Subway Surf Series
WSL JQS Men's Event
Duranbah, Gold Coast Australia
6 - 7 May 2017
Duo claim WSL Junior Qualifying Series wins in performance ramps
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 May, 2017 - Macy Callaghan and Morgan Cibilic have taken out the final event of the WSL sanctioned Subway Surf Series Junior Qualifying event on the Gold Coast at Duranbah Beach today. Fun, peaky conditions in the 2-3ft (1 metre) range remained consistent throughout the day, providing excellent scoring opportunities for the high calibre of surfers on finals day.
Morgan Cibilic was hard to beat after posting a heat topping single wave score of 8.00 (out of a possible 10.00) early on to take out runner-up Noah Stocca (Peregian Beach, QLD). The Sunshine Coaster struggled to find a large enough backing score and ran out of time in the final heat of the day. Cibilic’s performance was the best of his career and a great confidence booster as he begins to focus more on the Qualifying Series.
“This is my first Pro Junior final. I had a really poor start to the year results wise so I’m stoked to take this one out.” Cibilic said. “At the start of the year I couldn’t even get through my first round heats and was doubting myself. To come back from that is amazing. Next year I’m aiming for the QS, these last two results have boosted my confidence so much.”
At 16 years of age, Stocca also has a bright future ahead of him and will look to compete in the WSL Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) again in 2018.
“The waves were good all weekend and everyone was surfing really well,” Stocca said. “This is my best result for 2017 so I’m hoping to carry this momentum into next year.”
Reigning Women's World junior Champion Callaghan went up against Gold Coast local and good friend Kobie Enright (Coolangatta, QLD) in the girl’s final late in the afternoon. Both competitors had been on fire throughout the day, dominating their earlier heats and demonstrating just how high the level of talent is amongst this age group in Australia.
Callaghan comfortable in the final with an 8.50 and a 7.00 up her sleeve, Enright needing a near perfect 9.75 to claim victory. A feat she was unable to achieve.
“I haven’t done many Pro Juniors this year so to finish off with a win is awesome,” Callaghan said. “The dream is definitely to make the Championship Tour in the next few years but I’m just enjoying it and having fun for now, not putting too much pressure on myself. It was awesome to finish off my Junior season with a win in fun waves in a final with my best friend.”
Coming off the back of her first event win of the series on the Sunshine Coast in April, Enright surfed exceptionally well all weekend. The Coolangatta local posted some very high heat scores in the quarter and semifinals.
“Macy’s my best friend, there’s no one I would rather surf my last pro junior heat at home with.” Enright said. “It definitely feels nice to make a final and post some solid scores. My next event is a QS 3000 in Japan, this result gives me some confidence leading into that. I’m travelling there with Macy which is cool.”
Today’s competition was a fitting end for the last pro junior event these two girls’ will compete in, both have dominated regional junior series events in recent years.
Although he was uncharacteristically eliminated in the second round, Sunshine Coaster Reef Heazlewood (Caloundra, QLD) had safely locked himself in at the top of the Australia / Oceania JQS rankings. Heazlewood’s solid season included three event wins and sees him as the regional Junior Qualifying Series Champion for 2017.
“I’m so stoked to win the regional JQS,” Heazlewood said.“It was my main goal this year and it feels great to achieve that. It was a bummer to get knocked in the second round here but overall I’m happy with my performance this year. The Subway Surf Series is amazing, it’s so good for the juniors to get that experience of surfing back-to-back events and aiming for a title while travelling to different locations. It’s great preparation for the Qualifying Series and beyond. It’s been a great 2017 so far, I’m over the moon.”
Topping the Women’s Rankings at the end of the season was 13-year-old Zahli Kelly who came from behind to overcome Alyssa Lock who was eliminated in the Quarterfinals. The eventual event winner Macy Callaghan ousted Kelly in equal 3rd but it was a good enough result to see her climb too first on the ratings giving her a spot in Kiama next January for her first ever WJC.
“I’m super happy with this result, it was cool to surf against Macy,” Kelly said. “It would have been nice to make the final but to win the JQS is amazing. I definitely didn’t expect to take it out this year. I’m really excited to head to the WJC, I never thought it would be something I’d achieve this year.”
Reef and Zahli lead the charge for the group of four men and two women from their region to head to the World Junior Championship with the rest of the Qualifiers to be officially announced in the weeks to come.
1) Morgan Cibilic
2) Noah Stocca
1) Macy Callaghan
2) Kobie Enright