Bianca Buitendag cemented her growing reputation as one of the world’s top female surfers when she won the Vans US Open Surfing Pro Junior Women’s title in front of massive crowds at Huntington Beach in California on Saturday.
The 19 year-old from Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape dominated the final of the 20-and-under, ASP 4-Star rated event, posting three of the top four single ride scores of the entire event, including a near perfect 9.27 out of 10 and amassing a heat total of 18.10 out of 20.
“I’m really happy,” Buitendag said. “I had tough competitors in that heat and Nikki (Van Dijk) and I have been competing against each other for the last two years. I knew I had to pull out my A game and it was a relief after getting knocked out of the quarter-finals of the women’s event this morning.
“I’m lucky that I got that first set. It put me in to a good frame of mind.”
Currently No. 8 on the ASP Women’s WCT rankings, Buitendag also continued her stellar rookie season at the elite level of women’s surfing by reaching the quarter-finals of the Women’s event before being eliminated by current ASP No. 1 Tyler Wright (AUS).