Alister Reginato and Keala Tomoda-Bannert have taken out the 2019 Key Sun Zinke Sydney Pro Junior following an exciting day of surfing in throaty three-to-four foot beachbreak conditions in Manly.
Alister Reginato put the icing on the cake on what has been a stellar beginning to 2019, taking out the Boys division. Reginato surfed well beyond his years in the stacked final posting two excellent scores to amass a mammoth 17.35 two-wave heat total. Having only just started doing Pro Juniors two years back - and finishing runner up in his maiden appearance - this result will now firmly cement Reginato's position in the top three of the Australia / Oceania WSL Men's Junior Tour Rankings.
"I'm so stoked to have won this, it's my first win in quite a while," said Reginato. "This result gives me a heap of confidence as I head into a really busy year of QS events and Pro Juniors. Hopefully, I can get a couple more results over the next run of events and finish strong."
After years of wowing the world with his exciting freesurfing, Dakoda Walters locked in one of the best results of his junior life, taking the runner-up spot. Walters linked together a chain of innovative carves, wafts and snaps to shoot past Lennox Chell and Kyllian Guerin and nab the runner-up position with a decent 15.60 two-wave heat total.
"The waves really turned on in that final which I think allowed everyone to do some pretty awesome surfing," said Walters. "I was pretty happy with the way I surfed in this event, so hopefully I can keep the roll going into the next few junior competitions and QS events."
International competitor Keala Tomoda-Bannert came into the Key Sun Zinke Sydney Pro Junior wanting to build confidence and momentum for the upcoming Sydney Surf Pro pres. by Sisstrevolution WSL QS6000 rated event. Tomoda-Bannert was one of the most consistent performers over the duration of the event, regularly posting scores in the excellent range, especially in the final where she finished the heat with a solid 15.40 two-wave total.
"I haven't been doing too well in the QS events in Australia, so to take a win in the Pro Junior definitely feels good," said Tomoda-Bannert. "All the girls in the final have been ripping over the course of the event, so to get a win over them is a great confidence boost. The waves were really fun for that heat, so hopefully they continue through the QS event."
Northern Beaches native Cedar Leigh-Jones claimed the best result of her junior career, finishing in second position. The natural-footer performed an eclectic mix of turns and snaps to put on a valiant fight which she maintained until the dying moments of the final, however when the final hooter sounded Leigh-Jones had to settle for the runner-up position with a 13.70 two-wave total.
"It's great to be in the final with all those girls, as they all surf so well," said Leigh-Jones. "I feel like I've been getting through heats, but I haven't been surfing as well as I could, so it was good to get a final with really good waves and put on a performance I was proud of."