South Africa’s junior surfers made a good start to their campaign on Day One of the 2019 Visla ISA World Junior Championships which got under way in small onshore surf at Huntington Beach in California yesterday.

All eight South Africans who competed on Day One advanced directly through their Round One heats. U16 division surfer Luke Thompson was the star of the show, blasting a 15, 5 points to record the highest heat score across the divisions on the first day of competition. Yu Chia Chi of Taipei came a distant second.

Daniel Emslie posted 10, 6 and easily beat Ramiro Bernigo of Argentina to advance. Brad Scott will surf later today.

In the U18 Boys division Tide Lee Ireland won his heat in style scoring 11, 84 points to advance. Kevin Mejia of El Salvador was second with 7, 04 points. 2018 Bronze medal winner Luke Slijpen posted 8,5points to second place Christobel Montecino of Chile’s 7,93 in a tightly contested heat. Eli Beukes scored 9 points to finish second behind Caleb Rapson of Barbados who posted 10,1.

All three U18 Girls came second in their first round heats to advance to the next qualifying round. Tayla de Coning scored 7 points to finish 2, 67 points behind Mafalda Lopes of Portugal, Caroline Brown was second to Noah Lia Klap of Germany and Rachel Presti of Germany, the defending U18 Girls Champion beat Summer Sutton into second by three points.

The second day of competition has just begun in similar conditions to Day One. The balance of the U16 Boys Round One Heats will take place at the North podium while the U16 Girls first round heats will take place at the South podium.

The 2019 Visla ISA world Junior Championships features 343 surfers from 44 nations. It runs throughout the week and ends on Sunday November 3rd. Four World Champions will be crowned alongside Aloha Cup Champions and the overall Team Champions. Heats can be watched live right now by going to

Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).

Luke Slijpen – photo Ben Reed – ISA