(New Pier, Durban, South Africa) Umhlanga Rocks surfer Kyle Lane and Hawaiian Kiron Jabour eliminated all contenders as they surfed their way through to the final of the Quiksilver Pro Junior, a Grade 2 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Junior event, at Durban's New Pier today. In fun three foot waves that were gently caressed by a light offshore breeze, the pair surfed through two rounds of competition to secure their positions in the final which will be surfed prior to the final of the Quiksilver Pro Durban next Sunday (26 April).
Lane was today's standout as he secured the highest wave score of the day, an 8.25 out of a possible 10, and went on to post the second highest heat total of the day when he scored 15.75 out of a possible 20 during his semi-final match-up with New Pier local Chad du Toit. Lane had his work cut out for him today as he found himself up against talented defending champion Klee Strachan (Winkelspruit) in his quarter final heat early this morning, but found the fun three foot waves to his liking as he put his devastating forehand snap to good use to despatch of Strachan.
As the conditions continued to improve with the rising tide, the left-hand peak on the north side of the beach came to life and Lane was in his element.
"The waves were really fun," said the 20 year old goofy-footer. "In Durban you don't often get to surf lefts, and being a goofy-footer I was really stoked when the peak near Dairy Bowl started working and I could surf my forehand."
Clearly a favourite with the judges and the crowd on the beach, Lane was in perfect sync with the ocean in both his semi and quarter final match-ups, picking off the best waves in both heats and surfing them with great style and abandon. But with the final due to take place next Sunday prior to the Quiksilver Pro Durban final, Lane will noyt have it all his own way as he takes on Kiron Jabour, one of the best junior surfers in the world.
"Kiron is an amazing surfer," said Lane, "and I think it's going to be a very interesting final. He has the ability to pull off some amazing moves, and I think I am going to have to surf my best to have a shot at the title. Rather than focus on beating him I'm going to concentrate on just surfing as well as I can and then see what happens."
Born in Brazil, Jabour (18) is the son of former pro surfer Joao Jabour and was raised in Hawaii where he honed his surfing skills at some of the world's most dangerous waves. An established competitor, the natural-footer has been in great form the entire event, and eliminated Australian Thomas Woods in the quarter finals, before squeaking through to the final ahead of Scottburgh power-house Casey Grant in one of the day's closest fought heats.
The final will be surfed next Sunday (26 April) just prior to the final of the Quiksilver Pro Durban, a six star prime ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event, at Durban's New Pier and will see the winner receive US$2,500 in prize money and 1500 ASP Junior ratings points.
Check out http://www.quikprodurban.com
for event info and schedules