Jay Brown’s good timing finally ran out in the final of the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series contest, the last event on the 2018 World Surf League Junior Qualifying Series.
Held in very small waves but on a good bank at Midway between Wanda and Elouera beaches, the two-day event presented by Billabong saw 72 men and 26 women compete.
Cronulla’s Brown was easily the region's best competitor finishing fourth in a star-studded final.
Caleb Tancred from Avoca won the men's and Mollymook’s Sophia Fulton took top honours in the women's where Zahli Kelly (Cabarita, NSW) and Te Kehukehu Butler (New Zealand) were crowned 2018 Australasian / Oceania WSL JQS champions, sealing themselves a spot in the upcoming World Junior Championship.
In the final, Tancred executed an array of powerful backside maneuvers to post a 13.00 two-wave heat total.
The victory was Tancred’s second win for 2018 having taken out the Key Sun Zinke Pro Junior at Manly in February.
Tancred moved to third position on the 2018 JQS rankings while Brown finished up 11th in Australasia.
Brown took the initiative in the final catching the first wave but it backfired when the three-point ride put him last in the priority queue after a savage exchange from his fellow finalists.
Brown’s second wave on priority also failed to deliver a higher score leaving him in a position he couldn't recover from.
Cronulla clubmate Jordy Turansky made the third round going down by less than half a point.
The youngest competitor, 13-year-old Jarvis Earle, was starved of waves by his older competitors leaving him third in his round two heat but with valuable experience.
The Cronulla stop at the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series determined the qualifiers for the upcoming World Junior Championship and crowned the champions of the 2018 series.
The Vans US Open of Surfing didn’t have a good result for Cronulla surfers Connor O’Leary and Shane Campbell, who both failed to progress past the early rounds.
The world tour now heads to stop number seven, the Tahiti Pro Teahupoo from August 10 to 21, where O’Leary is in a fight for career survival currently sitting in 27th position.
The 2019 WSL top 34 will be comprised of the top 22 finishers on the CT rankings along with the top 10 from the QS rankings and two WSL wildcards.
Cronulla surfers haven’t had to worry about which surfboard to take to the beach over the last week because its been flat every day-I've actually never seen it as flat,yesterday the swell was from the West!
The good news is it can't get any worse,and there is a little 2/3 ft East swell due to pick up this afternoon into Thursday,Friday and may even hang around into the weekend when there is a spike due on Sunday afternoon into Monday.
There was a little South swell this morning but its for desperates only .
At the USA open,hometown heroes Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi won the 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch in the World Surf League Women’s Championship Tour and Men’s Qualifying Series divisions.
Conlogue’s dream of winning the esteemed US Open title as a CT contender was realized after taking down current Jeep Rankings Leader Stephanie Gilmore in amazing fashion.
The Santa Ana native waited patiently while Gilmore got busy and accrued a 9.00 heat total. Conlogue unleashed her backhand for a near-excellent 7.33 on one wave and put pressure on the six-time WSL Champion. Conlogue followed up brilliantly with a massive forehand strike on a hefty closeout section to earn a 6.50 and solidify her first-ever US Open CT victory.
Fellow hometown hero and now Japanese surfer Igarashi fed off the crowd’s energy and delivered an incredible final showdown against Griffin Colapinto (USA).
This marks the first back-to-back US Open victory since one of Huntington Beach’s most revered surfers Brett Simpson in 2008 and 2009.
The Kiama Bodyboard King Pro saw a weekend of chock-a-block action at Kiama Surf Beach with the Fling 4 Bling Airshow, Pro Junior and Men’s and Women’s divisions all taking place.
South African Iain Campbell showed why he is the reigning World Champion, hurling himself several meters above the lip of the wave in the Fling 4 Bling Airshow divisions. With a beach packed with spectators, Campbell dominated the semis and final of the division and take the prize purse.
Local dynamo Hunter Nichols (Kiama, NSW) ensured a coveted title remained in Kiama, taking out the Pro Junior division. In the relatively low-scoring affair, Nichols managed to gain the edge in the heat, posting a 10.30 two-wave total and gaining the nod over Maroubra’s Liam Lucas who finished in the runner-up position.
Over the duration of the weekend, the Mike Stewart Coaching Clinic saw over 50 attendees receive coaching from the nine-times World Champion-hopefully we will see some real waves soon.