The final event of the World Surf League (WSL) Australia / Oceania Pro Junior Series for 2022 is set to commence tomorrow, with the day one of the Peel Pro Junior preparing to bounce down in Mandurah, Western Australia. Some of the country's very best 20 and under surfers will compete in hopes of qualifying for the 2022 WSL World Junior Championship.
This will be the first WSL Pro Junior event held in Western Australia since 2017, and an exciting field of young surfers are ready to compete in both men's and women's divisions.
With each WSL region receiving two male and two female spots at the WSL World Junior Championships, and the rankings going off each competitor's top five results, surfers are chasing a solid result in Mandurah hopes of qualifying.
"WSL is stoked to be heading back to WA this year," said WSL APAC Tour Manager Ty Sorati. "This event will play a massive role in shaping the careers of our young Pro Junior competitors. We're excited to crown our regional Pro Junior Champions after the Peel Pro Junior, and will be announcing the surfers who will get the opportunity to compete in the World Junior Championships to be held in California in early January next year."
The draw for the Peel Pro Junior is littered with big name surfers from across Australia, with Kobi Clements (Sydney, NSW) and Sierra Kerr (Coolangatta, QLD) topping the field. Many of Western Australia's top juniors are set to challenge on home soil, including Willow Hardy (Margaret River, WA), who comes into the event in eighth position on the WSL women's junior rankings.
Hardy will be joined by her young sister Olive Hardy in the event, as well fellow West Australian's Coral Durant (Red Bluff, WA), Ruby Berry (Augusta, WA) and Kaleisha Launders (Margaret River, WA), who will all be out to use their home ground advantage when competition commences.
Yallingup's Otis North has been awarded the wildcard position into the Peel Pro Junior and despite breaking his leg earlier this year, North's powerful approach will certainly leave it's mark on the waves around Mandurah.
Macklin Flynn (Cowaramup, WA) and Jack Mitchell (Margaret River, WA), come into the Peel Pro Junior as WA's highest rated surfers on the WSL men's junior rankings, with Maverick Wilson (Dunsborough, WA) another local name to keep an eye on.
"We are so fortunate to have such a strong surf culture here in Mandurah and it is fantastic to see the West Australian Pro Surf Series returning to our shores with the Peel Pro Junior," said Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams. "I look forward to welcoming the local, interstate and international competitors to Mandurah's awesome beaches and to seeing some tough competition out on our breaks."
The forecast is looking a little tricky for the event, but signs are pointing toward fun waves in the one-to-two foot range on Saturday, with light to moderate cross-onshore winds across the Mandurah region. The best day for swell will be Monday, which is when our Peel Pro Junior champions will likely be crowned.
The Peel Pro Junior is the opening event of the WA Pro Surf Series, which provides local WA surfers with a valuable opportunity for compete in their backyard against some world class opposition.
For more information on the Peel Pro Junior head to www.worldsurfleague.com or download the free WSL App.
The WA Pro Surf Series is brought you in partnership with Surfing WA, World Surf League, City of Mandurah, Visit Mandurah, City of Busselton, the Western Australian Government through its Regional Events Scheme (RES). Proudly supported by Rusty, Vans, Creatures of Leisure, Otis Eyewear, Mandurah Mazda, Mandurah Holiday Rentals, Minute Man Press Perth, Miami Bakehouse, 91.7 The Wave, Coast FM, Caves House Hotel and Caves Road Construction.