Ten Point Rides And Excellent Performances On Day 1 Of Round 3 Of The Woolworths Victorian Junior Titles

Published on 04/05/2024

In a thrilling culmination to the Victorian Junior Titles Presented By Woolworths, surfers from across the state descended upon Woolamai Beach. Competitors left nothing to chance as they vied for coveted spots in the state team, offering a gateway to the prestigious Australian Junior Titles.

At the start of the day, the groms were greeted with incredible conditions for the first day of competition as Woolamai’s rip bowl banks pumped through 2-3 foot right-handers, while the sun shone all day, creating the perfect platform for high-performance surfing.

The Under 18 boys took to the water first, with the standard of surfing being set exceptionally high. In particular, Quarterfinal 3 stood out amongst the rest with Arieh Paterson (Somers) and Jerry Kelly (Barwon Heads) going back-to-back on some excellent waves. Kelly got the heat started as he opted to take off on a rare left-hander, allowing him to smash out two huge forehand hits. This committed and dynamic approach rewarded him with a 9.33-point ride.

Paterson built on his performance throughout the heat, dialing in his backhand attack while scoring a 6.83-point ride for one vertical backhand snap. He then set out to find a wave that would give him the opportunity to attack multiple sections. In the latter stages of the heat, Paterson picked up a well-shaped set wave, squaring off the bottom straight away and going 12 o’clock in the lip before belting three more snaps just like it. It was clear to the judges that this wave stood out amongst the rest, with the panel dropping a perfect 10-point ride.

It wasn’t only the older competitors tearing the waves apart, the Under 14 Boys also put on a show. With determination etched on their faces, the groms charged into each turn, fearlessly attacking every section with youthful skill despite the waves towering double overhead.

Among these young chargers, one standout performer emerged, Raff Morris (Sorrento). As he raced down the line on a set wave, Morris wasted no time, driving off the bottom and launching into a powerful backhand re-entry, the spray flying off behind him. With impeccable timing, he transitioned smoothly into another massive vertical hit, sending buckets of water skyward in a dazzling display of skill and style.

His commitment to each maneuver, combined with his flawless execution, left no doubt in the judges’ minds. With a unanimous nod of approval, they awarded him a perfect 10-point ride, igniting cheers from the spectators lining the beach.

Undeterred by his early success, Morris continued to push the boundaries, his confidence soaring as he paddled back out, setting his sights on an even bigger wave with a massive end-section. Starting off with a burst of speed, Morris then launched himself off the lip, dropping out of the sky with confidence. The crowd held their breath as he landed cleanly, riding out of the manoeuver with control.

Morris rode triumphantly to shore, greeted by a round of applause. His stellar performance, marked by daring maneuvers and unwavering determination, had not only secured him a combined heat total of 19.17 points but also a spot in finals day.

“I just went for a big turn and I didn’t really know if I was going to land or not and then I landed it,” said Morris.

“I didn’t really hear my score out in the water so I was psyched when everyone told me once I got to the beach!”

In the Under 16 girls’ division, Chloe Muscroft (Jan Juc) delivered a master class performance. As the heat started, Muscroft wasted no time in asserting her dominance in the lineup. With a keen eye for wave selection, she positioned herself strategically, patiently awaiting the perfect opportunity to showcase her talent.

When a promising set wave approached, Muscroft paddled with purpose, and as she dropped into the wave, her movements were fluid and precise. She carved a graceful arc across the face of the wave, displaying impeccable technique.

As she approached the end section, Muscroft unleashed a dynamic manoeuver that left judges and spectators alike impressed. The wave offered ample opportunity for scoring potential, and Muscroft capitalized on every moment, scoring an 8.33.

Refusing to be swayed by the competition, Muscroft remained focused, and when a larger set rolled through the lineup, she seized the opportunity without hesitation, executing a swooping carve followed by a powerful re-entry on a meaty end section.

The score came in at an excellent 9.07-points and along with her previous score gave Muscroft a combined heat total of 17.40.

“My plan was to sit on the inside and get a quick start and then get one out the back,” said Muscroft.

“My last ride was just a nice wave so I thought I better do some turns on it” she continued.

“It feels really good to get through to finals day as I can relax today and prepare for tomorrow!”

The day was rounded out with some amazing Under 18 Semifinals where the surfing was equally impressive, leaving a buzz of excitement for what’s to come tomorrow on finals day.

The call for finals day tomorrow is a 7:15 am check in for a possible 7:30 am start at Cape Woolamai. 

Live scores and heat draws for the event can be accessed via www.surfingvic.com/live

The Woolworths Victorian Junior Titles is supported by No TXT No Wrecks, VicRoads Community Safety Grants, Cancer Council Sunscreen and Surfing Victoria.

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