Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout, Qld/AUS) made his mark on the Carve Pro Junior and sent a warning shot to his fellow competitors when he posted the first perfect ten-point ride of the event in the round of 32. Ewing unleashed a flurry of giant frontside hooks to achieve the score, which consequently left his fellow competitors chasing a combination of scores to steal his winners chair. Ewing then proceeded to take a win in the round of 16, posting a solid heat total of 17.47 (out of a possible 20 points), which earned him a spot into tomorrow's quarterfinals.
â€œThe surf was fun out there,â€ said Ewing. â€œWhen I got that ten, I knew it was one of the better waves of the heat and it looked pretty good as I looked down the line of it. This comp has been a bit of a priority for me as I'm too old for all the younger 'grom' comps now, and this is my first Pro Junior so I really want to have a decent crack at it.â€
Jared Hickel (Cronulla, NSW/AUS) fought an exciting battle with aerial dynamo Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park, NSW/AUS) in the round of 32, with both surfers posting wave scores in the nine-point range. Despite Ball performing a variety of innovative manoeuvres, Hickel's more traditional approach of performing giant turns on the face, gave him a narrow win over his rival.
â€œIt felt good to get away to a quick start and build momentum over the course of the heat,â€ said Hickel. â€œKalani definitely pushes my surfing a lot, I actually think he's one of the best on the Junior [Qualifying] Series at the moment and those tight heats definitely make you want to put on a solid performance and impress the judges.â€
Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, Qld/AUS) opened his bag of tricks in the round of 32, performing a combination of aerials and turns on single waves. As a result, Hing posted a heat total of 15.17 (out of a possible 20 points), which left his closest rival, Sam Morgan (Lennox Head, NSW/AUS), chasing an elusive 7.08 wave score to take away his lead.
â€œI actually had a 'fishy' fun board on the shore that I really wanted to ride the whole time, but I couldn't risk coming in and have a bomb set-wave come through,â€ said Hing. â€œI think it would be better to have more volume in your board out there. Hopefully the swell jacks up a bit tomorrow.â€
Jackson Giles (Maroubra, NSW/AUS) kept the flag flying for the locals, booking his position into tomorrow's quarterfinals. The 2014 Carve Pro Junior runner-up is now the final Maroubra local left in the draw, following the eliminations of Monty Tait (Maroubra, NSW/AUS) and Max McGuigan (Maroubra, NSW/AUS).
â€œI have been surfing this bank pretty much everyday as it's one of the only banks on the beach at the moment,â€ said Giles. â€œThere were a few decent waves out there, but you had to find them first. I found it best to simply wait for a set-wave as they tended to have more scoring potential.â€
Elliot Paerata-Reid (NZL) kept a glimmer of hope alive for the international surfing contingent; after all other international surfers were eliminated from the event. Paerata-Reid earned himself a quarterfinal berth, following an exciting battle against Ethan Ewing where both surfers traded a variety of decent scoring waves.
â€œI'm pretty happy with the way things are panning out so far,â€ said Paerata-Reid. â€œUsually, I either get on a roll or I get knocked early, so it's nice to get on a bit of a roll in this event. It was difficult to tell what waves were going to be good, so you had to throw the dice and stay as busy as possible. I don't think a New Zealander has won a Pro Junior for some time, so it'd be a bit of an accomplishment if I could get a win over here.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 Qualifying Series (JQS) 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 JQS points.
In the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage, some of Australia's best Under-16 year old surfers duked in out in an attempt to qualify for tomorrow's all-important final rounds. However, it was Avoca surfers Sandon Whittaker and Kirra-Belle Olsson who made the biggest impression on the judges.
Sandon Whittaker (Avoca, NSW/AUS) managed to put on a solid display of backhand surfing in the Under-16 Boys, posting an impressive 9.5-scoring wave.
Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca, NSW/AUS) locked in the only ten-point ride of the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage, for nailing a chain of massive backside hooks. Olsson joined Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW/AUS) joined Alyssa Lock (Tweed Heads, NSW/AUS) and Kiara Meredith (Barrack Heights, NSW/AUS) in the Under-16 Girls winners circle. All will surf in the semi-finals tomorrow.