Aussie teenagers lead way
SURF SCENE with Andrew McKinnon
THE future of Australian surfing couldn't be in better shape with the arrival of the latest teenage sensations, Macy Gallagher and Ethan Ewing.
The duo have been crowned World Junior champions after winning at the WSL titles staged at Bombo Beach, near Kiama.
Despite the very average surfing conditions and a red-hot international field, 16-year-old Macy and Ethan, 18, never looked in doubt of taking out their maiden world titles.
Both enjoyed meteoric rises in 2016.
Macy is from Avoca on the New South Wales Central Coast while Ethan hails from North Stradbroke Island.
The natural-footers (right foot forward) have now etched their names in the record books and both have bright futures.
Gallagher still has a couple of more years in the junior ranks and is already rated 16th on the WSL qualifying open women's series and is every chance of qualifying for the elite World Tour in 2018.
Ethan, who is sponsored by Gold Coast-based DHD shapes and Billabong, has already qualified for the big time and will line up with the top 32 surfers on the WSL World Tour this year.
He will make his debut in the Quiksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks from March 14.
What makes Ethan's win so special is that it was his first time competing in a World Junior.
There will be huge expectations on both of these surfers and I'm sure they will not disappoint.
Both possess that natural ability to perform and have shown they can remain ice calm under pressure.
Meanwhile, it was nice to see Joel Parkinson take a step back in time to ride a well-used AB (Al Byrne) Hot Stuff board and claim his first Burleigh Single Fin event at the weekend.
His Uncle Darryl surfed a similar board in his day and Joel, who is arguably the smoothest surfer on the planet, put on a super impressive show to leave all others in his wake.
Right from the get-go Joel looked the one to beat, scoring the only 10-point ride of the competition in the opening round.
He coasted through Round 2 with a second behind local hope and eventual runner-up Luke Hynd before finishing second in the quarter-finals behind North Ends Chris Bennetts.
But in the semis Joel fired into overdrive with 17.94 out of 20 to storm into the final where he dominated. Joel scored a near-perfect 9.50 and an 8.00 to combo his opponents in the six-man final.
It was vintage stuff from Joel who used his gouging bottom hand rail turns and layback shower spray snaps to entertain the Sunday crowd.
The Burleigh headland was packed for the event in scenes reminiscent of the glory days of the Stubbies Surf Classic with literally thousands turning out in what has become a real surfing festival.
Well done to the Burleigh Boardriders for hosting such an awesome show and keeping it real.
Results from Burleigh Single Fin event hosted by Burleigh Boardriders:
Opens: 1 Joel Parkinson, 2 Luke Hynd, 3 James Lewis, 4 Liam O'Brien, 5 Tom Hatcher, 6 Damien Healy.
Juniors: 1 Maddy Job, 2 Dakota Walters, 3. Hinta Aizawa, 4 Toby Mossop, 5. Liam Kelly, 6. Josh Cameron-McDonald.