Exciting SKZN junior surfing team heading to SA Champs

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By Quintin van Jaarsveld

With talented surfers across all three age-groups, the Southern KwaZulu-Natal junior surfing team look set to make an impact at the Hurley South African Championships in October.

Southern KwaZulu-Natal Surfing Association has announced a balanced team consisting of five Under-17 boys, three Under-17 girls, five Under-15 boys, one Under-15 girl, three Under-13 boys and two Under-13 girls surfers.

The 20th and final member of the team is yet to be confirmed and will compete in the Under-15 girls division.

Southern KwaZulu-Natal scooped the Skullcandy Team Spirit Award at last year’s national championships but will want to improve on their sixth place overall finish this year.

Junior national team rider Chanelle Botha and Under-13 grom Kelly Medley were the standout performers last year and will once again look to lead by example.

Botha, a Grade 12 learner at Amanzimtoti High, was selected to represent South Africa at the ASP World Junior Championships in Portugal later this year but made the difficult decision to turn down the opportunity as it clashes with her matric finals.

“Turning down the opportunity has been a tough decision, but right now education comes first and with another three years left in pro juniors, I will be back. I hope whoever gets to go in my place goes as hard as I would have liked to,” she said.

The team were confirmed after the final Southern KwaZulu-Natal trials held at Warner Beach on Sunday.

Luke Bester won the Under-17 boys division ahead of runner-up Cody Coetzee, third-placed Brandon Lange and fourth-placed Matt Sills. Matt Defilippi was fifth and Luke Lange sixth.

In the Under-17 girls division Olivia Brand bested Chanelle Botha.

Wesley Pauls won the Under-15 boys division while Tayla Muller won the Under-15 girls division.

Brody Rudling was second in the Under-15 boys division, Mvselo third, Nduduzo Heseshi fourth, Dieter Petraschke fifth and Luyanda sixth.

The Under-13 boys division was won by Nathan Spalding.

Kaleb Walton, Pieter Stroebel and Siyanda Gasa were second, third and fourth respectively.

Kelly Medley managed to win the Under-13 girls division where Charlize Coetzee finished second.

Michelle Galle, Claire Haskins and Iona Marr rounded off the top five.

SKZN junior team:

Under-17 Boys:
Matthew Sills
Luke Bester
Cody Coetzee
Brandon Lange
Simo Mkhize

Under-17 Girls:
Chanelle Botha
Olivia Brand
Kelly Simkiss

Under-15 Boys:
Wesley Pauls
Brody Rudling
Dieter Petraschke
Nduduzo Heseshi

Under-15 Girls: 
Tayla Muller

Under-13 Boys:
Christian Brand
Nathan Spalding
Siyanda Giasa

Under-13 Girls:
Kelly Medley
Charlize Coetzee

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