Adin Masencamp (Strand) produced the best performance by a South African on day three of the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, winning his round 2 heat to become the only team member still in the main event stream of the world's biggest event for surfers aged 18 and under.
Earning a fifth national team cap for this year's event in Japan, Masencamp enjoyed Tuesday's cleaner early-morning conditions and posted scores of 7.5 and 7.0 out of 10 points to repeat his round 1 heat total of 14.50 out of 20. This saw the surfer from the Strand tie for first place with Moroccan Bouaouda Aboubakr, although the North African was awarded the heat win on a countback, where he outpointed Masencamp with a best ride of 8.10.
The three remaining South Africans in the main event stream were all relegated to the repechage rounds when they finished fourth in their respective clashes. Luke Slijpen (Llandudno) managed to accumulate 9.17 points, while fellow debutant S'nenhlanhla Makhubu (Durban) totalled 4.7, and Kirsty McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) could only manage a two-wave tally of 3.34 in their respective 20 minute encounters.
Despite the repecharge round heats only being 15 minutes in duration, the three team members in action fared better there. Max Elkington (pictured) showed his style with a comfortable win against opponents from Samoa, Taipei and Uruguay, while fellow Kommetjie U16 boys' teammate Eli Beukes squeaked into repechage round 2 when he finished behind his Portuguese rival, and just ahead of opponents from Canada and Switzerland.
Sophie Bell (Salt Rock) waited until only seven minutes remained in her U18 girls repechage round 1 heat before catching her first ride. However, the most experienced girl in the SA team, with three caps, made it pay off by briefly taking the lead with a 5.33, before dropping to second place and then sealing the heat win with a second ride in the last minute.
Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga) was given a walk-through her U16 girls repechage round 1 heat, as there were only two contestants. She resumes her campaign in round 2 on Wednesday.
A total of 56 out of the 306 surfers who started the event on Sunday were eliminated on Tuesday after they finished outside the top two in their respective repechage heats. South Africa are one of the 11 national teams who still have all 12 of their team members in contention in the event.
The schedule for the fourth day of competition sees Masencamp, McGillivray and Bell competing at Podium 1. Podium 2 will host repechage rounds, with South Africa's U18 boys Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay), Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach), Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie), U16 girls Makhubu and Nogueira and U16 boys Beukes, Elkington, Slijpen and Dellin Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay) all fighting for their survival in the event.