An action-packed finals day at the 2015 Carve Pro Junior saw Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout, Qld/AUS) claim his first World Surf League (WSL) Junior Tour event in front of hundreds of onlookers at Maroubra Beach.
Ewing backed up his solid overall event performance, claiming the 2015 Carve Pro Junior title and pocketing $4000.00 and 1000 valuable points as a result. Perceived as one of the standout surfers of the entire event, Ewing made light work of the tricky conditions in the final, locking in a near perfect 9.5 wave score (out of a possible ten points) for a barrage of giant backhand snaps. The 2015 Carve Pro Junior is the first WSL Junior event for Ewing and his first time visiting Sydney.
â€œThis feels incredible to get a win in my first ever Junior Series event,â€ said Ewing. â€œI watched a lot of really good surfing over the course of this event and there were a lot of powerful performances. It really makes me want to surf harder and faster. I was getting a bit worried at the end of the heat when Kai had the lead and time was ticking down, but thankfully that 'bomb' set wave came to me when I had priority and I got the score I needed.â€
Kai Hing (Wurtulla, Qld/AUS) held down a solid lead in the final of the 2015 Carve Pro Junior, but ultimately fell short of posting a win. Hing performed a series of exciting turns and aerials in the blue-ribbon division, but was forced to watch Ewing overtake him after posting the aforementioned 9.5 wave score.
â€œEthan was the best surfer all event and I think he got one of the highest heat totals in every round he surfed,â€ said Hing. â€œI wasn't expecting it to be an easy final that's for sure. We pretty much sat on each other for the first 15 minutes or so and I think the lead went back-and-forth around five times. When I saw him get that 9.5 wave, I began to clap for him. He absolutely smashed it.â€
Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park, NSW/AUS) and Hing shared a relatively wave-starved semi-final, which came dangerously close to a restart after both surfers failed to post a score in the first ten minutes of the heat. Despite this, Hing was able to post a solid 8.00 wave score, which kept Ball at arms length over the course of the heat. Ball nearly redeemed himself in the final ten seconds of the semi, throwing down a massive frontside air-reverse, but unfortunately fell from his board on landing.
â€œThat was pretty frustrating,â€ said Ball. â€œI think I sat there for close to 11 minutes before I got a score. It was hard to be out there at the mercy of mother-nature, but there was nothing I could do really, the waves just didn't come my way.â€
Jackson Giles (Maroubra, NSW/AUS) finished the event with a semi-final finish, falling victim to a blisteringly in-form Ewing. As the final local surfer in the draw and last year's runner up, Giles was out for blood from the first opening hooter. However, he was unable to find any waves that allowed him to muster up the required score.
â€œI'm reasonably happy with this result,â€ said Giles. â€œIf someone came to me and told me I'd finish in the semi-finals prior to the event, then I would have been stoked to hear it. This is still a good result and the perfect way to start 2015.â€
After sharing one of the most exciting heats of the day yesterday in the round of 16, Jared Hickel (Cronulla, NSW/AUS) proceeded to meet up with Ball again in the quarterfinals. However, unfortunately for Hickel, today's situation was reversed and Ball managed to take the win as Hickel was unable to muster up a solid 9.57 wave score.
â€œEvery heat I have with Kalani is always close,â€ said Hickel. â€œIt's always good to share a heat with him. We share the same coach so we know each other's styles pretty well. I know he prefers to go for an air, while I prefer to surf on the face of the wave. It's just a pity I lost that one.â€
Surfers came from as far away as Japan, Tahiti and New Zealand to compete in the elite three-day WSL JQS event.
In the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage, some of Australia's best Under-16 year old surfers duked it out in an attempt to claim a prestigious title.
Cedar Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW) managed to take out the Under-14 Girls final, performing a series of big hits and technically sound carves. Leigh-Jones posted a heat total of 11.16 (out of a possible 20 points) to claim the title.
Jamie Thomson (Narrabeen, NSW) nabbed a series of long righthanders in the Under-14 Boys final, which allowed him to perform a handful of eclectic maneuvers. Despite heat runner-up Chae Conti (Kiama, NSW) holding down the lead for a chunk of the heat, Thomson was able to snatch the lead on the strength of a 15.10 heat total.
After claiming a handful of impressive victories over the course of the Under-16 Girls, Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca, NSW) showed no sign of stopping in the final, claiming an exciting victory. Olsson managed to post an impressive 9.00 wave score to edge out fellow Avoca surfer Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW).
After finishing in the runner-up spot in last weeks Mick Fanning Rip Curl GromSearch National Final at Narrabeen, Tane Bowden (Jan Juc, Vic) managed to go one spot further in the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage, claiming the Under-16 Boys. The former New Zealand resident showed no sign of slowing down in the tiny waves, locking in a 13.60 heat total to get the edge over local dynamo Max McGuigan (Maroubra, NSW).
The Carve Pro Junior was run concurrently with the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage, which showcased some of Australia's hottest Under-16 year-old surfers.
In 2013, the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage series was fine-tuned and compressed into an elite event that ran at Maroubra during the Christmas school holidays.
This year saw the addition of a new webcast - proudly presented by Tracks Magazine - which streamed the event worldwide via carveprojunior.com.
The Carve Pro Junior and the Ocean and Earth Teenage Rampage was proudly sponsored by Carve, Ocean and Earth, NRMA, Randwick City Council, Australian Skin Cancer Clinics, Tracks Magazine, Coastalwatch Plus, Souths Juniors, Ohana Ocean Athletics, The Illicit Drugs in Sport Program, World Surf League (WSL) and Surfing NSW.
Carve Pro Junior Results:
1 â€“ Ethan Ewing (Point Lookout, Qld/AUS) - $4000.00
2 â€“ Kai Hing (Wurtulla, Qld/AUS) - $1500.00
1 â€“ Ethan Ewing def. Jackson Giles (Maroubra, NSW/AUS)
2 â€“ Kai Hing def. Kalani Ball (Stanwell Park, NSW/AUS)
1 â€“ Jackson Giles def. Elliot Paerata-Reid (NZL)
2 â€“ Ethan Ewing def. Reef Heazlewood (Moffatt Beach, Qld/AUS)
3 â€“ Kai Hing def. Sam Morgan (Lennox Head, NSW/AUS)
4 â€“ Kalani Ball def. Jared Hickel (Cronulla, NSW/AUS)