Action and fun down at Willard beach for day two of the Billabong Junior Series in Ballito Durban. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. More Info on Billabong Junior Series Ballito - Images From Day Two Of Competition. here: http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za . . .
Willard Beach, Ballito, 29 June 2017: Many of the country’s top ranked junior surfers tumbled out of contention on Day 2 of the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel as the inconsistent, peaky head-high waves at Willard Beach in Ballito played havoc with their heat strategies, leading to major upsets. A total of six of the top eight WSL Africa ranked junior men were eliminated from the event on Wednesday while only one of the top 10 junior women has reached the last four. Both the defending event champions, Adin Masencamp (Strand) and Zoe McDougall (HAW), slipped through to the final day of competition after finishing second in their respective quarterfinal heats today. And they face the same opponents who relegated them to runner-up berths in the one-on-one format for the semi-finals. Masencamp produced a great comeback to grab second spot from Luke Malherbe (East London) with a ride that connected all the way to the beach in the dying seconds of their heat. He will be up against red hot Brazilian Samuel Pupo who has posted the highest scores in the event so far with his huge range of high risk aerial manoeuvres. The other junior men’s semi will see current No 8 ranked Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) get the chance to force his way into contention for a spot in the four man squad to represent the Africa region at the World Surf League (WSL) World Junior Championships in Australia in January if he can get past former SA U16 champion Ethan Fletcher. Fletcher eliminated rankings leader and fellow Kommetjie resident Jake Elkington to earn a place in the semis for the first time this year. “This break can be difficult and the tide was quite high so there weren’t a lot of waves coming though. I made one or two mistakes and didn’t get the waves I needed but I’ve learnt from what happened in that heat and will work on making sure it doesn’t happen again,” Elkington explained. “After three wins I’ll still stay at the top of the rankings . . .
The NMMU-Madibaz karate squad will be protecting a proud record when they take on their student rivals in the University Sport South Africa tournament in Pretoria from Friday. After finishing as the champions from 2010 to 2015, Madibaz were the runners-up last year and martial arts manager Bernard Petersen said they would definitely be looking for a place at the top again. "We have done considerably well over the last seven years, but we know the competition will be extremely tough this time," he said of the tournament to be hosted by Tshwane University of Technology from Friday to Sunday. "We have a number of new karatekas in our squad and we are aiming at least for a top-three berth." Even with a degree of inexperience in their squad, Petersen said the reputation they had built up over the last decade would stand them in good stead in their objective to make another big impact on the week. While acknowledging that the varsity exams provided a challenge to their preparations, he said the squad had been practising diligently to make sure they were in top shape for the event. "Sensei Lucky Maxama, who is one of the top karatekas at NMMU, has worked very hard to prepare the students," he said. "It will be his first year as a coach, after previously being a student, and he and the squad are looking forward to the challenge. Currently they are in a camp fine-tuning their preparations." Petersen said they would be sending 15 full contact karatekas and three semi-contact exponents to the tournament. "We are trying to promote semi-contact on the campus. The difficulty is that there are so many styles in semi-contact, so it does pose a challenge." He added that with full contact there was only one style and the Madibaz teams had excelled in that discipline over the years. Petersen identified Eastern Cape neighbours Walter Sisulu and Fort Hare as teams who would be among their strongest challengers, while he pinpointed several Madibaz stars . . .
PIETERMARITZBURG, 28 JUNE 2017 – On 23 June 2017, South Africa’s top men’s trail athlete, Christiaan Greyling (Jeep Team/Salomon/Garmin) raced the Marathon du Mont-Blanc 80km Ultra-Trail through the Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley in France finishing 6th overall (4th in cat). Since its inception in 1979, the Marathon du Mont Blanc has grown, featuring 8 races over 3 days and attracting 10 300 registered runners representing 75 countries. The Marathon du Mont-Blanc 80 Ultra-Trail race started at the Tourist Centre of Chamonix, at the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, and covered exactly 92.5km and 6000m of elevation gain. The race is limited to 1000 participants and is one of the most technical and demanding ultra trail races in its category as it crosses an entire valley, traverses over summits with wet narrow paths, snowy sections, and the iconic Aiguilles Rouge Nature Reserve, all at an average altitude of over 2000m. “What a rollercoaster day on one of the toughest Ultras I’ve ever done. When you start out on an ultra-trail, you will always find something beyond the norm. You are broken down to a point where nothing is important anymore, and then you find yourself on top of this huge mountain, depleted, and wonder how you got there,” says Greyling. Greyling, pushed hard throughout the race, gaining nine places from the start of his race to finish in 6th place overall in 12h17m42s – an impressive improvement from his 13th place finish in 2016. First place in the 85.3km race went to Xavier Thevenard (France) in 11h03m05s; Clemente Mora Cristofer (Spain) in second in 11h16m55s; and in third place in 11h33m24s was Romain Berger (France). Greyling concludes, “I am super happy with 6th place finish in this unbelievable race. It is a great start to a new adventure in my life. In the end, it doesn’t matter what position you finish in, but rather the journey to get you there!” Results – 80km Marathon du Mont Blanc Men 1. Xavier . . .
