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Byron Shire
July 13, 2024

Four new junior surfing champs

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Lennox Surfer Mikey McDonagh on Sunday at Bar Beach. Photo Bosko / Surfing NSW. 
Lennox Surfer Mikey McDonagh on Sunday at Bar Beach. Photo Bosko / Surfing NSW.

The Subway Surf Series saw four new champions crowned last Sunday after a series of hotly contested finals in clean two-foot peaks at Bar Beach.

Day one standout Mikey McDonagh (Lennox Head, NSW) dominated the field in the Under-18 Boys posting some mammoth scores for a healthy mix of traditional and innovative manoeuvres.

McDonagh surfed well beyond his years in the blue-ribbon final and as a result left his closest rival Morgan Ciblic (Merewether) chasing a solid 9.31 wave score (out of a possible ten points) to take the win away. Despite being only 14-years-old, McDonagh opted to surf up a division to test his skills against a variety of older surfers.

Morgan Ciblic (Merewether, NSW) kept the local Newcastle surfing community on their feet throughout the Under-16 Boys final, notching up a handful of excellent scores. The local natural footer synced his repertoire perfectly with the righthand peaks, smashing out a barrage of mammoth hacks and in turn left his fellow finalists chasing two-wave combinations to take away his lead. Runner-up Sandon Whittaker (Avoca, NSW) and third place getter Connor Lee (Redhead, NSW) showed moments of brilliance, but were unable to claw themselves out of the combination situations. 

Bodhi Leigh-Jones (Avalon, NSW) put her fellow finalists on the ropes when she posted a near-perfect 9.83 wave score in the Under-16 Girls final. The Northern Beaches natural-footer never looked like slowing down after posting the score and as a result, runner-up Bella Wilton (Manly, NSW) was left chasing an elusive 9.54 wave score to take the lead, which unfortunately never came to fruition.  

Leigh-Jones, was able to back up her Under-16 performance, with a win in the Under-18 Girls final. Bodhi performed a multitude of giant hits to notch up a 13.50 heat total (out of a possible 20 points) and take the two wins from the two finals.

The main base for event two of the series was Merewether with backup locations of Dixon Park, Bar Beach and Newcastle.

The 10-event 2015/2016 Subway Surf Series returned for its second season, with this weekend’s event, the second of three non-qualifying events leading up to the Subway Pro-Junior events, sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL).

The winners of the three non-qualifying events, catering to both 18 and under and 16 and under girls’ and boys’ divisions, will attend a Subway® Surf Camp at the Hurley Surfing Australia High Performance Centre at Casuarina.

The Pro Junior events, which includes 18 and under boys and girls divisions, form part of the 2016 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title, at the WSL World Junior Championships in early 2017.

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