Left to right: Saxon Reber, Jahly Stokes
Image by: Paul Danovaro
NEWCASTLE, NSW / AUS, (Sunday, February 26, 2023) – Saxon Reber and Jahly Stokes were today crowned champions at the 2023 Lake Mac City Pro Junior held at Redhead Beach in New South Wales.
The season’s second event attracted over 100 of Australia and Ocenaia’s best 20 and under surfers, with 19-year-old Saxon Reber from North Steyne leaving it till the last minute to claim victory in the mens.
Waves across the weekend varied at Redhead’s Little Beach, with final’s day offering one metre waves fanned by an offshore breaking inconsistently on a sandbank about 100 metres from the beach. Slightly bigger waves reformed on the lower tide, providing surfers the opportunity to power across a testing shorebreak.
“This is my best result at this level. It was tricky out there, definitely tricky. It would pulse and then slow down and then pulse again.I got pretty lucky on that last wave,” Reber said.
The goofy-foot was fortunate to get the score he needed to win on his last wave in the dying minute of the heat.
“Bit nerve-wracking taking off knowing you need a score. I was fortunate enough for it to give me two sections out the back and then link up. I did a turn on the inside and was pretty happy with that.
He rode that wave right to the beach, stepping off onto the sand and edging out Queensland’s Cameron Macdougall by one third of a point.
In the junior womens, 16-year-old Jahly Stokes from Kawana Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast claimed her second Pro Junior title following her maiden win on the Gold Coast last May.
She said the conditions at her home beach weren’t often like those on offer today.
“Most of the time we get small waves, not far out the back. There’s a lot of onshore winds up there, whereas today we had some clean faces.
“The waves here today were tricky but when you got the good ones it was fun. Definitely the left-handers were the go, “ she said.
Stokes will step out of the competitive spotlight for the next six months, opting to travel with her family to Western Australia and Indonesia to “work hard on my surfing”.
The next WSL Pro Junior in Australia is scheduled for the Gold Coast from 3-5 May.
Surfest Newcastle Australia 2023 presented by Reflections Holiday Parks is made possible through the support of the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, Burton Automotive, Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota, The City of Newcastle, Reflections Holiday Parks, crowdfunding from the Newcastle business community, Lake Macquarie City Council and Newcastle and Hunter Regional businesses.