Tahitian Vahine Fierro Wins World Junior Championships In Kiama
EVENT | 2017 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
What a week! 18 of the best surfers in the world travelled to Kiama on the NSW South Coast to contest the World Junior Championships. You’ve never seen women’s junior surfing look so damn good either. The girls as young as 14 including Australian Zahli Kelly and Taina Hinckle, were on fire between a couple of pristine lay days.
It was amazing to see the Hawaiians as well as Brazilians, Japanese, American, Tahitian and Australians battle it out on finals day in tricky three to four foot conditions at Bombo Beach. Defending World Junior Champ Macy Callaghan was knocked out in round four by Brazilian Taina Hinckle, who breezed through to a semifinal finish.
Summer Macedo of Hawaii was in Australia competing with her brother and the huge Hawaiian contingent and looked confident from the get-go, only to be undone in the final against Vahine Fierro.
“Obviously I really wanted to win the final but being there was still such a great achievement,” Summer said. “This may be my last World Junior Championship and it has been such an awesome experience. I’m here with a lot of family and friends and to end it in a final with my good friend is really awesome. I’m so happy for Vahine and her achievement today, she really deserves it.”
Vahine’s win was the first world championship win for her island nation of Tahiti and she stood proud on the podium to accept the World Surf League trophy.
“This is such an amazing way to end my Junior career and kick off my 2018 season,” Vahine said. “This is the first time I have been to the World Junior Championship and to win is so special, especially when I was so close to missing out on the event. Today was crazy with a lot of heats to surf but after a few lay days we were all so excited to surf which made it easier. That was my third Final with Summer which is so cool as we are great friends. I’m really speechless at the moment, I just can’t believe it.”
Heat 1: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 12:00 def. Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 8.10
Heat 2: Taina Hinckel (BRA) 9.93 def. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 9.30
Heat 3: Minori Kawai (JPN) 12.00 def. Zahli Kelly (AUS) 8.83
Heat 4: Summer Macedo (HAW) 13.74 def. Zoe McDougall (HAW) 9.33
Heat 1: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 11.67 def Taina Hinckel (BRA) 9.00
Heat 2: Summer Macedo (HAW) 9.17 def Minori Kawai (JPN) 7.53
Vahine Fierro (PYF) 13.83 def. Summer Macedo (HAW) 6.36
*Photos by Ethan Smith / Surfing NSW