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Nichols & Igarashi win Australian Open of Surfing Junior




Hurley Australian Open of Surfing

World Surf League QS 6000
World Surf League JQS
Manly Beach, NSW Australia
7 - 15 February 2015

Isabella Nichols and Kanoa Igarashi claim Pro Junior division 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 February, 2015 - Manly Beach - The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing ran through a massive day of World Surf League (WSL) competition today, completing Round 2 of the QS6000 (Qualifying Series) division and crowning men’s and women’s champions in the Pro Junior divisions.

Kanoa Igarashi (Huntington Beach, CA/USA) took out the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Pro Junior over Harry Bryant (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) in a dominant display. 17-year-old Igarashi has a number of Pro Junior victories in his account, but this is the first one outside North America.

"This win means a lot to me -- it's my first WSL win outside my region and the field was full of great surfers," Igarashi said. "I thought I didn't even get in the event for a while and to get in and win feels great. Last year I lost in the Quarterfinals and now to go a few spots better is unbelievable."

This was Bryant's first ever WSL Junior Tour final and although he fought hard through a tough field of talented surfers, but was unable to match Igarashi in the final.

Isabella Nichols © WSL/Dunbar


"I'm really stoked to make the Final, it's a great way to start my year," Bryant said. "We've got a lot of events coming up and hopefully I can keep this roll going and get some more results. It's hard to make the Final and be that close to a win and not get it, but I'm not thinking about that too much -- I'm too happy right now."

Isabella Nichols (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) is a surfing star on the rise and today she took out her first ever WSL Junior Tour event win over Avoca's Macy Callaghan in spectacular fashion, posting a near-perfect 19.47 (out of a possible 20). Nichols has also been one of the standouts in the women's QS6000 division, putting her sharp and precise brand of surfing to work at Manly Beach.

"It's great to win a WSL event even though it's a Pro Junior, to take a win at this level is special to me," said Nichols. "My main focus is the QS circuit this year and I'm still in the Open QS here and will surf Round 3 tomorrow so I can't get too excited even though I do feel good about the win and the high scores."
Deivid Silva (Brazil) sent a warning shot to his fellow competitors at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing, posting the highest two-wave heat total of the event this far 19.10 (out of a possible 20). While some surfers struggled in the small surf, Silva excelled, linking together multiple massive turns and aerials to easily advance into the next Round.

Kanoa Igarashi © WSL/Dunbar

“I’m really happy to get two 9-point-rides in one heat,” Silva said. “This event is really important and I want to do well. I had two fellow Brazilians in that heat — Caetano (Vargas) and Miguel (Pupo). They are both great surfers and they push me to do better.”
Kolohe Andino (USA) is the No. 2 seed here at the  Hurley Australian Open of Surfing and also presently rated at number 11 in the world and for most of his heat he languished in last place but managed to find a strong 7-point-ride and shortly after backed it up with a 5.93 and snuck through in 2nd position.
“It was difficult conditions out there and I’m lucky to have scrapped through” said Andino. “I’m hearing that the swell will increase a lot in the coming days so I’m glad to be through that round and hopefully into some good surf for the upcoming rounds.”

The event enters the serious stage from tomorrow onwards as the top seeds across Men's and Women's will be competing each day through to the finals on Sunday. Good swells are predicted for all days through to Sunday and crowds will increase as the world's best female surfers which includes the top five in the world. Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, Carissa Moore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Malia Manuel enter the water tomorrow afternoon.



Will Hayden-Smith

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