Teenage surfing sensation Ethan Ewing has cemented his reputation as Australia’s next big thing by winning the World Junior Title at Kiama yesterday. The victory bookends a remarkable rise from obscurity for the young Queenslander over the past twelve months, as he’ll now look to take the momentum from this win (as well as his other achievements in 2016) into his debut season on the world tour.

Ethan Ewing puts it up there on his way to his first world title. Photo: Ethan Smith

In a final featuring the two stand-out surfers of the event, Ewing took an early lead over Californian prodigy Griffin Colapinto, netting a 6.17 for a cleanly-executed backhand flurry. It proved to be a telling blow, as a southerly buster came up halfway through the exchange and turned the already gutless conditions to mush, leaving Colapinto searching for a ramp that ultimately didn’t materialise. When Ewing put a second decent score on the board late in the heat following another series of backhand belts, he left his opponent in a combination situation from which he wouldn’t recover. It was a formidable display from the stylish natural-footer, who appeared composed and in control all week, and when the hooter sounded to signal the end of the event, it was little surprise that last year’s WQS runner-up and Australasian Junior champ was the one being chaired up the beach.

Colapinto, on the other hand, peaked in his semi-final clash against North Shore supergrom Finn McGill, posting the highest combined heat total of the event for a pair of critical air-reverses. This followed a week of impressive performances from the San Clemente native, who’ll pose a serious threat to his fellow competitors on this year’s qualifying series.

Macy Callaghans win made it two from two for the Australians. Photo: Ethan Smith

On the girls’ side of the draw, sixteen-year-old Avoca local Macy Callaghan went on a tear in the final, taking down 2014 World Junior champion Mahina Maeda in dominant fashion. Building momentum throughout the day, Callaghan opened the final strongly on her backhand and never let up, belting out two scores in the excellent range and leaving her more-fancied Hawaiian rival in an unbreakable combination. With an Australasian Junior Series title already behind her, Callaghan will now turn her focus to the WQS, as she looks to join former world junior champions Laura Enever and Sally Fitzgibbons on the world tour.


Men’s Final

1. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 11.34

2. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 1.97

Semi-Final 1

1. Ethan Ewing 12.70 (AUS)

2. Cody Young 10.63 (HAW)

Semi-Final 2

1. Griffin Colapinto 15.60

2. Finn McGill 8.74

Women’s Final

1. Macy Callaghan 15.67

2. Mahina Maeda 4.60

Semi-Final 1

1. Mahina Maeda 8.90

2. Brisa Hennessy 8.26

Semi-Final 2

1. Macy Callaghan 13.26

2. Ariane Ochoa 9.13