New Zealand Under 16 competitor Bobby Hansen hits the lip hard to set up the next section.
Luke Munro – Australia: Qualified for Under 18 Final
Warwick Wright – South Africa: qualified for Undrer 16 Final.
Clint Kimmins – Australia: qualified for Undrer 16 Final.
Jock Barnes – Australia: Qualified for Under 18 final.
Kenta Hayashi – Japan: Qualified for the Under 16 Final in spectacular fashion.
Laurina McGrath (left) Mellisa McDonald (right) – Australia: Asutralian Team mates who have qualified for the Under 19 Roxy Final.
Luke Munro – Australia: Qualified for Under 18 Final.
Reuben Pearce – South Africa: Qualified for the Under 18 final.
Shaun Gossman – South Africa: Qualified for the Under 18 Final.
Chelsea Georgeson – Australia: Qualified for the Under 19 Roxy Girls Final.
“I’m very happy, (it) feels like I’m on top of the world. This is my first time surfing outside of Japan. I did not know what to expect. This is my best ever result.” -Dark horse Kenta Hayashi from Japan, describing his emotions on making the Under 16 Boys final.
“I’m relieved to be in the final. I’m confident of winning the title, (because) that’s what I came here for.” -Australian Chelsea Georgeson, and her intentions for tomorrow.
“Every heat is a new heat and you start all over again. Obviously it’s (the combo on competitors in his semi final heat) a confidence booster, but every heat’s a new one.” -Australian Junior Champion, Jock Barnes, on owning his semifinal heat by comboing all other surfers in the heat.
After a delay in good surf at the start of the morning with a low tide putting a hand brake on the swell, the tide smiled and cooperated in the afternoon with handfuls of set waves and consistent insiders. There wasn’t one surfer in today’s semifinal that wasn’t ripping. Perhaps the only thing separating the competitors was their choice of waves in their individual heats. The swell was surprisingly smaller than yesterday, even with the maps showing a good pulse hitting us now. It was still a good head high on the sets, and definitely had great shape.
The Roxy Under 19 Girls kicked off the semifinals round. Australians Melissa McDonald and Laurina McGrath emerged in first and second place in the first of the semis. In the second semi it looked to be another Australian whitewash with Lauren Ringer a shoe-in to advance into the final along with Chelsea Georgeson, until South African Natasha Bastenie pulled a last second upset on Ringer, with a scoring righthander all the way to the beach just seconds before the heat ended. Bastenie barred Ringer by picking her off her second place, and moving in behind heat winner Chelsea Georgeson to be the lone non-Australian in the Roxy Girls Final.
The first semifinal for the Quiksilver Under 18 Boys was a textbook example of what exactly a solid performance is. Australian Jock Barnes, pretty much the man of the event so far, blasted away with eight vertical, tight backhand hits on a medium righthander to net the highest score of the contest, a 9.5. This score, along with his other two wave scores pushed him way ahead of the pack, comboing them for the rest of his heat. Shawn Gossman of South Africa was the closest behind needing a better score than 10.01 to beat Barnes. Alain Riou and Marama Faatuara, both Tahitians, just couldn’t seem to put it together and had to be happy with a semifinal finish for Tahiti.
Semifinal two was one of those heats where I’d definitely not want to be a judge. Each surfer was going upside down on every one of their waves, surfing way above average. With two surfers each from South Africa and Australia in this semifinal, it was a battle between the two to see who was top dog. At the sound of the final horn, it was one of each, with Australian Luke Munro in first with South African Reubin Pearce right behind him.
By the time the Quiksilver Under 16 Boys firrst semifinal hit the water the glare was so strong, it prompted contest director Mal Gregson to call all the team managers in to help identify surfers. Even the managers could only tell by the style of a particular surfer for means of identification. In the first heat, it was a tough call who was ripping hardest, but it was South Africa’s Warwick Wright, and his demolishing backhand attack on the rights that laid claims with a win. Australian Matt Watson surfed strong for the whole 20 minutes, but ended up standing in the dust needing better than an 8.9 to snake first.
In the second heat, it was all about Japan’s Kenta Hayashi. A virtual unkown, Hayashi had been putting big numbers on the board after a brief stint in the requalifying round, and receiving much praise from commentators and competitors alike. His roll didn’t cease in the semis, and he easily slid into first . Clint Kimmins from Australia didn’t finish much further behind, and probably could’ve sown up first had he caught the waves his peer from Japan was. ANYWAY, at the sound of the final horn, there was much buzz going down in the Japanese camp, as they congratulated their MVP on his fantastic finish.