MELBOURNE, Victoria / AUS (Saturday, February 3, 2024) – Today, over 120 of the best surfers from throughout the Australia / Oceania region descended on Australia’s premiere surf park, URBNSURF Melbourne, for the BYD Pro presented by Rip Curl & Pirate Life World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event. As always, the surf was pumping, with a new competition setting delivering non-stop action all day.
Australia’s two most recent World Junior Champions, 2023 World Junior Champion Sierra Kerr (AUS), and 2022 World Junior Champion Jarvis Earle(AUS), claimed victory in the single-day event. It was the first QS win for 16-year-old Kerr from Coolangatta and the second for 19-year-old Earle of Cronulla.
After two tight Semifinals that saw veterans Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) and Dimity Stoyle (AUS) eliminated, two of Australia’s most promising juniors faced off in the women’s Final, with Kerr taking on local Victorian Ellie Harrison (AUS). As the scores built across the first three out of four waves allotted per surfer, it all came down to the final wave for Kerr. Harrison had earned an 8.67 (out of a possible 10) on her final wave, putting Kerr in a situation where she needed to back up an 8.00 ride with at least an 8.51. Ripping through her first turn with pure aggression, Kerr sliced efficiently down the line, before kicking out with confidence. It didn’t take long for the event-winning 8.63 to drop, delivering Kerr her long-awaited victory.
“I can’t really believe that, that was a crazy ending,” Kerr said. “I didn’t know really what score I needed, it was kind of a high score so I was like let’s surf like Sierra and just have some fun, and got it done. It’s just starting to click, so that’s super good, a QS win, I’m frothing.”
The two top men’s performers of the day, Alister Reginato (AUS) and Jarvis Earle (AUS), met in the Final, having made it past the fired-up Cooper Davies (AUS) and Dylan Moffat (AUS) in the Semifinals, respectively. Reginato had moved through round after round, delivering power and precision as his forehand carves lit up the right, and there was barely a chink in Earle’s clinical backhand.
Opening the Final with a near-perfect 9.50, the equal highest single wave score of the day, Earle, who placed runner-up in 2022’s Rip Curl Pro URBNSURF, looked unstoppable as he pushed his backhand re-entries beyond vertical before whipping through a lightning-fast reverse. Meanwhile, Reginato was unable to tap into his previous fire, and both surfers struggled to finish their remaining waves until Earle closed it out on his final wave with a 9.37 to post the highest heat total of the event, 18.87 (out of a possible 20).
“I’ve had a bit of a rough competition run lately so it was good to come down to the pool and get some reps in and come away with the win, I’m so stoked,” Earle said. “I came second last year so it was really good to do one better. Reggy (Alister Reginato, runner-up) was on the other side of the draw so I was watching all of his heats, he’s been ripping all event. Stoked we had a good final. There’s so much depth in the talent of Australia right now. All the regional QS’s are stacked, stoked to come away with the win at such a tough event. It’s epic that it’s a 3000 this year. It’s obviously a big event, and stoked I take all the points. Hope I climb up the rankings a bit.”
The win sees Earle sitting No. 4 on the Australia / Oceania rankings, within the qualification cut line for the 2024 Challenger Series. Kerr’s sits in No. 7, though her World Junior Title has already guaranteed her a place on this year’s Challenger Series.
The 2024 BYD Pro presented by Rip Curl & Pirate Life World Surf League Qualifying Series 3000 Event ran at URBNSURF Melbourne on February 3, 2024.
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