GALLERY: Watch Out! The Pro Juniors Have Just Pushed The Boundaries Further
The final day of World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) competition saw a repeat of Day 1 with pumping 3-4ft (1.5 – 2m) waves on offer for the best junior surfers from Australia, Japan and New Zealand.
The Pro Junior Series is a vital stepping stone for the junior surfers in each region with the top-ranked surfers qualifying to represent their country in the World Junior Championships each year. The defending champion is Vahinne Fierro from Tahiti who defeated Summer Macedo in Australia in January.
A dominant performance from India Robinson saw her claim one of the highest single wave scores of the weekend with a near perfect 9.00. Intelligent wave choice saw Robinson with a backup score of 7.25, which was too much for the field of contenders.
“This is a really awesome feeling,” Robinson said. “I’ve had a really rough start to the year so it was cool to make the final and take the win, especially against some of the toughest women’s junior surfers. I’ve been focusing on the Qualifying Series for a while now so to come back into the JQS and have a win is an awesome payoff. I wasn’t thinking much about the world junior championship because of the start I had this year but I suppose now it could become more of a focus for me.”
Tweed Heads local and series rankings front-runner Alyssa Lock started the final well with a 7.50 but was unable to find a backup score in the excellent range as the clock ticked down and finished in second position. A runner-up finish at this weekend’s event puts Lock in a strong position to qualify for the World Junior Series later this year.
“The final was really good, we all got some great waves and it was probably the best it’s been all day,” said Alyssa. “I wasn’t even thinking about rankings out there, I just wanted to win the final. When Indi got a 7.00 I had to stay positive and get a wave because I didn’t have a good score yet. I then got a 7.00 and was back in then game but she responded with a 9.00 so I needed to beat that again. I took off on the wrong wave and couldn’t back it up.”
Current Australia/Oceana WSL Junior Qualifying Series rankings leader Zahli Kelly (Clayfield, QLD) was unable to find her rhythm in the final and finished in fourth place behind Holly Williams (Buddina, QLD). Despite this result, Zahli remains on top of the WSL Australia / Oceania JQS Rankings. See leaderboard here.
Hydralyte Sports Pro Junior Gold Coast Women’s Final Results:
1. India Robinson 16.25
2. Alyssa Lock 14.25
3. Holly Williams 12.75
4. Zahli Kelly 11.30
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong Event Dates and Locations:
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 1 – Bells Beach, VIC – Jan 13 – 14, 2018
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 2 – Gold Coast, QLD – April 28-29, 2018
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong – EVENT 3 – Cronulla, NSW – August 4 – 5, 2018