June 19, 2008: – – Durban â€“ South Africa’s finest junior surfers will kick-start the ninth annual 6-Star ASP World Qualifying Series Mr. Price Pro at Durban’s New Pier break next week, when they compete in the prestigious 3A rated Surfing South Africa Mr. Price Pro Junior which runs as a precursor to the main event, from June 27- 28, 2008.
Firmly established as a breeding ground for future stars, the Mr. Price Pro Junior will see South Africa’s finest surfers’ aged 20-years-and-younger jump at the opportunity to perform on a global platform. The winner of the girls and boys divisions earning R2500 in cash, as well as a wildcard entry into the main event.
Stepping into the limelight will be Lungani Memani (Port Alfred), Chad Du Toit (Durban), Kyle Lane (Umhlanga), Rudy Palmboom Jnr (Bluff), Beyrick De Vries (Umhlanga), Casey Grant (Scottburgh), Mike February (Kommetjie), Davey Brand (Kommetjie), Matt Bromley (Kommetjie), Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay), Nick Godfrey (St Francis) and 2007 Mr.. Price Pro Junior Champion Klee Strachan (Warner Beach), who will be back to defend his crown.
ASP World Qualifying Series campaigner and defending champion Nikita Robb (East London) heads up an impressive girls lineup which includes, national junior team members Sarah Baum (Warner Beach), Bianca Buitendag (George), Tarryn Chudleigh (Kommetjie) and Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand), as well as other talented surfers such as Tanika Hoffman (Kommetjie), Kirsty Delport (Durban), Alice and Laurie McGregor (East London), Holly Armstrong (Kommetjie) and Heidi Palmboom (Bluff).
The Mr. Price Pro Junior was first introduced in 2001 but was replaced by the Mr. Price Pro night surfing competition in 2002 and 2004. When the event was reinstated in 2005, Brandon Jackson (Durban North) captured back to back victories in 2005 and 2006.
This year sees the introduction of a bold new concept, the Glodina Junior Trials which will run as a curtain raiser to the Pro Junior event and will feature eight surfers who have come through the transformation and development program of the KwaZulu- Natal region. Four of these surfers will travel to the event from the Umzumbe area in Southern KZN, while the other four are based in and around the Durban area.
The eight invitees will surf in two, four man heats with the top two from each heat advancing into the Glodina Junior Final which takes place on Friday June 27, 2008. The winner of the final will receive a wildcard into the second round of the Mr. Price Pro Junior, while the remaining finalists will join the rest of the field in round 1.
Robin de Kock General Manager of Surfing South Africa said it was a fantastic initiative. “I commend Glodina and Mr. Price for their support of transformation and development within Surfing South Africa and its provinces. These young surfers have been given the opportunity to show their skills at an international event and Surfing South Africa welcomes positive initiatives such as these.”