Reef Heazlewood and Zahli Kelly have claimed top honours at event three of the Subway® Surf Series at Avoca Beach, both putting on exciting performances in four-to-six foot surf.
Reef Heazlewood claimed his second Subway® Surf Series event for the year taking out the Mens division. The Sunshine Coast goofy-footer dominated in the solid surf, posting a decent 15.75 heat total (out of a possible 20 points). Heazlewood consistently put his body on the line over the course the event, performing critical manoeuvres in ankle deep water.
"I'm feeling pretty good right now," said Heazlewood. "When I turned up this morning the waves looked pretty tricky, but it got better and better as the day went on and just continued to pulse through. It's nice to get some clean and big waves for an event. Hopefully, I can keep getting results and maybe win the series at the end of this year."
World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) rookie Alister Reginato proved to himself he was ready to take on some of Australia's and the world's best junior surfers, taking the Men's runner-up position alongside Heazlewood. Reginato nailed a healthy mix of backside snaps to finish in the runner-up position with a heat total of 10.20.
"This is my first Pro Junior ever, so I'm stoked," said Reginato. "In other heats I tried to get an early start, but it didn't really work in the final unfortunately. Hopefully I can get a few more results over the course of the series this year."
13-year-old Zahli Kelly claimed her second Pro Junior victory in as many events, taking out the Women's division. In the low-scoring affair, Kelly managed to edge in front of perennial Pro Junior threat Alyssa Lock with a two-wave heat total of 8.10. Kelly is now sitting on top of the JQS rankings and has made the goal to qualify for the World Junior Championship early next year.
"It was pumping earlier, but it unfortunately got really difficult in that final," said Kelly. "I tried to wait for a good wave but it didn't really come. I didn't set the goal of making the World Juniors originally, but now that I'm on top of the ratings I hope I can qualify for the event."
Alyssa Lock (Tweed Heads, NSW) put up a valiant fight in the Women's final against Kelly, but was unable to find the necessary 3.86 wave score in the wave starved final. Lock showed moments of promise, nailing a handful of critical turns, but ultimately fell short by a 0.75 margin.
"The surf was really tough in that final," said Lock. "I got to ride a step-up board which was great as we don't get the chance to ride them often, it was just a bummer the wind really picked up for the final and there weren't too many opportunities."