If you've ever watched the Australian Championship Tour contingent compete at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, you'd hear them talk about how the Bells Pro Junior events helped them prepare for their time in the big leagues. Now, after a five year hiatus from the Australia / Oceania Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) Bells Beach is back and boy did it deliver.
India Robinson and Mikey McDonagh started their 2017 World Surf League Australia / Oceania Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) campaign with a bang by taking the first Subway Surf Series Event at Bells Beach in clean and pristine conditions.
Lennox Lad Mikey McDonagh proved that he will be a force to be reckoned with in future years. Smooth powerful surfing was the order of the day and McDonagh delivered, putting together multiple power carves throughout the day and in the Final. McDonagh was able to beat Lucas Wrice with a heat total of 12.25 points.
"I'm stoked. This is only the second time I have surfed at Bells competitively and to be able to get waves in the Bowl was a dream," McDonagh said. "The event had some really good surfers in the draw so I'm over the moon to be able to come out on top."
"The Subway Surf Series is the first step to the big leagues and to have the first event at Bells is incredible. Hopefully I can continue my run and get a few more good results throughout the year."
Wrice was one of the standout surfers all weekend, however he was only able to finish with a heat total of 11.00 points in the Final.
In a down to the wire Women's Final, India Robinson used her local knowledge to take the win over American Alyssa Spencer. Robinson took the lead on the siren with her final wave to lock in a heat total of 11.10 points ahead of Spencer who totaled a sore of 10.75 points.
"Winning at home means heaps to me. Getting chaired up the beach at Bells Beach by my brother and Dad was one of the highlights of my career so far," Robinson said. "It was cool to have Alyssa in the Final coming from the USA. She rips and is fun to surf against. Being able to have heats at Bells is really special and allows me to get heaps of experience out here for future events."
Spencer had the highest single wave of the Final, an 8.00 point ride, but could not find a big enough back up to take the win.
The Subway Surf Series now moves to Cronulla in NSW for stop two in the coming weeks.