Having not had a podium finish for roughly three-years, Caleb Tancred was able to get the monkey off his back by taking out the Men's division in the Key Sun Zinke Sydney Pro Junior. In what was an action-packed final filled with torrential rain and power outages, Tancred was able to gain the upper hand thanks to posting an excellent 8.50 wave score. Tancred then backed up his position in the top spot thanks to a 8.75 score and was able to comfortably claim the victory.
"It was my goal to win a Pro Junior event this year and hopefully finish in the top four to qualify for the World Juniors," said Tancred. "With all the rain and the power blacking out, I wasn't sure if I was in first, second or third. I knew all guys in this final could have got decent scores, so I was flying blind a little bit. I haven't been on the podium for three years or so, so to get this is definitely a great feeling."
Spending the majority of the final in the fourth spot, Kyuss King managed to leapfrog his way straight into the runner-up position thanks to an impressive 8.20 wave score in the dying five minutes. King looked on point throughout the duration of the entire event, consistently posting excellent scores over his entire campaign.
"I feel quite good with this result," said King. "I felt like a had a few good heats so I couldn't be happier. My gameplan in that final was to strictly wait for a wave that was good enough to win, so I stuck to my guns and managed to get that one 8.20, but I couldn't find the backup."
Surfing with a maturity beyond her years, Sophia Fulton saved one of her best performances to claim top honours. Fulton executed a barrage of mammoth turns to finish the heat with an impressive 15.50 two-wave heat total and take the victory ahead of fellow event standouts Zahli Kelly, Molly Picklum and Shino Matsuda who claimed second, third and fourth respectively.
"It was fun, but I got pretty lucky to get those few at the start that got me out in front for the rest of the final. This is my first time surfing in Manly and it's been a good weekend, especially when the sun was out," said Fulton. "Pam Burridge is my coach, she grew surfing here so it's good to have her experience and secrets to surfing North Steyne."
Zahli Kelly put on a dominant performance over the course of the Key Sun Zinke Sydney Pro Junior, but unfortunately was unable to gain the edge over Fulton in the final.
"The waves were fun but a little inconsistent," said Kelly. "When I needed the score at the end it just closed out and didn't help me, but I got to lock in the two seven-point-rides early. It's been a lot of surfing this weekend but I'm excited for the QS event this week if the waves and conditions stay like this."