Sarsha Pancic And Willem Watson Take Out The Premier Divisions In Round 1 Of The Woolworths Victorian Junior Surfing Titles

Published on 05/02/2023

Competition resumed for finals day of Round 1 of the Woolworths Victorian Junior Surfing Titles today. The new location of Smiths Beach offered up 2-3 foot lefts and rights for the junior competitors to battle it out in for the win. The judges were on the lookout for big turns on big sections which was what was delivered from the winners.

In the Under 18 Boys it was a close contest between Willem Watson (McCrae) and Lucas Hickson (Rye) with both scoring 7 point rides throughout the heat, however Watson was able to use priority to his advantage to get the jump over Hickson.

By the end of the final Watson earned himself a 7.13 and also a 6.43 point ride that added up to make a 13.56 combined heat total and secure him the event win. 

“The surf was fun if you found the right ones and everyone one was ripping so it was a good final,” said Watson.

“Throughout the comp and especially in the final I was trying to get a good first wave and then build on that, so I was happy that it worked out,” he added.

Coming in third and fourth place was Remy Roberts (Barwon Heads) and Jack Bassett (Barwon Heads).

Throughout the weekend the judges were looking for a standout competitor to award the Woolworths Fresh Move Award. This was given to Scarlett Rennie (Cape Woolamai) for consistently showing impressive performances, including in the final where she scored a 7.33 point ride on a set wave.

In the Under 18 Girls final, Sarsha Pancic (Blairgowrie) came from behind, scoring a 6.17 point ride late in the heat to come out on top. This score was posted through a series of snaps off the lip and a strong finishing manoeuvre. 

“The conditions were tricky but I was happy that I could find two good waves out there,” Pancic said.

“When I surfed in the Victorian team at Aussies last year it was really good so I hope this takes me one step closer to making the team again,” she continued.

By the end of the heat, Pancic had posted a solid 12.17 combined heat total (out of a possible 20) that got her the win over Eva Bassed (Sandy Point) who placed second with 10.43 points.

Sophie Thompson (Shoreham) and Luka Woods (Fingal) finished in third and fourth respectively.

Other division winners include Jerry Kelly (Barwon Heads, Under 16 Boys), Sara Hickson (Rye, Under 16 Girls), Kai Coleman (Mount Duneed, Under 14 Boys) & Rose Holland (Dromana, Under 14 Girls).

Finals Results:

U18 Girls
1st – Sarsha Pancic (Blairgowrie), 12.17
2nd – Eva Bassed (Sandy Point), 10.43
3rd – Sophie Thompson (Shoreham), 6.70
4th – Luka Woods (Fingal), 5.70

U18 Boys
1st – Willem Watson (McCrae), 13.56
2nd – Lucas Hickson (Rye), 13.37
3rd – Remy Roberts (Barwon Heads), 10.06
4th – Jack Bassett (Barwon Heads), 8.16

U16 Girls
1st – Sara Hickson (Rye), 12.76
2nd – Ava Holland (Dromana), 12.50
3rd – Sophie Wilkinson (Shoreham), 10.10
4th – Dune Pruvot (Torquay), 8.40

U16 Boys
1st – Jerry Kelly (Barwon Heads), 13.40
2nd – Jarrah Cicero (Sandy Point), 12.50
3rd – Jack Lindsay (Jan Juc), 10.83
4th – Rye Cicero (Sandy Point), 9.97

U14 Girls 
1st – Rose Holland (Dromana), 14.43
2nd – Scarlett Rennie (Cape Woolamai), 12.60
3rd – Chloe Muscroft (Jan Juc), 11.17
4th – Evie lutz (Cowes), 7.50

U14 Boys
1st – Kai Coleman (Mount Duneed), 15.03
2nd – Arch Rayner (Inverloch), 12.60
3rd – Charlie Chisholm (Torquay), 8.24
4th – Alex Dewar (Eltham), 7.50

Results from the event can be accessed via

2023 Woolworths Victorian Junior Surfing Titles

Round 1
Phillip Island
Feb 4 and 5, 2023

Round 2
Bells Beach
Feb 18 and 19, 2023

Round 3
Mornington Peninsula
March 25 and 26, 2023

Under 18 Girls
Under 18 Boys
Under 16 Girls
Under 16 Boys
Under 14 Girls
Under 14 Boys

Round 1 of 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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