A picturesque summers day greeted competitors today as both the Carve Pro Junior and the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage kicked off at Maroubra Beach.
Monty Tait (AUS) flew the flag for the local surfing contingent, successfully tagging a series of long righthanders, taking a convincing win in the round of 64 of the Carve Pro Junior. Tait performed a multitude of forehand hits leaving his closest rival, Dextar Muskens (AUS), chasing a combination of scores.
â€œI had a lot of bad first round losses last year, so to begin 2015 with a win feels amazing,â€ said Tait. â€œI've been feeling pretty confident lately as I've been surfing everyday, so I felt good prior to that heat. Maroubra is a tricky beach to dial in, when you surf it a lot you begin to love it, but it can definitely test the best surfers.â€
Cody Robinson (AUS) managed to post the highest heat total of the day, locking in a total of 17.96 (out of a possible 20 points). The powerful natural-footer unloaded a series of technical and lightening fast backhand snaps to â€œcomboâ€ the rest of the field.
â€œI'm pretty happy with that first round result,â€ said Robinson. â€œI tried to sit on the right side of everyone and hunt down some of the wider sets. I watched a lot of earlier heats and saw the surf begin to drop over the morning, so I knew I had to wing it slightly. Thankfully the plan worked.â€
Reef Heazlewood (AUS) appeared a force to be reckoned with in the round of 64, displacing huge chunks of water for a solid heat win. Heazlewood managed to find several long lefthanders, which allowed him to perform a solid array of frontside snaps and hooks.
â€œOverall I'd have to say I'm pretty happy to get a first round win under my belt,â€ said Heazlewood. â€œI really wanted to get the experience of surfing in a big junior event like this as a lot of the 'grommet' events finish for me next year and the Junior [Tour] Series is where I'll be placing all my focus.â€
Jackson Baker (AUS) managed to perform a series of innovative frontside turns in his round of 64 heat, which gave him the upper-hand against his opposition. In the relatively low-scoring affair, the whippy natural-footer seamlessly linked together a chain of hits, which catapulted him into the winning position.
â€œThat was definitely not the greatest win in history, but a win is a win and I'm pretty happy to take it,â€ said Baker. â€œThe waves are pretty contestable out there and I'm fortunate that I managed to post scores early in the heat as I sat there waiting for close to seven minutes for a set that never turned up. My coach and I have been working on getting a quick start in these summery conditions and so far it seems to be a tactic that works well.â€
Kelly Norris (AUS), showed why he was last year's Carve Pro Junior champion, taking out his opening heat in the round of 64. Norris wasted little time putting scores on the board, posting impressive 7.67 and 7.13 wave scores with a wide variety of solid maneuvers.
â€œI haven't been doing too many comps lately, so it was hard to formulate the same tactics I use in training into my heat,â€ said Norris. â€œThis event is something I've been looking forward to for some time now, so with any luck I can hopefully mirror the same success I had last year.â€
Surfers have come from as far away as Japan, Tahiti and New Zealand to compete in the elite three-day World Surf League (WSL) Junior Tour (JT) event.
As part of the 2015 Carve Pro Junior, 72 of the best male pro junior surfers from Australia and the world are fighting it out for over $20,000 worth of prize money, giveaways and valuable WSL Australasia JT points.
The Under-14 Boys were the lone division in the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage to kick off today with a variety of decent scores getting locked in. Finn Hill (Avoca, NSW), Tommy Golsby-Smith (North Narrabeen, NSW), Fin McLaren (Austinmere, NSW), Grayson Hinrichs (Double Bay, NSW), Joel Vaughan (Bateau Bay, NSW), Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) all locked in heat wins in the respective division.
The Carve Pro Junior and the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage are proudly sponsored by Carve, Ocean and Earth, NRMA, Randwick City Council, Australian Skin Cancer Clinics, Tracks Magazine, Coastalwatch Plus, Souths Juniors, Ohana Ocean Athletics, The Illicit Drugs in Sport Program, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing NSW.