Stage set for a big day of finals tomorrow at the 2017 Woolworths QLD Junior Titles presented by World Surfaris

Day one of competition at the first event of the 2017 Woolworths Queensland Junior Titles presented by World Surfaris has been wrapped up in excellent 3ft (1.5m) conditions at Duranbah Beach on the Gold Coast. Today’s round of competition saw the top seeds shine bright, setting the stage for a huge day of finals tomorrow where four individual event one champions will be crowned.

The blue ribbon Under 18 Boy’s division kicked things off for the weekend, with round one seeing some stacked heats provide the entertainment for a crowded beach of spectators. Young gun Hinata Aizawa (Palm Beach, QLD) was dominant in his opening round, demonstrating some excellent top to bottom surfing to earn himself a place in tomorrow’s quarter finals. Fellow Gold Coast surfer Jaggar Bartholomew (Coolangatta, QLD) was also on fire in his first heat, displaying some huge forehand hacks and locking into a nice barrel on the prevailing off the wall bank to claim the highest single way score of the round, an 8.67 (out of a possible 10.00). Aizawa and Bartholomew will go into tomorrow’s round of competition as two of the favourites and will both have their eyes set on a first placed finish to set up a strong start to the two event series.

The action continued in round one of the Under 18 Girl’s with the top seeded surfers again the standouts. Gold Coast local Piper Harrison (Coolangatta, QLD) looked relaxed in her opening heat at her home break. Sunshine Coast local Amber Dods also (Sunrise Beach, QLD) made the most of walling conditions and with some powerful back hand carves, took out her heat to progress through to tomorrow’s semi final where she will join Harrison as two of the favourites.

Round one of competition for the Under 16 Boy’s was the highlight of the day and saw a stellar performance from Gold Coast local Jay Occhilupo (Elanora, QLD) that included two 9 point rides. Occhilupo demonstrated a wide variety of maneuvers on his final wave of the heat and worked the wave through to the final section where he threw a tail high air reverse to impress the judges and be rewarded with a near perfect 9.80, the highest single wave score of the day. Occhilupo will join fellow Gold Coast surfer Josh Grange (Burleigh Heads, QLD) in his quarterfinal tomorrow where they will face off with Sunshine Coast young gun Taj Stokes (Buddina, QLD) to fight for a spot in the semi finals. 

Round one of competition for the Under 16 Girl’s saw the trend continue with the top seeds progressing through to the next round. With only two waves caught in total, Gold Coast surfer Raya Campbell (Coolangatta, QLD) looked very relaxed as she took out her heat and earned herself a spot in tomorrow’s semi finals. Campbell will meet an in form 2016 Under 16 Girl’s runner up Holly Williams (Buddina, QLD) tomorrow in what is set to be an epic coast versus coast battle.

The winners of the 2017 Woolworths Queensland Junior Titles presented by World Surfaris in the Under 18 Boy’s and Under 18 Girl’s divisions will receive the opportunity to surf against the world’s best at the 2018 World Surf League Championship Tour Quiksilver and Roxy Pro trials at Snapper Rocks.

Future Australian surfing champions will receive further help to ride the wave to success, with Woolworths expanding its commitment to the sport to include Surfing Australia’s six affiliated State branches Woolworths State Junior Surfing Titles, with 18 events to be run nationally across 6 States in 2017/18.
At each event, Woolworths will connect its store teams with the sport and celebrate the next generation of champions in local communities in each state.

2017 Woolworths Queensland Junior Titles presented by World Surfaris:

  • Event 1 Gold Coast – 9th – 10th September
  • Event 2 Sunshine Coast – 7th – 8th October

Competitors and spectators can call the Surfing Queensland event hotline from 6.30am each morning of competition to confirm start time and location.

The 2017 QLD Junior and Grommet Titles are proudly supported by Woolworths, World Surfaris, Australian Skin Cancer Clinics, Connecting Southern Gold Coast, HIF, Coastalwatch Plus, Surfing World, SurfAid, Pages, The Queensland Government, Surfing Queensland and Surfing Australia.

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