NEW PIER, Durban / South Africa (Friday, April 22, 2011) – Brandon Benjamin (Cape Town) put on a fine display of surfing today to overcome a talented field of competitors to clinch the Future Stars division at the Quiksilver Pro Junior 2011 held at Durban’s New Pier. Benjamin managed to execute some smooth and radical maneuvers in the clean 2-3 foot conditions to beat Khayehihle Ncgobo (Umzumbe) and Papi Makanyane (Cape Town) to take the win with a heat total of 11.17 points out of a possible 20. Benjamin received some great prizes from Quiksilver as well as the coveted wildcard slot in the main round of the Pro Junior division.
“I am so stoked to win, my board was going so well and I love this competition. Every time I come to Durban I have such a good time and this win has just made this visit even better,” said an ecstatic Benjamin.
Other surfers who excelled on the first day of competition were Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) and Nic Godfrey (Cape St. Francis), who won their opening heats in the U20 Pro Junior division. The only female competitor in the event, Sarah Baum (Warner Beach), stunned fellow competitors by clinching a decisive victory in her opening heat to advance into the next round. Baum will face event favourite, Beyrick de Vries (Umhlanga), and Capetonian Diran Zakarian in the following round. Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) surfed really well to win his U16 King of the Groms heat while Koby Oberholzer (Warner Beach) and Ethan Fletcher (Cape Town) both tore the waves apart in the U12 division to advance to the next round.
“We had a great day of surfing today, the conditions were perfect for the junior surfers and some of the kids were really surfing well. It looks like we’re in for some great weather for the weekend and the action in the water will definitely heat up as the competition progresses,” said Dane Patterson from Quiksilver.
Competition will resume on Saturday morning with the Pro Junior round of 32 which sees the top seeded surfers take to the water. A total of R100 000 in prize money is up for grabs and this year’s event has attracted over 80 of South Africa’s best junior surfers. The Pro Junior winner will go home with R18 000 for his efforts and the U16 winner will receive R5 000 and an all expenses paid trip to France for the International King of the Groms finals to be held in October.
The event concludes on Sunday afternoon with the finals kicking off at 13:00 and the awards ceremony will be held directly after at that at 14:30. All of the photos, videos, results and more can be found at the event’s website: www.quikprojunior.co.za as well as www.facebook.com/quiksilver.
The Quiksilver Pro Junior and King of the Groms is presented by Durban and other sponsors include Skullcandy, ASP, SSA, SuperSport, Brandhouse, Bokomo and Nestle Pure Life Water.