The boys in the South African surfing team posted mixed results on the opening day of the 2017 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championship held in light winds and small hip to shoulder high waves at Okuragahama Beach in Hyuga, Japan on Sunday.
The quartet in the 18-and-under division all advanced to Round 2 of the Main Event stream while two of the four U16 boys were relegated to the cut-throat Repercharge stream in the double elimination format being used at this event.
The record breaking participation of teams from 41 nations and 306 athletes means that competition will be run on two podiums simultaneously and on Day 1 the first 30 heats of U18 boys Round 1 were run in front of Podium 1 while the same amount of heats for U16 boys were run at Podium 2
Joshe Faulkner (Jeffreys Bay) led the way for the SAU18 boys, winning his opening encounter with a heat total of 14.17 out of 20. Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) and Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) both finished second behind New Zealand opponents in their respective match-ups before Adin Masencamp (Strand) posted rides of 8.17 and 6.33 to win his clash in the final heat of the day.
The Kommetjie duo of Eli Beukes and Max Elkington both slumped to uncharacteristic fourth place results and will have to take the long route through the U16 boys Repercharge rounds where they face elimination if they do not end in the top two in any future heat.
Dellin Hendricks (Jeffreys Bay) raised the spirits of his teammates by grabbing the runner-up berth in his first ever ISA World Junior Championship event, before Luke Slijpen, another U16 boys debutant, restored some pride win a convincing victory in his opener.
The Day 2 schedule sees the U18 and U16 girls get their campaigns underway on Monday, followed by the boys Main Event Round 2 heats.