Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) took the junior men’s and women’s titles at the BOS Cape Crown pres. by Billabong in idyllic 1 to 1.3 metre waves at Long Beach in Kommetjie on Sunday.
Their victories saw Elkington extend his lead at the top of the World Surf League (WLS) Africa regional junior men’s rankings while Bell moved into the No. 1 spot on the junior women’s leaderboard with four of the nine events on the 2017 calendar completed.
Local surfers dominated the results with all four men’s finalists coming from Kommetjie along with two of the four women’s finalists despite a strong contingent of the country’s best 18-and-under surfers from all over the South African coastline.
The men’s final was a see-saw affair with the lead changing hands numerous times. Eli Beukes started well before Ford van Jaarsveldt posted the first substantial score while the Elkington brothers – Jake and Max – had slow starts as they waited for the bigger set waves.
Beukes stayed busy on the inside before Max found a great righthander and posted an excellent score that he followed with a mid-range score to take the lead. In the last five minutes Van Jaarsveldt put himself into contention with an explosive ride, but with just 45 seconds remaining it was Jake who produced the title-winning score on a left that he decimated with a series of vertical backhand manoeuvres that netted an 8.67.
“It’s really amazing to have a WSL event at my home break and to surf in front of your home crowd and get the win feels great,” said Jake. “Having three friends in the final that I surf with every day and are always pushing my levels was also fun. I was leading the rankings coming into this event, but now I’m one step closer to my goal of qualifying for the WSL Junior Champs in Australia at the beginning of next year.”
Kommetjie resident Summer Sutton made full use of her local knowledge to dominate the women’s final, riding twice as many waves as her opponents and leading the heat until the last three minutes. Rankings leader Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) and Sarah Ingram (Cape Town) battled to find waves with good scoring potential and Bell had produced just one excellent score as time started to run out.
But with three minutes left on the clock, Bell used her priority to catch a long right that just kept producing for the powerful natural footer and she slammed four high risk manoeuvres to take the lead. Sutton had a final opportunity to grab victory as the siren sounded to end the final but came up just short of the score required.
Adding today’s victory to his win in the first event of the season in Port Elizabeth last month, Jake Elkington now holds a significant 650 point rankings lead over Adin Masencamp (Strand) with Max Elkington another 145 points further back in third spot and Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) in fourth.
Bell, the winner of both the open and junior women’s events in East London, is 195 points ahead of Nogueira, the winner of Port Elizabeth and Durban events, with Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) in third place.
The rankings points earned in the JQS1,000 men’s and women’s events count towards the 2017 WSL Africa junior titles, the selection of the top four men and top two women for the WSL Junior Championships in Australia in January 2018 and towards the 18-and-under titles in the 20th edition of the Billabong Junior Series.
The BOS Cape Crown pres. by Billabong also featured 3A rated SAST events for U16, U14 and U12 boys and girls run by Surfing South Africa (SSA), the national controlling body for the sport
BOS Cape Crown pres. by Billabong (Long Beach, Kommetjie, Cape Town)
Junior Men’s JQS1,000 Final Results
- Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) R8,000 1,000 pts
- Max Elkington (Kommetjie) R4,000 750 pts
- Ford van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) R2,500 560 pts
- Eli Beukes (Kommetjie) R2,000 525 pts
Junior Women’s JQS1,000 Final Results
- Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) R4,000 1,000 pts
- Summer Sutton (Kommetjie) R2,000 750 pts
- Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) R1,110 560 pts
- Sarah Ingram (Cape Town) R 900 525 pts
2017 WSL Africa Rankings (Top 5 after four events)
1 Elkington,Jake Kommetjie 3120 points
2 Masencamp,Adin Strand 2470
3 Elkington,Max Kommetjie 2325
4 Oberholzer,Koby Warner Beach 2235
5 Faulkner,Joshe Jeffreys Bay 1750
1 Bell,Sophie Salt Rock 3145 points
2 Nogueira,Kayla uMhlanga 2955
3 McGillivray,Kirsty Jeffreys Bay 2220
4 De Coning,Tayla East London 1795
5 Gericke,Taghiti Wilderness 1640