Huge Scores Posted As The Juniors Go Big On Day 1 Of Round 3 Of The Victorian Junior Surfing Titles At Gunnamatta
Published on 25/03/2023

Round 3 of the Victorian Junior Surfing Titles presented by Woolworths was put on hold at the start of the day to capitalise on a late high tide which favoured the banks of Gunnamatta Beach. The first heat of the day kicked off with steep, critical 3 – 4 ft waves that benefited the competitors who were committed to the large sections on offer.

Lucas Hickson (Rye) put on an incredible performance in his Under 18 Boys Round 1 heat by starting off with a bang, putting everything he had into a tenacious snap on an enormous close out section. He then dropped out of the sky and stuck the landing to pick up a 9.83 point ride (out of a possible 10). 

“The first wave had such a good section but I thought I was going to break my ankles so I was happy to ride out of it!” Lucas Hickson said.

“Heading into tomorrow I’m just going to keep going hard at all the sections,” he continued. 

Hickson then went from strength to strength, launching into the air on his next wave to pull off an air reverse. Within the first 10 minutes of the heat Hickson had gained the lead with the highest combined heat total of the day, 19.50 points (out of a possible 20 points). He stayed in this position for the remainder of the heat with the rest of the competitors in a combination situation. 

As the day progressed and the swell filled in, a right hand ripbowl formed with the hightide which allowed the competitors to go big on multiple sections and show all of their variety on one wave.

In the Under 16 Girls division the race for the State Title is still wide open with both girls in contention progressing through to finals day after posting solid scores in their opening round heats. 

Sara Hickson (Rye) was in good form posting a 7.33 point ride and a 7.53 point ride for a huge searing carve and a series of sharp forehand re-entries. This placed the other surfers in her quarterfinal in a combination situation and secured her spot in the semifinals. Ava Holland (Dromana) made her way into finals day too, scoring a 7.17 point ride by using her back hand attack to her advantage. Blowing the tail of her board out the back of the wave, she put her competitors in a combination situation as well. 

Jerry Kelly (Barwon Heads) also used his vertical back hand attack to fly through the Under 16 Boys draw and into the semifinals. Kelly started off his campaign in the opening round with an array of tight turns out of the lip to score a 6.67 point ride which was then backed up by an even better 7.50. Kelly then stepped up his performance in his quarterfinal by putting together a variety of multiple snaps and powerful carves all the way to the shore to earn himself the third highest wave of the day, a 9.00 point ride. 

This surfing is what earned Kelly the state title already after winning the first two rounds of the series and with the momentum he has heading into finals day he looks likely to continue the great run of results he has going. 

“It felt good to go out and surf the heat how I wanted with no added pressure,” Jerry Kelly said.

“Going into finals day I feel confident and excited to surf,” he added.

The call for Day 2 of the event will be at 7.15am for a 7.30am start on Sunday with the location to be announced via Surfing Victoria socials.

The live Scores and Schedule can be accessed via www.surfingvic.com/live

2023 Woolworths Victorian Junior Surfing Titles

Round 1 (Complete)
Phillip Island
February 4 and 5, 2023

Round 2 (Complete)
Bells Beach
February 18 and 19, 2023

Round 3
Mornington Peninsula
March 25 and 26, 2023

Divisions:
Under 18 Girls
Under 18 Boys
Under 16 Girls
Under 16 Boys
Under 14 Girls
Under 14 Boys

The Woolworths Victorian Junior Surfing Titles is supported by QUIT Victoria, VicRoads Community Safety Grants, Cancer Council Sunscreen and Surfing Victoria.

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