Mikey McDonagh from Lennox Head has finished runner-up in the JQS Australasian Series after the final event of the WSL-sanctioned Subway Surf Series Pro Junior was held over the weekend on the Gold Coast.
It was held in peaky 1-metre waves at Duranbah Beach. McDonagh was once again in the business end of the event with a quarterfinal finish.
Lennox Head’s Jack Murray and Byron Bay’s Joel Paxton had solid equal thirteenth-place finishes. Kyuss King from Byron Bay was 17th and Luke Condon from Lennox Head was eliminated in round one.
The competition was the seventh event in the Australiawide series and some of the best junior surfers from around the world were greeted with excellent conditions for the entire contest.
Reef Heazlewood is the Australasian JQS Champion with Mikey McDonagh in second spot, which secures him a berth to represent Australia at the World Junior Championships.
Byron Bay’s Kyuss King finished 12th on the final ratings ladder; Lennox Head’s Jack Murray finished 14th, Joel Paxton from Byron Bay was 20th; and Luke Condon from Lennox Head was 47th.
After years of competing at the punchy shorebreak of Barra Da Tijuca in the heart of Rio, the Oi Rio Pro, which starts this week, is relocating to the eastern suburbs, a little town called Saquarema.
What they lose in gigantic crowds and big-city atmosphere is gained in wave shape and consistency along with cleaner, unpolluted water.
Lennox Head’s Stu Kennedy has drawn Tahitian Michel Bourez and Brazilian Ciao Ibelli in his Round One heat.
Kennedy has dropped way down the WSL Leaderboard and now sits at number 29 and desperately needs a solid result to maintain his spot on tour for 2018.
The judges seemed to focus on power surfing during the three events on the Australian leg of the tour, and for Kennedy power is not something he’s noted for on the world stage.
The peaky beach breaks at Saquarema should play into Stu’s strengths, which are quickness and speed, along with his air game which, when put together in an unpredictable package, should grab the judges’ attention.
Kennedy’s completion of his aerial moves will be the key to his success or failure in Brazil, which could then go on to define his 2017.