Mikey February claims inaugural Billabong Occy Grom Comp title at Jeffreys Bay
The lanky 16 year-old top seed from Kommetjie produced a dominant performance throughout the event to reach the final where he posted a 9.0 point ride (out of 10) before backing that up with 4.0 to pocket the R2 000 winner's paycheque and become the first South African winner of an Occy Grom Comp.
"It was great have a contest at J-Bay and I'm stoked to be the winner of the first Occy Grom Comp to be held in SA." February said. "And it was really good for everyone to have someone like Occy actually at the event."
February finished ahead of Jeffreys Bay local Steven Sawyer, a determined Sarah Baum (Athlone Park) and Mikey Venter (Warner Beach). Baum became only the second girl after Heidi Palmboom (Bluff) to reach the final in a boy's event and the first to do so in the U16 division.
The U14 division produced a new winner in Daniel Buitendag from Victoria Bay who clinched his first Billabong Junior Series event title. Buitendag secured a narrow victory over Diran Zakarian (Melkbos), Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) and Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) with first through fourth places in the final separated by less than two points.
And an elated Donovan Wichmann from Marina da Gama in Cape Town also won his first nationally rated event when he surfed his way to the U12 crown. Wichmann, who has been close in several previous finals, racked up a heat total of 14.50 points out of 20 to finish comfortably ahead of Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay), Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) and Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie).
The Paddle Battle to determine the five surfers who would compete against surfing icon and 1999 ASP World Champion Mark 'Occy' Occhilupo (AUS) was won by Dane Staples (St Francis Bay) followed by Daniel Wilson (Tokai), Brandon Benjamin (Retreat), David van Zyl (Glenashley) and Mikey Venter (Warner Beach) The heat was increased to a seven-man encounter when Ethan Fletcher was added after his stunning performance in the U12 quarterfinal where he produced a near perfect 9.8 point ride - the highest single wave score of the entire event.
Occhilupo, 43, after whom the event is named, displayed his legendary surfing ability by defeating all the groms despite the small waves with Staples finishing the best of the challengers.
Billabong Occy Grom Comp
1. Michael February (Kommetjie) 13.0 points R2 000
2. Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) 12.50 points R1 000
3. Sarah Baum (Warner Beach) 9.25 points R750
4. Michael Venter (Athlone Park) 8.0 points R550
1. Daniel Buitendag (Victoria Bay) 10.90 points R1 500
2. Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand) 10.65 points R850
3. Slade Prestwich (Scottburgh) 10.25 points R550
4. Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 9.25 points R350
1. Donovan Wichmann (Marina da Gama) 14.50 points R1 000
2. Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay) 12.50 points R750
3. Shane Sykes (Salt Rock) 8.75 points R500
4. Ethan Fletcher (Kommetjie) 6.10 points R350
Occy Grom Challenge
1. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
2. Dane Staples (St Francis Bay)
Event organisers for the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, Stop No. 5 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, will meet at Supertubes on Sunday morning at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start to the 2.7 million event.
The Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
The conditions and status of the event can be obtained from the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay Hotline on 086 000 2009. Updated at 8am and 1pm daily during the waiting period from 9-19 July.
Billabong South Africa
Contact: Peter Nicholson
Telephone: +27 (0) 42 200 2600
Compiled and issued by:
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