CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Monday, September 9, 2013) - ASP Africa has announced a powerful squad of 20-and-under surfers to represent the region at the Floripa/SC ASP World Junior Championships to be held at Joaquina Beach in Santa Catarina, Brazil, from October 27 to 5 November.
Comprising five men and two women, the South Africans will take on their peers from the other six ASP regions – North and South America, Europe, Australasia, Hawaii and Japan – plus selected wildcards, in determining the 15th annual ASP World Junior Surfing Champions.
The men’s squad is headed by Diran Zakarian (Melkbosstrand), winner of the ASP rated Quiksilver Pro Junior in Durban in May and the only member of the squad who has not previously competed in the ASP World Junior champs. He will be joined by Slade Prestwich (Durban), winner of the Volcom VQS World Finals in Fiji in June, and Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) who has posted a string of impressive results while competing in ASP Prime and Star rated events this year.
Also included are David van Zyl (Glenashley) and Michael February (Kommetjie) who earned their invitations to the world championships as the top two local juniors on the ASP World Rankings who had not already qualified.
The women in the squad are experienced international campaigners Bianca Buitendag (George) and Sarah Baum (Athlone Park). Buitendag is currently No. 8 on the ASP Women’s World Championship (WCT) Rankings and won the ASP World Junior event in Sydney, Australia, in 2011 while Baum ended the 2013 season ranked No. 18 on the ASP Women’s World Rankings.
The annual ASP World Junior Championships is considered a major stepping stone to a successful professional surfing career with previous winners of the event including Andy Irons (HAW), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA)and Laura Enever (AUS), amongst others.
“The ASP World Junior Championships have an incredible heritage as well as the event being a critical element of the ASP career pathway and the development of our future talent,” Kieren Perrow, ASP Commissioner, said. “We’re very pleased that Brazil is coming on board for 2013 with the Floripa/SC ASP World Junior Championships and I’m really looking forward to seeing who the next up-and-comers are.”
The women’s event at the Floripa/SC ASP World Junior Championships will take place from October 27 through November 3 with the men’s event scheduled for October 29 through November 5.