PIETERMARITZBURG, 28 JUNE 2017 – Saturday, 24 June, saw South Africa’s top surfski paddlers fight it out for the FNB Durban Downwind title, as well as the South African Singles Surfski Champion crown. Surfski paddlers from around the country gathered in Durban for an exciting 26km downwind challenge from La Mercy to Marine Surf Lifesaving Club, with the elite paddlers aiming to qualify for the South African team for the ICF Ocean Racing World Championships in Hong Kong in November. At La Mercy, the race set off with a backline start, where huge surf made it difficult for the paddlers to get out to the start line. Nineteen paddlers, including Dusi Champ, Andy Birkett, were forced to withdraw after breaking their skis in the backline break. Current World Surfski Series champion, Hank McGregor (Jeep Team), faced a serious challenge from Euro Steel’s Jasper Mocké as it came down to the line. McGregor opted for a straight-line course closer ashore, while Mocké and his brother Dawid, chose a deep-water line. McGregor struggled through the surf coming in, beaching earlier than expected, and had to run to the finish line. Mocké, lining up his run, picked his way through the surf right to the finish. Despite running to the finish along the beach, McGregor finished less than one second behind Jasper Mocké, and clinched a slot in the national team for the World Champs. Third place went to Dawid Mocké, who won a sprint race with Kenny Rice for the last podium spot. Results – FNB Durban Downwind 2017 Men 1. Jasper Mocké 1:29:18.54 2. Hank McGregor 1:29:19.13 3. Dawid Mocké 1:29:55.32 Women 1. Michelle Burn 1:42:58.20 2. Hayley Nixon 1:44:05.68 3. Nikki Russell 1:45:07.59 Doubles 1. Zoog Haynes/Lance Howarth 1:32:48.69 2. Donna Winter/Shaun Burgin 1:37:18.48 3. Bruce Wenke/Justin Wenke 1:42:56.54 CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The second stage could hold the key to victory in the Bestmed Jock Classic, South Africa's toughest one-day road cycling race, at Mbombela in Mpumalanga on July 15. Nico Bell, runner-up in the three-day Jock Tour over much of the same terrain last year, said the penultimate stage over Spitskop was the hardest of the three stages and likely to have the greatest impact. The 33-year-old, who lives in Mbombela and regularly trains on the course, said the 45km stretch between White River and Sabie started out relatively flat and he expected the favourites to keep their powder dry until Spitskop. "It is a climb of between 10 and 15 minutes and the attacks often start right at the bottom," he said, pointing out that last year's decisive split came towards the top. "From there, they have a fast 10km downhill into Sabie, with a small kick after a left turn into town." The current national marathon mountain bike champion said the opening stage, a 42km segment between Mbombela and White River, usually set the tone for the race. "It has a long drag out of town and the speed is often high with lots of attacks as everyone tries to get into the first break of the day before the Heidel Eggs climb." Leading into that steep ascent, he said, the pace in the main peloton usually picked up as they tried to neutralise the break and general classification contenders attempted to distance their rivals. Although the final leg over 63km from White River back to Mbombela featured Long Tom Pass, the NAD Pro rider felt it came too early on to have a real impact on the overall standings. "The pass is steep and gets hard in the last kilometre, where most will attack and try to get a gap over the top," he said. "But to ride away alone is not easy, so most opt to be in a small group and share the workload and then sprint it out between themselves for the stage win or overall lead." He said although the Bestmed Jock Classic, presented by Rudy Project, suited pure . . .
Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard - Images From Day One Of Competition Ballito, Durban. 28 June 2017, Willard Beach - Some more incredible images of day one of the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel. All images ©Ryan Janssens CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. More Info on Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard - Images From Day One Of Competition here: http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za . . .
Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel- Top Seeds Dominate Opening Round Contenders Fight Back with Upsets in Round 2 The top seeds dominated the opening round of the Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel at Willard Beach in Ballito on Tuesday, racking up great scores in the punchy, early morning beach break conditions. But the contenders fought back as the onshore wind and an incoming tide brought an element of luck to wave selection resulting in several of favourites for the titles being eliminated from the World Surf League (WSL) JQS1,000 men’s and women’s events. WSL Africa junior men’s rankings leader Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) maintained his challenge for a fourth title this year by winning both his encounters, combining excellent manoeuvres with savvy wave choices to advance to the last eight and another keeper result in the chase for the coveted Billabong Junior Series U18 men’s title. Defending event champion Adin Masencamp (Strand) is also through to the semifinals after back-to-back heat wins. The current rankings No. 2 will come up against Brazilian whizz-kid Samuel Pupo who was the day’s standout performer. Hailing from Maresias, a beach town between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro that is not unlike Ballito, Pupo displayed all his aerial skills in his opening clash, flying high above the lip to record scores of 8.33 and 9.33 for the highest heat total of the day, 17,66 out of 20. Others to safely negotiate their way through two rounds included brothers Joshe and Angelo Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) and East London’s Bryce du Preez and Luke Malherbe Defending junior women’s champ Zoe McDougall (HAW) was on fire in her first heat, seamlessly linking powerful turns together as she charged to the highest scores of the JQS1,000 women’s event. McDougall then had to dig deep to hang on to second place in Round 2, finishing behind local standout Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) who made . . .
Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel Opens the Ballito Pro Surf Festival The Billabong Junior Series presented by All Aboard Travel, the third of four surfing events that will crown champions in seven age divisions for boys and girls for the 20th successive year, heralds the start of the 13-day Ballito Pro Surf Festival on Tuesday. The world’s longest running junior surfing series has nurtured the competitive careers of countless local surfers including current world No. 3 Jordy Smith and former WSL Championship Tour (CT) campaigners Bianca Buitendag, Travis Logie and Rosy Hodge along with current QS standouts Beyrick de Vries, Michael February and Matt McGillivray. Scheduled for Tuesday to Thursday, 27 to 29 June, at Willard Beach in Ballito, the junior event features the cream of country’s surfers aged 18-and-under along with a contingent of international competitors who have posted impressive results both in South African waters and in their home countries. Points earned in the Under 18 JQS1,000 events for men and women count towards the annual WSL Africa titles and the selection of four men and two women to represent the region at the WSL World Junior Championships in Australia in January. The 3A rated Surfing South Africa (SSA) events for U16, U14 and U12 boys and girls count towards the 2017 South African Surf Tour (SAST) 2017 titles. All the events offer prize money with the points earned over the four events determining the prestigious Billabong Junior Series champions. Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) heads the seeding for the JQS1,000 men’s event after a stellar 2017 season in which he has reached the final in five of six events, winning three. But 2016 series champion and defending Ballito winner Adin Masencamp (Strand) will be determined to improve on his second place in the rankings at this event. And both face tough challengers in the form of the Faulkner brothers – Joshe and Angelo – from Jeffreys Bay and Cody Young who . . .
The husband and wife pair of Dana and Sanet Coetzee won the men's and women's titles at the Bestmed Sondela Mountain Bike Classic, which took place at the Sondela Nature Reserve outside Bela-Bela in Limpopo today. Dana Coetzee completed the 60km feature race in 2:05:06 to push Brendan Havenga (2:08:53) and Izak Strauss (2:11:22) into the minor placings. The 32-year-old from Pretoria said the pace had been fast from the outset with a small group of riders arriving at a stretch of what he termed "horizontal climbing" after 5km. "I went to the front and picked up the pace a bit and was able to open up a 15-second gap." The former professional said he dropped back to wait for Strauss, his teammate, after which they worked together to haul in the two leaders. The Bestmed-ASG Vets rider said they stayed together until hitting a section with steep climbs and technical sections after about 25km. "About 30km in we hit a short, steep climb and I broke away there and held the gap until the end." He said he almost lost his advantage when he took a wrong turn, but quickly self-corrected. Coetzee, who returned to racing last year after a hiatus of four seasons, said he found the course quite challenging. "Many serious mountain bikers think this is one of the easier races and end up not wanting to do it because they think there are not really any climbs. "But there are a lot of short, steep sections and the part through the valley is very technical," said the winner of the 30+ category at the recent Vets and Junior Tour in Mpumalanga. His spouse, who won the mixed section at the recent Liberty Waterberg Encounter over the same terrain, easily outclassed her opponents. She stopped the clock in a fast 2:18:09 to win the title ahead of Annelie Cronje (2:40:35) and Alma Bester (2:44:27). "My main focus was to stay in front with the guys and use them to pace myself," said the defending champion from Team Bestmed-ASG. The 33-year-old said she . . .