Subway Surf Series Pro Junior
WSL Junior Qualifying Series Event
Avoca, New South Wales
13 - 14 February 2016
Competitors Face Challenging Conditions at the Subway Surf Series Avoca
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 February, 2016 - Avoca Beach - Eighty-eight junior surfers got their moment in the spotlight today as the Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior kicked off in challenging one-to-two foot peaks at Avoca.
Sandon Whittaker (Avoca, NSW) used local knowledge to his advantage, posting the highest Heat total of the opening Round, 16.40 (out of a possible 20 points). The powerful goofy-footer flew over a series of dead sections on tricky waves to perform some massive hooks and technically sound turns to claim the victory. Whittaker backed up his Round 1 victory with a runner-up finish in Round 2 to keep his campaign rolling into tomorrow’s event.
“I’ve been surfing this sandbank everyday while the QS1000 event was on last week and the waves I surf most days are pretty similar to this,” said Whittaker. “Hopefully, I can use some of this insight to my advantage tomorrow.”
Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout, Qld) continued to steamroll through heats, taking a convincing win in his opening Subway Surf Series exchange. The Stradbroke Island native found a handful of diamonds in the rough and as a result was awarded a 14.40 heat total and a spot into the Round 2.
“The waves aren’t amazing, but there’s still some really rippable peaks out there,” said Ewing. “I’ve been loving my time here in Avoca. I’ve been just surfing a lot and doing some training with Micro [Glenn Hall – former WSL World Championship Tour surfer].”
Alysse Cooper © WSL/Bennett
Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW) made light work of the tricky conditions posting two excellent wave scores in excess of eight points. The lightweight natural-footer performed an eclectic mix of innovative manoeuvres to notch up the 17.00 heat total and book his spot into the Round 3.
“I thought if I could blow my fins out the back of the wave then my turns might standout a bit,” said Tancred. “My goal was to make more than one heat and I’ve made two now, so I’m pretty happy to have got this far. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling tomorrow.”
Harley Ross-Webster (Curl Curl, NSW) caused one of the biggest upsets of the event eliminating recent Subway Surf Series Pro Junior winner Quinn Bruce (Coolangatta, Qld) from the event in the Round 2. Ross-Webster linked explosive turns together with ease in the difficult conditions and clocked up a two-wave heat total of 15.50. Ross-Webster progressed through the heat alongside runner-up Kehu Butler (NZL).
“Both Kehu and Quinn beat me at the recent Subway Pro Junior in WA, so it feels nice to get one back on them. I hope it fuels my fire a little bit going into tomorrow,” said Ross-Webster. “The swell direction, winds and everything look like they’re going to be similar, so I think I’ll employ the same game-plan when the event kicks off again.”
Mateus Herd © WSL/Bennett
Alysse Cooper (Queenscliff, NSW) took out a heat stacked with former event champions and state title finalists. The Northern Beaches surfer revelled in the tiny lefts as she surfed her way to a respectable 11.20 heat total, eliminating Billie Melinz (Coalcliff, NSW) and Jaleesa Vincent (Coolum, Qld) from the event. Cooper progressed through the heat alongside runner-up Kiara Meredith (Barrack Heights, NSW).
“I just wanted to stay really busy,” said Cooper. “When I first saw the heat draw I was like ‘wow, that’s a stacked heat,’ and I’d have to do some decent surfing to get the nod over all the surfers. I’m just happy to have got it out of the way honestly.”
All competitors are advised to ring the event hotline (0458 247 212) by 6.45am on the days of competition to confirm location and running order.