The Southern New South Wales city of Wollongong will host an impressive line-up of Australian and international junior surfers for event six of seven qualifying Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior events, sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL).
Originally scheduled to be held at nearby Kiama, the World Surf League, Surfing Australia and Subway® Restaurants (SUBWAY) have coordinated the venue change to Wollongong, following last week's shark attack on one of Kiama's best up-and-coming surfers at Bombo Beach.
"WSL, Surfing Australia and SUBWAY have all come to the unanimous decision to move this weekend's event to Wollongong," said WSL Aust/Pacific Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith. "The Kiama surfing community is going through a challenging time after one of their own was recently attacked by a shark. With the safety of our athletes in mind and out of respect to the local community, we thought it would be best to move up the coast to Wollongong. We'd like to thank Kiama and Wollongong Councils for their cooperation and support, and wish Brett Connellan all the best and offer any support that we can."
Surfers from Australia, Brazil and New Zealand will duke it out, with 64 males and 24 females set to participate in the event.
Ethan Ewing (AUS), who has taken out four consecutive WSL Australasia Junior Qualifying Series events in a row - including three Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior events - as well as the NIB Pro Junior at Merewether - is looking forward to heading south to Wollongong and having the opportunity to add another event win to his already stellar portfolio.
"The Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior has been great for me in 2016," said Ewing. "I've been fortunate enough to win four of the events and the victories continue to get better and better, so hopefully I can continue the same form at Wollongong."
Big names set to challenge Ewing include: [Kael Walsh] (/athletes/6324/kael-walsh) (AUS), Kyuss King (AUS), Sandon Whittaker (AUS), Reef Heazlewood (AUS), Harley Ross-Webster (AUS) and Kai Warner (AUS).
After taking out three Pro Junior victories in 2016, Central Coast surfer Macy Callaghan (AUS) shared a similar sentiment to Ewing.
"The competition in the Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior events has been pretty tough, so I'm stoked that I've been able to take a handful of the events out," said Callaghan. "Hopefully we get a decent run of waves over this event and everyone has a solid crack at the title."
The two-day event is likely to be staged at Port Kembla or Wollongong City beaches. The WSL sanctioned Subway® Pro Junior events, which includes 18 and under men's and women's divisions, form part of the 2016 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title, at the WSL World Junior Championships in early 2017.
The Subway® Surf Series is proudly supported by WSL, Surfing NSW, Surfing Australia and Billabong.