A change of location saw Day 3 of the Phillip Island Junior Pro presented by Bass Coast Shire Council move to Smiths Beach. With Phillip Islands’ abundant amount of wave choices, the competitors were able to make the most of a range of swell directions and wind options. Today’s conditions saw Smiths Beach come into play, offering fun beach break conditions for the surfers to rip into.
In an exciting addition to the event, surf fans from across the country were able to tune in to the action thanks to the new partnership with Kommunity TV. Every wave was streamed live via Kommuity TV across NewCorp Mastheads across Australia.
The high performances started early with the Under 18 Boys using the full range of the judging criteria to score excellent rides. Right off the bat Dane Henry (Fingal Head) went huge with a nose pick air reverse to lip line re-entry to score an 8.50 point ride within 30 seconds of the heat starting. This aerial show continued into the next heat with Willis Droomer (Jan Juc) throwing up a steezy air reverse to score a 6.50 point ride and get through the heat.
Going into Heat 3 of the Under 18 Boys it looked like the airs were the only way to score high, however Lucas Hickson (Mornington Peninsula) showed the crowd a different way to produce excellent scores. Hickson went vertical on three backhand snaps to secure an 8.00 point ride and the early lead. He then backed up his opening ride with another series of re-entries to score a 6.50 point ride and a spot in the Semifinals.
“My first wave was a solid one for the conditions out there and it was pretty sick to ride it. It had two good sections on it so I tried to surf it as hard as I could to get a good score,” Hickson said.
“I felt stoked ‘cause it looked kinda hard to get a score out there so I was happy to get one on the board early,” he continued.
In the Under 18 Girls Ava Arghyros (Kingscliff) kept her cool under pressure, going from fourth to first within a couple of minutes. Through the whole first half of her heat, Arghyros couldn’t find her rhythm with the ocean.
However, in the second half she connected with one big forehand re-entry while sliding the fins out the back of the wave to score a 6.25 point ride off the one turn. Then on the paddle back out she found another wave to perform one big hit on and receive a 5.35 point ride, which got her the lead within the span of a few minutes. With a combined heat total of 11.60 points Arghyros secured her spot in tomorrow’s Semifinals.
“I was thinking I was gonna have to try to make the turn as good as I could, so I could hopefully get a score, I was just glad to have made the turn,” said Arghyros.
“It’s such a beautiful place here, it’s my first time ever being here and it’s so amazing,” she added.
The Under 14 Boys put the pedal to the medal attacking the waves head on. Locana Cullen (Avalon Beach) led the charge with a swift forehand snap to a creative fin drift on the final section, earning him a very impressive 8.50 point ride. With a solid score under his belt early, Cullen picked up the next set wave he could find and belted out a powerful lip-line floater to gather a 6.75 point ride.
However, this wasn’t enough for Cullen as he waited out the back for an even bigger wave to attack. Taking off on a wave well over his head, Cullen squared up on his bottom turn to fearlessly belt the lip and then airdrop out of the sky. This incredible one turn wave was rewarded with an 8.25 point ride and Surf Better Now’s Wave of the Day award.
“I’m super stoked on Wave of the Day for doing that big hit ’cause I thought I was gonna snap my board hitting it,” exclaimed Cullen.
“It was super fun, a little bit slow but there was the odd one that came through!”
Day 4 is looking to be the best yet with a 7:15 am check in for a 7:30 am start with all divisions on standby and a location to be determined. The schedule and location will be posted on Surfing Victoria socials and the competitor’s WhatsApp tomorrow morning.
Live scores and schedule is available via www.surfingvic.com/phillipislandjunior
The Phillip Island Junior Pro is presented by Bass Coast Shire and supported by the Victorian Government Significant Sporting Events program, Carve Sunglasses, Buell Wetsuits, GLOBE, SurfBetterNow.com and Surfing Victoria.