Big names live up to the hype.
Teenage sensations Ethan Ewing and Griffin Colapinto have both cruised comfortably through their Round 1 match-ups on the first day of competition at the World Junior Championships. Held in lumpy summertime conditions at the north end of Kiama’s Bombo Beach, the pair were among a number of top-seeded juniors to skip the repechage round and move directly into Round 3.
Colapinto dominated his exchange from start to finish, banking two solid mid-range keepers on the lefts before he threw down a big frontside air-reverse that just got away from him in the latter part of the heat. After an impressive showing in the Triple Crown, the San Clemente native will be looking for a win over here to gain a good seed on this year’s qualifying series as he sets his sights on a world tour berth in 2018.
Fellow junior heavyweight Ethan Ewing was also a cut above in his Round 1 clash, taking an easy win over his competitors without looking like he ever reached full swing. The stylish North Straddie natural-footer used the same competitive nous that saw him blitz the 2016 WQS to grab an early lead in the mushy conditions and never relinquished it. With his debut season on the world tour awaiting him, Ewing will be looking to bookend his junior career in fine form with a win at this event.
In other heats, American surfer Jake Marshall put together the highest combined total of the day, which included an impressive 8.33, while Brazilian duo Weslley Dantas and Mateus Herdy (son of 90s tour stalwart Guilherme Herdy) also grabbed wins. Coolangatta surfer Quinn Bruce surfed through a skate-inflicted ankle injury to become the second Aussie through to Round 3, and Pipe Masters trials’ winner Finn McGill failed to find the form that served him so well during the Triple Crown and will have to regroup in Round 2.
On the women’s side of things, Kobie Enright was the only Aussie to take a win while Hawaiian Brisa Hennessy posted the highest combined heat total of the round.