Due to tiny conditions on the NSW coastline, the Hydralyte Sports Shoalhaven Pro Junior was forced to shift north to Werri Beach for the second day in a row.
Molly Picklum continued her rampage through the Australian WSL Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) smashing her quarterfinal battle with a series of powerful backhand blasts and as a result, posted a giant 13.75 two-wave heat total. Picklum will face Shaye Leeuwendal, Ellia Smith and Summer Simon in tomorrow's semi-finals.
"It's always been my goal to take out the 2019 rankings, so hopefully a win will get me closer to solidifying it," said Picklum. "I knew there'd only be enough room for one or maybe two good turns per wave so I had to make every one count. With any luck, the swell will pop up a little more tomorrow and all the girls will get a few more opportunities to get some decent scores."
Having claimed the last two events on the WSL JQS in Cronulla and on the Gold Coast, Dakoda Walters decided to test out his trusty twin-fin mid-heat in Shoalhaven. The risky move paid off for the far north coast natural-footer as he proceeded to claim wins in his round two, round three heats and quarterfinals and sealed his spot in the semis. Another win in Shoalhaven would see Walters extend his already massive lead on the Australian Junior rankings.
"Seeing as though the waves got so small, I thought I would give my twin-fin a go," said Walters. "I've been riding it heaps in freesurfs and love the way it feels, so I figured if I was ever going to ride it in a heat then these were the conditions to do it in."
Taj Stokes made the tiny waves at Werri look easy as he posted a near-perfect nine-point ride, followed by an excellent 8.00 to amass a mammoth 17.00 two-wave total. Stokes threw down a chain of critical backside turns in the tiny surf to post the total and let it be known that he'd be one of the men to beat as the event continued. Stokes will face Central Coast surfers Caleb Tancred, Lennox Chell and Joel Vaughan in tomorrow's semi-finals.
"I watched the heats before mine and I knew how tricky it was looking. I saw Caleb in the heat before me get a couple of little running lefts, so I thought I'd go searching for those," said Stokes. "When it's this small a lot of it comes down to luck and thankfully it went my way. My whole goal is just to go out there and enjoy it."