earning a R20000 voucher to any destination in the world, and then pocketed another R5000 for winning the Red Bull Airshow where he beat the best aerial surfers at the event.

Benji Brand (WP) won the national U17 title. Diran Zakarian (Boland) took the runner-up spot with Jason Harris (KZNC) in third and Ethan Pentz (WP) placing fourth.

The U15 girls’ final was a closely fought affair, and when the spray settled Crystal Hulett (EP) was the champion. Adin Masencamp (Boland) successfully defended his U13 boys’ title. Jose Faulkner (EP) took third and Max Elkington (WP) placed fourth.

The U13 girls’ title went to Sophie Bell (KZNC) who racked up a massive 15 points to deny Kai Woolf (EP) a second successive title. The Skullcandy Team Spirit award went to EP whose enthusiasm and support for their teammates paid off with team and individual honours that will go down in the annals of South African surfing history.

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