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Pictured: Daniel Emslie was South Africa’s top performer at the VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships, finishing fifth overall in U16 Boys division at Huntington Beach in California
Photo: ISA / Evans

The South African team finished ninth among the 44 nations who competed in the 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Huntington Beach in California, with Daniel Emslie (East London) posting the best performance of the 12 team members when he narrowly missed out on medal in the U16 Boys division.
The eight day showcase of the world’s best surfers aged 18-and-under was won by hosts USA who claimed to the team Gold medals and an impressive five individual medals with the highlight being the Gold in the Boys U-18 Division for Dimitri Poulos.
Team Hawaii followed USA with the Silver Medal, riding a wave of momentum behind the individual Gold Medal performances of Jackson Bunch in U16 Boys and Gabriela Bryan in U18 Girls, while 2018 team champions Japan clinched the Bronze Medal this year and Spain the Copper.
South Africa just missed out on matching their eighth place finish in 2018, which would have guaranteed them a spot in the ISA Aloha Cup tag team event in the 2020 event, when the they were overtaken by Germany whose Noah Lia Klapp claimed the U16 Girls title and finished third in the U18 Girls final
Emslie came within a fraction of point of claiming a medal on his debut on the world stage, progressing to the last 8 in the Main Event stream before dropping into the Repecharge Semis. There he convincingly won his heat but came up an agonising 0.27 of a point short of a berth in the Grand Final in his last heat
The South African Junior Team was coached by Chris Bond (Cape Town), Etienne Venter (Jeffreys Bay) and Heather Clark (Port Shepstone)
Results of 2019 VISSLA ISA World Junior Championships (Huntington Beach. California)
Team ranking:
Gold - USA
Silver - Hawaii
Bronze - Japan
Copper - Spain
5 - France
6 - Australia
7 - Portugal
8 - Germany
9 - South Africa
10 - Canada
Girls U-16:
Gold - Noah Lia Klapp (GER)
Silver - Zoe Benedetto (USA)
Bronze - Betty Lou Sakura Johnson (HAW)
Copper - Caitlin Simmers (USA)
South Africans:
16. Zoe Steyn (East London)
31. Ceara Knight (Kommetjie)
37. Kayla Nogueira (uMhlanga)
Boys U-16:
Gold - Jackson Bunch (HAW)
Silver - Taj Lindblad (USA)
Bronze - Afonso Antunes (POR)
Copper - Ryan Huckabee (USA)
South Africans:
5. Daniel Emslie (East London)
25. Luke Thompson (Durban)
33. Brad Scott (Kommetjie)
Girls U-18:
Gold - Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
Silver - Minami Nonaka (JPN)
Bronze - Noah Lia Klapp (GER)
Copper - Sara Wakita (JPN)
South Africans:
33. Caroline Brown (Hout Bay)
43. Summer Sutton (Kommetjie)
43. Tayla de Coning (East London)
Boys U-18:
Gold - Dimitri Poulos (USA)
Silver - Alan Cleland (MEX)
Bronze - Tommy Coleman (USA)
Copper - Joh Azuchi (JPN)
South Africans:
21. Tide-Lee Ireland (Durban)
21. Eli Beukes (Kommetjie)
25. Luke Slijpen (Hout Bay)
See full results, images and video footage at
Surfing South Africa is the recognised governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA).