Waiting period starts tomorrow.
The world’s best juniors will take to the waves of the South Coast of New South Wales over the next fortnight in an effort to claim the prestigious world junior title and join an even more prestigious list of past champs, including Andy Irons, Joel Parkinson and Gabriel Medina. The event has long been regarded as a hotbed of future CT talent and this year is no different, with several of the sport’s most exciting young prospects set to take part.
Following a stellar debut year on the QS, North Straddie local Ethan Ewing comes into the event as hot favourite after a number of big results in 2016 saw him qualify comfortably for this year’s championship tour. If he can make good on the expectations, the stylish natural-footer will become the first Aussie to claim a world junior title since Jack Freestone won at Keramas back in 2012. Also joining Ewing will be San Clemente sensation Griffin Colapinto and Pipe Masters trial’s winner Finn McGill, both of whom are coming in with a ton of well-earned hype on their shoulders. American junior champion Nolan Rapoza is also considered a threat as is South America’s highest ranked surfer, Weslley Dantas (Wiggolly’s younger bro).
While the event has been held at a number of locations over the years, including Hawaii, Brazil, Portugal and Bali, 2017 will be the first time the contest has graced the shores of Kiama. A picturesque little coastal village south of Wollongong, the town is known for its punchy beach-breaks and proximity to numerous heavy reefs, and while early summer hasn’t provided a great deal of quality surf on the east coast so far, word is that there are banks around and the possibility of swell on the way.
‘Where they’ll be surfing at Bombo there’s actually a pretty good little bank working about halfway down the beach, a nice little right,’ says Rhys Jensen, from local surf shop Zink Surf. ‘We’re meant to be getting a bit of a sou-east ground swell. The wind is meant to be pretty windy today, so it’ll be pretty chopped out, but after that it’s meant to swing nor-east and it’s a pretty good spot in terms of being sheltered from the nor-easter.’
Here’s hoping the predictions are right and the guys score waves. You can watch the event live on worldsurfleague.com