HOPEFULS: Luke Thompson, Kayla Nogueira and Tide-Lee Ireland, having been selected to represent South Africa at the surfing World Junior Championships in California later this year. They are raising funds online to help them make their dreams come true. Picture: Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN - Four KwaZulu-Natal teens have been selected to represent South Africa at the World Junior Championships at Huntington Beach, California.

Three of the quartet - Tide-Lee Ireland, 15, Kayla Nogueira, 14 and Luke Thompson, 14 - are from Durban while Gabriella Lailvaux, 16, is from Westbrook. All four are home-schooled. Surfing SA general Manager, Robin de Kock said the event would take place in October and November.

“This has really been my dream since I first started surfing,” said Luke.

“It has involved a lot of hard work.” His daily surfing companion, Tide-Lee said he was “stoked” having also invested in training five days a week and going to gym for two days.

Kayla will be going to the event for the second time.

“I hope to do better this time. I didn’t do too well last year. The waves were small and very inconsistent but I’ve spent this year trying very hard.”

The Durban trio will participate in the under-16 competition while Gabriella will take part in the under-18s.

The need for funds still stands in the way of their reaching their California dream as their experience will have to be self-funded. Each one has a page on the fund-raising site www.backabuddy.co.za.