The southside arena was in full effect with crowds amassing along the shoreline for the Vans US Open of Surfing - Men's Jr Final. Cody Young earned a huge victory -- completing the Hawaiian sweep that Brisa Hennessy started in the Vans US Open of Surfing - Women's Jr Final.
An intense Final pitted Reef Heazlewood, first-ever US Open finalist Kade Matson and current North America No. 2 Che Allan against each other and it unfolded with excellent scores. Matson got straight to work with a near-excellent 7.67 on his opening wave, but eventual winner Young shadowed that ride with a brilliant 8.33. Matson then earned the lead back with 5.90, but once again was overtaken by Young with a 7.13.
Heazlewood made a late charge under the 10-minute mark, but fell short of the 8.63 requirement and earned an 8.10, Barbadian talent Che Allan made a few final few attempts, and Young emerged victorious.
"To win this event in my last year as Pro Junior is the best thing ever," Young said. "I've done well on the juniors this year, but haven't gotten a win yet and this is my first major win of my career so far -- I'm just so stoked on this right now. This will give me a lot of confidence going to the back half of the year and especially trying to get back to Worlds since all these guys are there. I'm looking forward to the rest of this year and hopefully carry this momentum into Kiama next year."
Heazlewood's efforts did earn him runner-up to make his trip worthwhile after being eliminated from the QS10,000. But, it's all learning for the Sunshine Coast, Australia, native who prepares for his full-time efforts on the QS in 2018.
Matson delivered his best performance on the Pro Junior circuit yet with a third-place finish and that catapulted him to No. 11 on the rankings. With two events left on the North America schedule, the Top 4 is within reach, but he'll need to do much more of what he showcased here.
Firmly cemented in the No. 2 spot, Barbadian threat Allan's backhand attack grows stronger with each passing event and is ready for another run toward World Junior Championships. His small-wave prowess will serve him well heading into Virginia Beach for the Vans Pro Junior.
The next North America Men's Pro Junior event will be the Vans Pro held September 22 - 27