Soli Bailey won the Port Stephens Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000 event last week; while local juniors have also taken out the Australian Junior Online Surf Championships.
Soli had to pull on all of his experience to clinch the win over Gold Coast surfer Ty Richardson with the pair going blow-for-blow in their 30-minute match-up. Richardson dominated the heat, posting the highest single wave score of the event, with an 8.14 (out of a possible 10).
But Soli was able to score a last minute, high-scoring ride to take out the final.
‘You don’t always want to win like that, but it’s so good when it happens,’ Bailey said. ‘When I took off on that wave at the end, I lost all my speed on the first turn and started to think that this would not be a 7.50, so I had to throw it up into the wind and luckily pulled it off.’
Local surfers, Ocea Curtis (U/16 women) and Leihani Kaloha Zoric (U/12 girls), won their respective age groups in the Australian Junior Online Surf Championships.
They overcame more than 270 entries. Winners earn 6500 points for first place that go towards their 2023 National Junior Rankings.
‘The Championships provide equal opportunity to surfers to go big in their own environments, without the normal pressures of competition,’ Surfing Australia and Judge, Glen Elliot said.
Leihani also came third in the Best Aerial (women) category.