Brazil clinched the team title at the 2003 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at North Beach in Durban on Saturday as Jordy Smith (South Africa and Australians Jesse Miley-Dyer and Ben Dunn took their respective U/16 boys, U/19 girls and U/18 boys world surfing titles.
The inaugural six day event created to honour the worlds best teenage surfers attracted more than 200 competitors from 17 nations and ended in warm onshore conditions with one to 1.5 metre (3-5 foot) contestable waves that gave the competitors every opportunity to strut their stuff and they produced an exceptional display of competitive surfing.
After a low-key semi-final where he finished second to advance to the final behind heat winner Richard Christie (NZ), 15 year-old Durban prodigy Jordy Smith was outstanding from start to the 25 minute U/16 final.
Taking off on a left breaking wave through the North Beach bowl, Jordy turned vertically off the bottom to bash the lip twice, throwing sheets of spray, before weaving his way all the way to the beach for a great 8.17 opening score that left his opponents having to play catch-up until the final siren.
Two good 7.0 and 7.50 point rides in the middle of the heat consolidated the Durbanite’s lead and while Wrench came back with a 7.17 that left him needing an 8.50 for the title, Coleborn and Christie struggled to find any decent waves and both required a combination totaling 15.68 for victory.
The Girls U/19 final was even more one-sided once Stephanie Gilmore (Aus), who had been the standout in this division throughout the week, committed an title-destroying interference on Hawaiian Tory Titcomb in the opening minutes of the final, leaving the Aussie with only one counting score to her opponent’s two.
Gilmore’s teammate Jesse Miley-Dyer took full advantage of the situation and put in an inspired performance that in all fairness could well have beaten Gilmore’s best efforts even with two rides counting. Being a goofy-foot (riding with right foot forward), Miley-Dyer faced the left breaking waves and attacked these with gusto, pulling off outrageous re-entries and slashing cutbacks in the steep waves in the bowl.
Amanda Clegg, the third Aussie in the final, could only muster a best score of 4.17 while Titcomb’s best was a 3.60, which was no match for the winner’s 8.83 and 7.5 and, along with Gilmore, they were left needing an incredible 16.34 by the new world champion.
The U/18 boys was a nail-biting affair by comparison with all four competitors in contention for the title when the final siren sounded to make Aussie top seed Ben Dunn a worthy recipient of the world title.
Dunn waited nearly 10 for his first ride, a lefthander through the bowl that connected with the inside section, for a solid 7.10 points. He backed that up five minutes later with a 5.50 that left him within 6.50 points of the lead, which had been held by the two Brazilians, Williams Cardoso and Leandro Bastos, who had five rides each by that stage.
An excellent left, with two upside down backhand re-entries, clinched the title for Dunn, but not before he had a scare as Cardoso rode his last wave from the back to the beach and was awarded 7.9 points when he needed 8.26 for victory.
Ola Eleogram (Haw) claimed third place with a committed performance but only one score over seven points, while Bastos ended fourth but not disgraced after leading for the first quarter of the final.
The Tag Team title went to Brazil for the first time in an official team event outside of South America when their four boys and a girl accumulated an incredible 56.65 points in 60 minutes. That left runners-up Australia and third placed New Zealand requiring seven points, and fourth placed South Africa needing 10, for victory.
Team coach Marcos Conde from Rio de Janeiro went down on his knees and kissed the sand when the final scores were announced while his whole team, who had noisily celebrated every manoeuvre by every Brazilian surfer throughout the event, piled on top of him.
The six day event provides a singular focus for the ISA to honour junior surfers and replaces the Quiksilver Grommets Titles and has led to the the withdrawal of the junior divisions from the biennial World Surfing Games. The World Junior Surfing Championships will become an annual event hosted by any of the 42 countries affiliated to the ISA.
2003 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships
North Beach, Durban, South Africa
Saturday 23 August 2003
Results – Day 6 (Final)
Boys U/16 Final
1 Jordan Smith (SAfr) 15.67
2 Tim Wrench (Aus) 12.67
3 Mitch Coleborn (Aus) 8.90
4 Richard Christie (New Zealand) 8.50
U/19 Girls Final
1 Jesse Miley-Dyer (Aus) 16.33
2 Amanda Clegg (Aus) 9.0
3 Tory Titcomb (Haw) 5.27
4 Stephanie Gilmore (Aus) 4.90
U/18 Boys Final
1 Ben Dunn (Aus) 15.0
2 William Cardoso (Brz) 14.70
3 Ola Eleogram (Haw) 11.94
4 Leandro Bastos (Brz) 11.74
Tag Team Final
1 Brazil (56.65)
2 Australia (51.40)
3 New Zealand (50.85)
4 South Africa (49.55)