WSL’s 2018 Junior Qualifying Series kicks off on Victoria’s Surf Coast as part of the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series
Jan Juc, VIC/AUS (Saturday, January 13, 2018) - The Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong has kicked off today on Victoria’s Surf Coast bringing together the top Junior surfers from the Australia and Oceana region for the opening event of the 2018 season.
Under grey skies, the event was shifted from its primary break of Bells Beach to nearby Jan Juc due to small 2ft waves on offer.
Surfing with maturity beyond his years, Caleb Tancred (Avoca, NSW) made the most of the clean conditions in the opening heats of the Boys division.
“We all came down here to surf 4-6ft Bells Bowl like last year, but it's still fun out here at Jan Juc,” Tancred said. “I’m lucky to be able to stay down here with the Huxtable family, so it feels like home when I surf here. I am just trying to just focus on each heat and not worry about what event to win. It's nice to start out 2017 with a heat win though, hopefully, I can get a few more here and keep it going.”
Tancred locked in the highest heat score of the Opening Round with a 17.50 total, besting Ben Gradisen (Gracetown, WA), Joel Buxton (Central Coast, NSW) and Jhonny Guerrero (PER).
Other surfers impressing in the opening round of the Boys division was local Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc), Tane Bowden (NZ), Dexter Muskens (Coolangatta, QLD), Jackson Roberts (Central Coast, NSW) and Kyuss King (Byron Bay, NSW).
The opening round of the Girls division also hit the water as the waves cleaned up throughout the afternoon.
Emma Cattlin (Yallingup, WA) looked at home in the increasing swell at Jan Juc, taking out the opening heat of the round with a heat total of 11.67 points.
“It was pretty tricky out there but I was lucky enough to find a couple of wave,” Cattlin said. “I love coming to Victoria. The waves over here are so fun. I have surfed here quite a lot and I think that helped me in my heat knowing which waves to go.”
Cattlin placed ahead of Sol Aguirre (PER) who placed in second. Angela Ball (Jan Juc, VIC) and Laticia Josephson (Palm Beach, QLD) finished in third and fourth.
Victorian surfer Sophie Fletcher (Cape Woolamai, VIC) also made the most of the improving conditions in the afternoon winning her Round 1 heat.
“It was a good heat for me. I got one wave early in the heat and that set up the rest of my heat,” Flrtcher said. “I am heading up north for the next few months to compete in all of the QS1000 events in NSW and some more Pro Juniors so I am hoping to get off to a good start here in Victoria.”
Fletcher took down Summa Longbottom (Aus) who placed second with Holly Williams (Sunshine Coast, QLD) and Sage Goldsbury (Cape Woolamai, VIC) in third and fourth.
Sunday will see the event continue with finals expected to be run in the mid-afternoon.
The World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned Pro Junior events, which includes 18 and under boys’ and girls’ divisions, form part of the 2018 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title at the World Surf League Junior Championships in 2019.
Proudly supported by WSL, Billabong and Surfing Australia, the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong will provide an important event platform at a crucial point in the development of Australia’s leading junior surfers.
It represents an important link in the ‘Pathway to the Podium’ developed by Surfing Australia, with surfers now able to progress from the Weet-Bix SurfGroms program, onto the Woolworths Surfer Groms Comps presented by Wahu, into the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong, followed by the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle series.
The first event of the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong at Bells Beach Victoria will run from January 13 - 14. For more information, images and highlights from the event, head to www.worldsurfleague.com or check out the free WSL App.
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong Event Dates and Locations:
EVENT 1 - Bells Beach, VIC - Jan 13 - 14, 2018
EVENT 2 - Gold Coast, QLD - April 28-29, 2018
EVENT 3 - Cronulla, NSW - August 4 - 5, 2018
For more event information, please visit - https://www.surfingaustralia.com/p/Hydralyte-Sports-Surf-Series