12 October 2012
Rising South African surfing star Bianca Buitendag fell at the final hurdle at the Oakley ASP World Junior Championships in Bali on Friday, but nonetheless walked away as runner-up for the title of world junior champion.
Australia’s Nikki van Dijk took the victory in six-foot surf, with flawless tubes and walls reeling down the reef at Keramas, which set the perfect stage for the battle for the title.
The waves were outstanding and Buitendag and Van Dijk were deserving finalists, having scored six of the top 10 highest wave scores of the event in the lead-up to the final.
In the title-decider, the Australian held the lead throughout, using her smooth style to glide down the line and unleash some crisp and powerful carves.
“I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt!” Van Dijk said after securing victory.
“I was nervous the whole heat! I was shaky when I was trying to stand up. I think I was just so excited to be out there in such perfect waves.
“I’m so honoured to win! This is what I dream of, it’s amazing! To be here with my sister and friends is amazing. I know all my family and friends at home will be so excited!”
Buitendag shone throughout the event, using powerful backhand surfing to storm through a draw stacked with the best junior surfers in the world. In the final, unfortunately for her, she was unable to find the best waves to execute the moves that saw her post big scores in the earlier rounds.
Next year, she will join the top 17 surfers in the world on the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour and is certainly one to watch.
“I’m really happy with second,” Buitendag said. “I came here with no expectations and to finish like this has been great.
“I just want to thanks my Oakley for putting this event on, and God for giving us great surf.
‘A great warm-up’
“Nikki surfed really well, I’m very happy for her. This event has been a great warm-up for me to get ready to surf on next year’s ASP Women’s World Championship Tour,” she concluded.
Buitendag’s results in 2012 have included a victory in the CHIKO Pro Junior in Newcastle, Australia, another win in the six-star-rated Movistar Women’s Pro in Piura, Peru, and another title in the six-star Azores Pro at the beginning of October.
In January 2011, she won the Billabong ASP Women’s World Junior Championships.
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