Ford Van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) and Kai Woolf (NZL) clinched the JQS1,000 men's and women's titles at the Billabong Junior Series Seal Point pres. by All Aboard Travel which was completed in highly contestable 1.0-1.5 metre (3-5 foot) waves that peeled down the fabled Seal Point lineup at Cape St Francis in glassy conditions on Sunday.
The event was the fourth and final stop on the 20th edition of the world's longest running contest series for surfers 18-and-under and crowned event and series champions in seven divisions from U12 to U18 as well as the 2017 WSL Africa junior champions.
All the semifinals were completed on Saturday and today's finals produced phenomenal surfing with van Jaarsveldt (Kommetjie) up against Calvin Goor (Salt Rock) in the JQS men's final between the two competitors who placed equal third in the 2016 edition of the same event.
The lanky Capetonian was on fire throughout the 25 minute encounter, opening his account with an excellent 9.0 before adding three more rides over seven points, the best of which was a 7.87, for a heat tally of 16.87. Goor, who had delivered a 9.0 of his own in the pumping point-break waves on his way to the final, could only find a best score of 7.07 and was left still needing a near perfect 9.76 when time ran out.
Van Jaarsveldt had earlier defeated 14-year-old East London standout Mitch Du Preez in their semifinal clash while Goor overcame the challenge of Luke Malherbe, also from East London, to earn his place in the final.
Former Jeffreys Bay local Kai Woolf, now competing under the New Zealand flag, won the JQS women's event with a dominant performance. She dropped scores in the excellent range and posted heat tallies in the mid to high teens in every heat, including the final where she left Taghiti Gericke (Wilderness) in a combo situation and having to replace both her counting scores for victory.
While van Jaarsveldt and Woolf pocketed the 1,000 ranking points and the bulk of the prize-money, their victories came too late to influence the Billabong Junior Series or the WSL Africa titles which were won by Jake Elkington (Kommetjie) and Sophie Bell (Salt Rock), each of whom earned a trip to Bali from All Aboard Travel.
Elkington & Bell have also cemented their places in the squad of four men and two women who will represent the WSL Africa region at the World Junior Championship at Kiama in Australia in January, with the balance of the WSL Africa members in the squad to be announced later this week.
The Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel at Seal Point is the final event on the 2017 WSL Africa schedule which was the busiest and most lucrative on the continent since the IPS, the fore-runner of the ASP and the WSL, was formed in 1977.
The Billabong Junior Series pres. by All Aboard Travel is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Zigzag, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.