12 March 2012
South African teenager Bianca Buitendag posted a massive score of 16.65 out of a possible 20 in the final to win the women’s event in the CHIKO Pro Junior surf event at Mereweather beach in Newcastle, Australia on Sunday.
The 18-year-old from George in the Southern Cape defeated Australia’s Ellie-Jean Coffey by using superior wave selection criteria in the final.
While both surfers had scores in the excellent range, Buitendag chose to stay busy, recording five rides, including two in the 8.0 point range, by surfing the inside waves and leaving the increasingly sporadic bigger set waves to her opponent, who only managed two rides despite holding priority for the last quarter of the match-up.
“Sometimes having priority gives pressure to hold on for the bombs,” Buitendag said. “I didn’t have priority, so I just surfed the inside and ended up getting great waves and the rights formed up really well.
“I’m really stoked with this result,” she added. “It’s going to really boost my confidence going into the ASP 6-Star Hunter Ports Women’s Classic next week.
“I surf against these girls a lot and I know what to expect, I just tried to do my best and it worked out for me. The waves have been pumping, it’s been on fire the last few days!”
Buitendag was on fire throughout the final day of the event, which featured 48 of the world’s best female surfers aged 20-and-under.
She produced a score of 14.90 in ousting France’s Johanne Defay in their quarter-final clash and 16.50, including a 9.50 out 10, one of the top 10 scores of both the men’s and women’s events combined, in defeating highly rated Australian Nikki van Dijk in their semi-final.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Beyrick de Vries started his challenge for the men’s title with an outstanding quarter-final victory over new Zealander Johnny Hicks, delivering scores of 8.0 and 9.0 for a 17.0 point heat total that left his rival in a combination situation and needing to improve on both his counting scores.
However, the Umhlanga-based 19-year-old could only produce rides of 6.65 and 7.15 in his semi-final clash, trailing Ramzi Boukhiam from Morocco throughout their 25-minute encounter and still needing a 9.45-point ride when the heat ended.
De Vries finished equal third overall in the 112-man field. Fellow South Africans Michael February and David van Zyl placed equal 9th and equal 17th respectively after being eliminated from the event on Saturday.
The men’s event was won by Jesse Mendes of Brazil, who came from behind in the dying minutes of the 30-minute final to defeat Boukhiam by 14.90 to 12.25.
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