The Be the Influence Avalon Cup 2-Star rated ASP event saw a shift in the ASP Australasian Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) Rankings, with Erin Dark (AUS) winning her first LQS event over local favorite Georgia Young (AUS) and moving into the No. 1 position. Nic Jones (AUS) also moved to the top of the Australasia rankings after his performance, making it through to the Final, but unable to match the standard of surfing from Taylor Jensen (USA). For the second day in a row, Jensen posted the highest scores of the day with a 9.25 and an 8.50 in the Final to take the win.
"You've just got to look for something that's going to have a long wall to it and I was lucky enough to get a couple," Jensen said. "Confidence wise, after this event and Kingscliff I'm feeling pretty good and feel like I'm on my game again so I'll see what happens from here. I go to Japan in about a week and a half for an LQS, so I'll see if I can keep the roll going."
Wanting to secure a solid result in Avalon after being unhappy with her performance at the first LQS event in Kingscliff this year, Dark was elated to get her first LQS win and enough points to move her into first position on the LQS Rankings.
"I'm so excited, I couldn't believe I actually made the final!" Dark said. "Just to get through to the Semifinals was great, so making the Final then actually winning it, I'm just super stoked and very excited. I'll definitely be coming back to WA for the Whalebone in July and hopefully keep my result up and get some good waves."
Dark posted some solid scores against current Australian Women's Champion, Young, in a close Final heat. While putting up a strong counter-attack, Young was unable to take the victory on home soil, finishing with a combined total of 10.25 against Dark's 13.60 and moving into second place on the LQS Rankings.
"It was pretty challenging conditions by the end of it and I was exhausted after three heats in a row," Young said. "I feel like I surfed really well and Erin (Dark) just surfed even better."
Jones (AUS) performed consistently well throughout the entire event, hungry to regain momentum after finishing 13th on the LQS last year. Jones impressed the judges in his Semifinal against current Australian Open Champion Jared Neal (AUS), before falling short in the Final against Jensen. However, with his performance in Avalon he's officially secured first position on the LQS rankings.
"I'm feeling pretty good about moving up in the rankings," Jones said. "We've still got one event at Cottesloe left for the year and I've got to keep a good result in that to maintain my spot, but I'm pretty stoked."
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This event is supported by the Be the Influence - Tackling Binge Drinking initiative, part of the Australian Government's National Binge Drinking Strategy addressing youth binge drinking and raising awareness of the long and short term impacts of harmful drinking among young people through sport sponsorships and other activities. HIF (Health Insurance Fund of Australia), SunSmart, Healthway, Department of Sport and Recreation.