Kerr lashes out over wave loss
COOLANGATTA wildcard Josh Kerr accused defending champion Andriano de Souza of unsportsmanlike surfing after the Brazilian star bundled him out of the Billabong World Junior Championships yesterday.
Lennox Head's Adam Melling is the sole Australian survivor after local hopes were all but dashed on a disappointing day at North Narrabeen when five Australians were eliminated.
De Souza edged out Kerr by just 0.53 points in round three, but not before the two clashed over the priority rule. Towards the end of the heat - the highest scoring of the contest so far - de Souza had priority over his Gold Coast rival but pretended to be uninterested in a wave.
Kerr turned to take it but de Souza, despite being in a worse position, switched and used his priority rights to squeeze Kerr out.
"That's just a really prick thing to do in the water," the 20-year-old said later. "But their (the Brazilians) minds are just set on competition and we're just a bit more mellow and laidback with that kind of stuff."
But despite the controversy, contest director, Currumbin's Luke Egan, said the clash had been the highlight of the competition.
"It's unfortunate that one of them had to lose," Egan said.
"You mightn't even see that good a surfing in the final."
Kerr had beaten De Souza in the first round, but the young Brazilian's confidence was sky high after a strong second-round performance and he quickly built a 16-point lead.
Kerr was able to narrow the lead with a 9.57 opener with a linking rail down the line and aerial move.
That narrowed De Souza's lead to 6.93, but within minutes the Brazilian surged with a 9.9 after a big aerial move.
Coolangatta's Luke Dorrington was Australia's final casualty in round three against Hawaiian TJ Barron.