Merewether, Newcastle, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA (Friday, February 13, 2015)
CALIFORNIAN surfing sensation Kanoa Igarashi picked up where he left off after winning last week’s Hurley Pro Junior at the Australian Open of Surfing by easily winning his round of 96 heat at the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior at Merewether beach in Newcastle, Australia.
The 17-year-old natural footer from Huntington Beach was a late entrant into this event and started his campaign in yesterday’s opening round of 112. He easily accounted for his Australian and New Zealand heat competitors, racking up the day’s top heat score with a 16.75 (out of a possible 20) with West Australian Shaun Manners dropping into second place with a 10.85.
Surfers were greeted with a small easterly swell in the .5-1 metre range with a light onshore east-northeasterly breeze offering good wave scoring opportunities on the morning’s low tide. Sixteen heats were completed in the junior men’s competition.
Only two local surfers progressed from today’s round of 96 in this World Surf League 1,000 point event. Merewether surfer Morgan Cibilic – a 16-year-old natural footer who came second to Igarashi in yesterday’s opening round – came from behind today in the last minute of his heat where he racked up a 7.5 to catapult from last position to the very top of the heat tally sheet.
James McMoreland from Caves Beach – who will surf in next week’s Burton Automotive Pro after winning the Burton Automotive of Port Stephens Surfest wildcard trials at Birubi beach – will don the coloured jersey in tomorrow’s round of 64 after doing enough to secure second place in his heat today behind Brazilian Luan Wood, who achieved the day’s second highest heat score with a 14.75.
Teenager Zane Clifford from Anna Bay was bundled out of the competition after going down to Aussie Chris Zaffis (Angourie NSW) and Shaun Manners (Margaret River, WA).
The remaining local surfers to join tomorrow’s seeded round of 64 include Merewether Surfboard Club’s 2014 Open and Junior Champion Jackson Baker – who will also surf in next week’s Burton Automotive Pro – and his fellow club mate Luke Hamilton who will be in the first heat in tomorrow’s round of 64 commencing at 8am.
In the Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior women’s – which is also a 1,000 point World Surf League event – eight heats were surfed in the round of 32. Aussie Isabella Nichols from the Sunshine Coast continued her outstanding form after winning the Hurley Pro Junior. Nichols scored a 17.5 to take the top heat score of the day.
The only local surfer in the event, Merewether’s Danielle Hancock, has been bundled out of the competition.
Action recommences tomorrow morning at Merewether beach at 8am with the men’s round of 64 and the women’s round of 16.
For further information call Ted Bassingthwaighte on 0409366716.