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Byron Shire
December 7, 2021

Soli Bailey runner up at Sunset Beach Pro Junior

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Junior Byron Bay surfer Soli Bailey laying down a solid turn in the powerful surf at Hawaii’s Sunset Beach. Photo: Tyler Rock/Freesurf Magazine.
Junior Byron Bay surfer Soli Bailey laying down a solid turn in the powerful surf at Hawaii’s Sunset Beach. Photo: Tyler Rock/Freesurf Magazine.

Honolulu’s Seth Moniz has won the Sunset Beach Pro Junior Men’s on the North Shore of Oahu, narrowly defeating Byron Bay surfer Soli Bailey, together with Lucas Silveira (BRA), and Glenn Daniel (Fl., USA) in 12-15-foot wave face heights. The waves contested over the past three days have been some of the biggest and best ever for a Pro Junior event. The Sunset Beach Pro Junior is a WSL Junior Pro 1000 event, presented by the World Surf League.

The final scoreline for each surfer’s top two rides showed 15.15 points out of 20 for Moniz (8.15, 7.0); 14.8 for Bailey (7.8, 7.0); and 7.2 for Glenn (5.0, 2.2).

Moniz, 17, won’t have long to relish the victory, slated to surf in the opening day of the Volcom Pipe Pro at the Banzai Pipeline tomorrow where world class talent the likes of Kelly Slater (USA) and John John Florence (HAW) will be setting the bar. That event is a $100,000 WSL QS3000 rated event.

Moniz turned the tables on Soli Bailey, 19, in the last five minutes of the 30-minute final on an excellent wave that offered a barrel ride and several powerful, cracking turns. It is an important result for the young Hawaiian, who comes from an established family of professional surfers and ultimately hopes to compete on the WSL Championship Tour that crowns surfing’s world champion each December in Hawaii.

‘I won the Pipe Juniors last year and that’s my favourite wave, but these are definitely the biggest waves we’ve had for a junior event, so I’m really happy to win under those conditions,’ said Moniz. ‘I’m in my last year of school this year, so it might be a few years before I qualify for the world tour, but that’s what I’m working towards.’

Bailey and Brazil’s Lucas Silveira competed through all seven rounds of the competition to place in the final. Together with Daniel, 18, they were in devastating form throughout the day before falling to Moniz in the final.

‘Just to have the opportunity to surf Sunset at its full potential is an achievement in itself,’ said Bailey. ‘I’ve never surfed an event here before so this wasn’t about doing super well for me, I just wanted to learn a lot about Sunset for my future. It was really great to get as many heats as I did from the Round of 112. I’ll be surfing in the Volcom tomorrow and from here I’m just trying to make the CT.’

All four of the competitors offered radical exchanges on some of the biggest waves of the day with little regard for the size or power. While Silveira and Daniel were eclipsed on final scores, it wasn’t the quality of their surfing that left them short, but rather the opportunities that their waves offered.

The result capped off a great winter for Silveira, who was crowned the 2014 Vans Triple Crown Rookie of the Year in December and will also be competing at Pipe tomorrow.

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