Day one of the Hydralyte Sports QLD Pro Junior presented by Hyundai has kicked off today at Duranbah Beach in some punchy, highly contestable waves. A mixture of interstate and local competitors have progressed through to round two in both men's and women's divisions, which will be run tomorrow (Sunday). The surf forecast predicts a 2-4ft easterly swell lingering on the Gold Coast for tomorrow, along with northerly winds. After the QLD leg of the series, the event heads to Narrabeen (NSW) in April, followed by Bells Beach (VIC) in September.
2019 men's event champion Xavier Huxtable (Jan Juc, VIC) has progressed through his round one heat today, along with local surfer Ty Richardson (Palm Beach, QLD). The pair eliminated Jay Occhilupo (Elanora, QLD) and Riley Munro (Tweed Heads, NSW).
"I'm stoked we got some great waves for today," said Huxtable. "A pretty strong northerly wind was predicted, but it's definitely held off for the start of the day which was awesome. I'm keen to get back out there and surf with all my mates in round 2. I'd love to start the year off with a win, and it would be even sweeter to go back-to-back at this event."
Other surfers progressing to round two of the men's division include Ethan Hartge (Caves Beach, NSW), Cameron MacDougall (Little Mountain, QLD), Tom Robinson (Raglan, New Zealand), Oscar Berry (Palm Beach, QLD), George Pittar (Manly, NSW) and Zane Jenner (North Stradbroke Island, QLD).
Round one of the women's division got underway as the afternoon unfolded, and the waves at the "off the wall" bank of Duranbah continued to pump for the female competitors. Sage Goldsbury (Cape Woolamai, VIC) managed to take advantage of the right-hand waves on offer to take out her round one heat, scoring a 5.25 (out of a possible 10.00) and a 6.75 for a combined heat total of 12.00 (out of a possible 20.00) to take the win. Goldsbury has progressed through the round along with Nyxie Ryan (Lennox Head, NSW) - the pair defeating Matilda Taylor (Noraville, NSW) and Grace Kama (Elanora, QLD) respectively.
"I'm keen to get this year off to a good start - I'm competing in all of the Pro Junior events this year," said Goldsbury. "That was a good heat. I only had a small score at the start but I managed to get those couple of good scores toward the end which got me through. I'm just going to take the event heat by heat - but I would love to make the final."
Other names progressing in the women's division include Gia Lorentson (Noosa, QLD) and Ellie Harrison (Barwon Heads, VIC).