The first event of the 2019 WSL Australia / Oceania calendar, the Hydralyte Sports QLD Pro Junior JQS event, will kick off this Saturday (January 12) on Noth Stradbroke Island and will run over 2 days. It is also the first event of the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Hyundai for 2019.
Some of the country's best surfers will be competing to gain valuable series points which go toward their series rankings before the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series heads to Cronulla (NSW) in April, followed by Bells Beach (VIC) in September.
Notable names in the draw include Caleb Tancred, Mikey McDonagh and Kai Tandler. Tandler took first place in the 2018 Queensland leg of the series and is keen to get his 2019 Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) campaign underway.
"I'm definitely looking forward to it," Tandler said. "It's great having an event of this size so close to home. North Straddie is always heaps of fun, it's an awesome place to go. Having some local knowledge will help for sure."
The long-range forecast shows a 3-4ft swell hanging around for the weekend, with south-easterly winds. Surfing Queensland CEO Adam Yates is excited to see the Pro Junior returning to Queensland again.
"We're stoked to host a Pro Junior again here in Queensland," said Yates. "The level of talent is so high in this series each year and this event provides our local surfers with the opportunity to demonstrate their skill at home."
The Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Hyundai is set to again propel the country's best young surfers into the future with the full support of Surfing Australia and the World Surf League (WSL).
The 3-event Pro Junior event series will include stops at the legendary Bells Beach, Cronulla and North Stradbroke Island, kicking off at the new Queensland location on January 12th.
"We're excited to be involved in 2019, our second-year association, with the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series events, where we have the opportunity to see Australia's best junior talent in action at iconic surf locations," said Jonathan Biddle, VP Asia/Pacific Prestige Consumer Healthcare and General Manager Care Pharmaceuticals.
The WSL sanctioned Pro Junior events, which includes 18 and under boys' and girls' divisions, form part of the 2019 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted World Title at the World Surf League Junior Championships in 2019.
"Having the Hydralyte Pro Junior Series is a huge help to any young surfer who is looking to gain experience at the next level before moving onto the qualifying series," said 2018 Australasian / Oceania WSL JQS Champion Zahli Kelly.
"As a junior surfer you are still learning everything about competing in a WSL event and these events are the perfect starting point, with the ultimate goal of the qualifying for the WSL World Juniors.
The 2019 Hydralyte Sports QLD Pro Junior will run from January 12 - 13.