Kommetjie’s Alex Townsend, 12, improved his national surf ranking in the under-12 division, after he won the BOS Cape Crown competition at Long Beach, at the weekend.
A Grade 6 pupil at Sun Valley Primary School, Alex overcame long time rival and number one ranked under-12 surfer, Christian Venter, to claim top honors at the inaugural Cape Crown competition.
The two-day Surfing South Africa Pro Surf Tour (PST) event had under-12, 14, 16 and 18 divisions for both girls and boys.
Alex’s father, Neil, said he was consistent throughout the competition and did well under the big swell on Saturday.
The young surfer who has now moved up the ratings to third spot in the country, said his good performance came from hours of training in his back yard – Long Beach.
“I went into the water with confidence because it was my home break. I felt quite comfortable with the swell and my maneuvers because I’ve practiced a lot,” said Alex.
“The waves were quite big but I’m used those conditions. When I train, I always try to push myself through worse conditions.
“Beating Christian this time around felt nice and I think I had the upper hand because it was my home stretch. We have quite a bit of a rivalry because we always surfing against each other either in the semi-final or final heats at competitions,” he said.
Alex also enjoys surfing the longboard and earned his Western Province Longboarding colours earlier this year. And, he finished second at the SA national longboard championships, in Mossel Bay.
The youngster paddled out to catch his first wave at six years old, and said he was instantly hooked onto the sport. Two years later, he took part in his first competition – the Grommet Games in Port Elizabeth.
“I started with some surf lessons with Gary’s Surf School. I remember being very scared because I wasn’t sure how powerful the waves were.
“I overcame that initial fear and got to stand up on the board in that first lesson. It felt great. I kept coming for lessons and I continued to surf from there,” he said.
Despite having a promising future with the surf board, Alex hopes to become a marine biologist once he finishes school.
Townsend senior said the competition at the weekend was well organised and that Alex will once again get to test his skills in a four-day junior tournament, which starts on Wednesday June 22.
“It was a great competition. I think Alex did well to keep things together. He was consistent all the way through and just kept his cool.
“He’s been surfing a while now and has trained a lot in these conditions.
“He’ll be attending training sessions hosted by the SA Surfing Legends, on Thursday; and will compete in the Billabong Junior Series next week,” said Townsend.