Pipe Pro Junior
World Surf League Junior Series
16 - 27 March 2015
Moniz edges out Brand in nail-biter, Hail Mary finish at small Pipeline
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 March, 2015 - Pipeline, Hawaii - In a tightly contested final, South African Benji Brand came within five seconds of clinching his first World Surf League (WSL) title at the Pipe Pro Junior in Hawaii yesterday before local Josh Moniz successfully landed a ‘Hail Mary’ 360-degree backhand aerial that earned the Hawaiian the points required to snatch the crown.
Competing in difficult two metre surf that made wave selection critical in the WSL Junior 1000 event, Brand held the lead for the majority of the final by posting a pair of seven-point rides after Moniz had been awarded a near perfect 9.8 out 10 score for his opening ride, a deep tube in the Backdoor section at Pipeline.
But Moniz’s never-say-die attitude saw the 18 year-old from Honolulu add the Pipe Pro Junior title to the Sunset Beach Pro Junior crown he won last month. He, Brand and his younger brother Seth Moniz are now amongst the favourites to secure the two berths for Hawaii’s top Juniors in the yearend Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the most prestigious title in surfing after the WSL World Title.
Brand, who turned 19 last month, has represented South Africa on numerous occasions as a junior but is also regarded as a Hawaiian as his family have homes in Kommetjie and Haleiwa, Hawaii. He defeated a host of the world’s best surfers aged 20-and-under while advancing through four rounds of competition to reach the final of the Pipe Pro Junior.
PIPE PRO JUNIOR
1st - Josh Moniz (HAW) - 16.8 points (9.8, 7.0); $2,000; 1000 ratings points
2nd - Benji Brand (HAW) - 14.4 (7.15, 7.25); $900; 750 ratings points
3rd - Natxo Gonzalez (EUK) - 8.6 (5.5, 3.1); $600; 560 ratings points
4th - Seth Moniz (HAW) - 6.05 (3.25, 2.8); $300; 525 ratings points