Surf Scene: Piper plays a winning tune
COOLANGATTA up-and-comer Piper Harrison has gained entry into the Roxy Pro trials after taking out the final round of the 2017 Queensland State Titles at Duranbah.
Finishing the series off with a bang, Harrison took advantage of her home break to defeat Sunshine Coast surfer Sophie McCulloch in the blue ribbon Open Women's division.
It came down to the wire between Harrison and McCulloch, with both locked on equal ratings points prior to the event.
Harrison claimed victory with the highest two wave combination scores of the series with an 18.50 (out of a possible 20). Harrison was electric in the final with high-speed snaps and powerful rail work to hold off McCulloch, Lauren McGregor (Nerang) in third and Angie Adler (Bilinga) in fourth.
"I'm absolutely over the moon right now, it's so exciting and I'm so pumped. This has been a dream of mine for ages,” Harrison said.
"It was so awesome for everyone to be getting good waves, it really turned on for us in the final. I surf here every day so knowing the banks and what they've been like definitely gave me an advantage.”
As champion Harrison has earned the opportunity to surf at the World Surf League Championship Tour 2018 Roxy Pro trials at Snapper Rocks.
The 16-year-old has a huge future and will be competing in the upcoming Australian Surf Festival (Australian titles) at Cabarita from July 29-30. The winner of the Australian Open women's final will be selected in the Australian team to compete at next year's World ISA titles, which would give Harrison a crack at a world title.
- Former professional surfers from the 90s are back with a vengeance, and will compete at the Australian Surfmasters on the Tweed Coast from July 31 to August 2.
Names like Jay Phillips, Mark Richardson, Jye Gofton, Owen Crockett, Chris Brooks, Jason Frost, Troy Dowker and more will compete in one of the best Masters contests to date.
It's been a couple of years since the International Surfing Association (ISA) has held a World Masters competition, but if it's back on in 2018, the list of Australian starters including the above would all be contenders.
According to Surfing Australia's events manager Beau Brenchley, there will be prize money added to the Open division of the Australian Titles as an incentive to involve professional surfers. Surfing Australia is keen to see the best surfers competing in order to select the best Australian team possible for the World ISA titles.
On the Olympic front, the rumour is that selection for the 2020 Games in Tokyo will be based on a country's best professionally rated surfers, with only 20 men's, and 20 women's spots available. In other words, only so many countries will be invited and selection will be limited.
There are many unanswered questions about how the first ever surfing Olympics will work and who will be representing their country.
As stated by former World Masters champion and four time world champion runner-up Cheyne Horan: "Whoever takes Gold in 2020 will be creating history as the first ever surfer to win an Olympic gold medal in surfing!” Amen to that!