Hurley Australian Open Of Surfing: Day 5 Video Highlights
Press release: Boy, oh boy. What a tussle between the junior boys in the semi-finals today!
Semifinal 1 saw defending event champion, Matt Banting of Port Macquarie, NSW fight for a spot in the final against young Italian surfer Leo Fioravanti. It was always going to be a good match-up, but no one predicted how it was actually going to unfold.
In the opening moments, both surfers paddled for the same wave and neither wanted to back down. They clashed and the judges called a Double Interference, which means both surfers had one of their best waves halved. Had the penalty been for one surfer or the other, it would have virtually handed victory to their opponent.
Then, during the midway point of the heat both surfers again paddled for the same wave – but quite wisely rode in opposite directions. One to the left and to the right. Once the judges scores had been punched into the computer the average for each score was identical, 8.83! Talk about an evenly matched affair.
Ultimately, Leo edged in front of Matt and the final two minutes of the heat was spent in a paddle battle as Leo successfully prevented Matt from catching a winning ride. A hard earned victory…
The second semi saw Jacob Willcox from Margaret River get the better of Byron Bay's Soli Bailey. Soli had the best individual wave of the clash – continuing his incredible form of the earlier rounds, but on two waves, Jacob was too strong.
The heat wrapped up in similar fashion to semi 1, with both surfers involved in a cat 'n mouse chase up the beach with Jacob stopping Soli from getting the score he needed.
So, ladies and gentleman, congrats to our boys junior finalists Jacob Willcox and Leo Fioravanti. They will do battle for the title on Thursday after midday Thursday.
Semi Final Results: Mens Pro Junior
SF1: Leo Fioravanti (ITA) 11.92pts def Matt Banting (NSW, AUS) 11.75pts.
SF2: Jacob Willcox (WA, AUS) 11.43pts def Soli Baily (NSW, AUS) 10.44pts