Piper Harrison, Molly Picklum & Ellie Harrison Take 2017 Australian Surfing Titles
Over the last ten days Australia’s best junior surfers have taken up residence at Culburra Beach in NSW. It’s home to, now two time World Champion Tyler Wright and her family and the groms were stoked to be on the hallowrd sands as Tyler was crowned this week while they went head-to-head for their own titles.
Conditions started off pretty small but as the swell changed they were lucky enough to finish the event off with four-to-five foot surf at Warrain Beach.
The event hosted not only the individual divisional titles, but also the Mark Richards Shield and Allstars Cup as part of the Australian School Sports divisions.
The juniors are selected from regional and state round wins to represent their states during the week and in 2017 the teams comprised some of the country’s most talented young surfers, and some of those will, in the not too distant future be on the World Championship Tour and representing Australia in the Olympics.
Western Australia was the state teams divisional champion, followed by Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
PIPER HARRISON: UNDER 18 AUSTRALIAN JUNIOR CHAMPION
Piper Harrison is 15 and her home break is sensational Snapper Rocks. In 2017 she’s had a stellar year of results and surf surfing has progressed into a new realm. She’s conquered QS events and dominated the regional and state competitions.
This week she made it through to the under 18 girls finals this weekend where she attacked the punchy lefthanders to take the win. It’s her first Australian Title after a number of years as a competitor.
Piper talked to us about the incredible year she’s had. “Yeah, I’m pretty stoked with the results I’ve had this year. I feel like I’ve definitely stepped up a level with my surfing and competition stategies. My training hasn’t really changed much, I’ve just learned how to continue with my training while on the road.” As one of coach Mick Cain’s tribe, she seems to be on a pretty solid path to success and says she’s been focusing on keeping things simple in order to ensure she can move from heat to heat.
In 2018 she’s going to have her head down continuing with the Pro Junior events, The Australian QS events and ISA Worlds, with a couple of epic cyclone swells at Snapper to keep her on her toes.
We asked her how if she gets amongst it and how she deals with the crowds on those massive days. “I’ve learnt to take my turn slowly taking off deeper and deeper behind the rock, but sometimes it can be frustrating.” She said. (Piper is supported by Roxy Farking Surf Traction, Channel Island Surfboards and Sunbum – she is currently riding the Channel Islands Zeus.)
MOLLY PICKLUM: UNDER 16 AUSTRALIAN JUNIOR CHAMPION
Molly from Shelley Beach on the NSW Central Coast has moved fast from strength to strength this year and this weekend it showed.
She smashed a near-perfect 9.33 wave score in the under 16 girls finals after executing a chain of gigantic backside snaps to get the highest score of the day. She admitted that the week was a huge learning curve for her in many ways by was also an amazing experience. She said after her win, “Wow! Words cannot describe how happy I am to be the Australian Champion. It was one if my goals for 2017 and I’m now so excited to compete in the World Juniors and to be supported by my sponsors and Australia.”
Molly attests her improved performance this year learning to get ontop of the mental side of competition on focusing the right energy into her training and events thanks to HPC coaches, Kate Wilcomes and her parents. She said “Patience and staying calm under pressure was a struggle for me. I’ve learnt to meditate and visualise to understand my inner self and to help me be present under pressure and to perform at my best.”
Her home is surrounded by a variety of great waves from punchy beachies, point breaks, reefs and slabs and she is trying to mix it up as much as she can and get out even on the heavy days. It’s not hard to be motivated when you can surf with the Allport family; big wave surfer Jughead and his three kids who charge just as hard.
Molly says the most progressive surfers at the moment are Carissa and Lakey, but most powerful and inspirational to her are Tyler, and the style Queen Steph. (Molly is supported by Ripcurl Slimes boardstore ocean and earth and DHD and Futures – She is currently riding a 5’4 DHD Mick Fanning DNA)
ELLIE HARRISON: UNDER 14 AUSTRALIAN JUNIOR CHAMPION
Ellie Harrison (no relation to Piper) is from Barwon Heads in Victoria. At just 12-year-old, Ellie travelled up to NSW with a strong representative state team full of groms with impressive surf skills and amazingly fun personalities. The groms from Vicco charge and they know how to have fun.
In her Aussie Titles final she surfed well beyond her years with a number of radical manoevers that impressed the judges and the crowd on the beach, as we’ve come to expect after more than a handful of event wins this year.
After her monumental win Ellis said to us, “It means the absolute world to me to win an Australian Title. I have wanted it since watching my older brothers compete over the last six years, and I’ve been training so hard to get to where I am now.”
And practice she does, Ellie says she’s out in the water twice a day even in the deepest, coldest wintery days in Victoria. “In my training I try to mix it up with different moves and different waves. My home break is 13th beach on the Surf Coast. I love the variety of waves to surf especially with all of my local friends (and brothers Tom, Billy and Joey.)
(Ellie is supported by Rip Curl, Smoothstar, Modom and Cory Surfboards – she is currently riding a Cory Surfboards 5’0 Grom Pro Model)
*With past winners including World Champions Steph Gilmore, Chelsea Hedges, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Mark Richards, Tom Carroll and Damian Hardman, a win in this year’s event is a legitimate stepping stone to world stage glory. The 2017 Surf Dive n Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. The event will also be supported by City of Shoalhaven, Hydralyte Sports, Woolworths, Toyota, mySURF.tv, School Sport Australia, Surfing NSW, Surfing Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport.
FINAL DIVISIONAL RESULTS
1 – Piper Harrison (Coolangatta, Qld)
2 – Sasha Baker (Mudjimba, Qld)
3 – Kiara Meredith (Barrack Heights, NSW)
4 – Anna Toohey (Sunshine Coast, Qld)
1 – Molly Picklum (Shelly Beach, NSW)
2 – Sage Goldsbury (Cape Woolamai, Vic)
3 – Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA)
4 – Raya Campbell (Coolangatta, Qld)
1 – Ellie Harrison (Barwon Heads, Vic)
2 – Grace Kama (Elanora, Qld)
3 – Cedar Leigh-Jones (Whale Beach, NSW)
4 – Lilliana Bowrey (Tewantin, Qld)