2017 Woolworths Queensland Junior Titles
Nail Biting Finishes see Queensland Junior Champions Crowned and State Teams Decided at Coolum Beach
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 October, 2017 - Alister Reginato and Amber Dods have won the 2018 World Surf League Championship Tour Quiksilver and Roxy Pro trials wildcards positions after taking out the Under 18 divisions at the 2017 Woolworths Queensland Junior Titles presented by World Surfaris at Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast.
In a finals day that was dominated by Sunshine Coast surfers, Coolum Beach turned on to provide both sunshine and peaky 2-3ft (1-1.5m) waves, giving ample scoring opportunity and setting the stage for a massive finals day for Queensland’s best junior surfers.
After recently returning from the ISA World Junior Titles in Japan, an in form Alister Reginato and Jaggar Bartholomew (Coolangatta, QLD) lined up in the final to determine the 2017 Queensland Under 18 Boy’s Champion. With the likes of young guns Maddy Job (Burleigh Heads, QLD) and Noah Stocca (Peregian Beach, QLD) joining them in the final but out of the title race, the pressure was on and their work was far from cut out. Some lightning fast snaps combined with powerful rail work saw Reginato lead the chase early with two heat topping scores. As the clock ran down, Reginato held his own until the final siren sounded to claim victory in front of a crowded beach of spectators.
“I’m so stoked to get the wildcard spot and it was such a good event. Everyone’s ripping up here and pushing each other further and further, must be something in the water,” said Reginato.
A close finish for Sunshine Coast local Amber Dods saw her claim victory late in the day in the final that saw an event one rematch between herself, Piper Harrison (Coolangatta, QLD), Sasha Baker (Mudjimba, QLD) and Sammy Lee (Buderim, QLD). With a Queensland Title on the line, Dods remained busy in the final and with an 8.00 (out of a possible 10.00) up her sleeve, was difficult to beat. With a second place finish at event one on the Gold Coast, it came down to the wire between Dods and series leader Harrison, but it was Dods who finished on top this weekend to defeat Harrison who had previously secured herself a 2018 Roxy Pro trials wildcard spot after winning the Queensland Open Women’s Title earlier this year.
“It’s been one of my biggest goals to get the Roxy Pro wildcard entry and it’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was little,” said Dods.
“I’m really good friends with Piper and there’s a lot of girl’s in the trials that I know and we’re all great friends, but when we’re in the water we don’t think about that, we just surf.”
Holly Williams (Buddina, QLD) continued her 2017 hot streak through to the Under 16 Girl’s final, displaying some excellent high performance surfing to hold off the field of Queensland’s best. Sealing the deal right on the siren with an 8.9, Williams claimed back to back wins for the series to be unbeatable in the title race and see her crowned 2017 Under 16 Girl’s Queensland Champion.
Today’s round of finals saw Gold Coast surfer Jay Occhilupo (Elanora, QLD) bounce back from an early elimination at event one to finish in first place in the Under 16 Boy’s. Occhilupo was on fire throughout the day, taking to the air with some big fins free maneuvers to impress the judges. A first place finish at today’s event saw tied ratings points between Occhilupo and fellow Gold Coast surfer Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, QLD) which kept the beach on the edge of their chairs. A count back by officials to the highest heat total from their respective wins at each event saw Occhilupo take home the 2017 Queensland Title, in what was a nail biting finish for the pair. The two boy’s will be joined by Taj Stokes (Buddina, QLD) and Jackson Graham (Currumbin QLD) at the Australian Titles later this year.
Future Australian surfing champions will receive further help to ride the wave to success, with Woolworths expanding its commitment to the sport to include Surfing Australia’s six affiliated State branches Woolworths State Junior Surfing Titles, with 18 events to be run nationally across 6 States in 2017/18.
At each event, Woolworths will connect its store teams with the sport and celebrate the next generation of champions in local communities in each state.
2017 Queensland Junior Title Results:
Under 16 Girl’s
Under 16 Boy’s
Under 18 Girl’s
Under 18 Boy’s