Coolangatta surfer Piper Harrison has been crowned the inaugural Phillip Island Pro Women's Champion at the Penguin Parade (Summerland Bay) on Phillip Island. Surfing with maturity beyond her years, the 16-year-old progressed through the final rounds of the event, which was relocated to the Penguin Parade due to a large swell and moderate westerly winds.
The Final saw Harrison lock in an early, solid-scoring ride on her way to besting Zahli Kelly who struggled to find the best waves in the windy surf. Harrison finished the Final with a heat total of 11.25 with Kelly only managing a 9.00 heat total.
"This is my first-ever Qualifying Series win so I'm pretty overwhelmed right now," said an ecstatic Harrison. "When I woke up this morning I didn't really expect to win but I am obviously stoked."
Born in Victoria on the Mornington Peninsula, Harrison relocated to the Gold Coast three years ago and believes that honing her skills in the powerful Victoria waves helped at this event.
"Growing up surfing the waves around the Mornington Peninsula definitely helped at this event," she said. "It feels like I am home when I come to Phillip Island. I love coming to Phillip Island, you are never bored here. There is always waves and heaps of fun stuff to do when you aren't surfing."
Fourteen-year-old-Zahli Kelly was pleased to make it to the Final and surf in some great waves.
"I am so happy to just make the Final," said Kelly. "The waves were super fun throughout the whole event and to finish in a right-hand point break is awesome. This is my second time to Phillip Island, I love coming here. It is such a rugged area, it reminds me of New Zealand."