THE opening round of the Queensland Junior titles were held in pumping waves at Duranbah with the off-the-wall bank working to perfection again.
Individual champions crowned at the first event of the 2017 Woolworths Queensland Junior Titles presented by World Surfaris earlier this month included Snapper pair Jaggar Bartholomew, who took out the blue ribbon Under-18 Boy's division, and Piper Harrison, who won the Under-18 Girl's division.
Bartholomew, who is the oldest son of world champion legend, Wayne "Rabbit” Bartholomew, was in his best form to date and is gearing up for his first world title tilt at the World ISA Junior Championships in Japan.
Bartholomew qualified for the under-16 Australian team at last year's nationals and will be competing at Hyuga, which is on the far southern island of Fukuoka next to the well-known surfing location of Miyazaki. The World ISA Junior Championships are scheduled from September 23 to October 1, in line with the best surfing season with typhoon swells expected from September onwards.
The up-and-coming 'Bugs' had to battle it out with fellow Snapper team members such as Thomas Carvalho and Kai Tandler, and lone Sunshine Coaster Alister Reginato of Alexandra Headland.
"I started off with a 6am, then got a 7am, but for the last eight minutes I was kinda freaking out having second priority with Thomas only needing a 6.00,” Bartholomew said.
But on the final siren, it was Bartholomew who held his own to take the win. He was on fire throughout the day demonstrating an impressive combination of powerful rail work and electric fast snaps to claim a heat topping 7.10 to hold off the field.
"I've been doing a heap of training at the High Performance Centre which has helped with style and technique and really perfecting every manoeuvre. I'm off to the World Titles next week so this was a great warm up,” he said.
Fortunately, Bartholomew will have just enough time to be able to return from the WISA Juniors to go into the final stop of the Queensland State Junior series from October 7-8 on the Sunshine Coast as one of the favourites. And hopefully become a new world junior champion.
Snapper's Piper Harrison, fresh from taking out the 2017 Queensland Open Women's state title, gave an outstanding performance to take out the under-18 girls final. With some huge forehand hacks on the prevailing right-handers on offer, Harrison earned herself a heat-topping 8.67 (out of a possible 10.00) and with a 7.17 also up her sleeve, she put the field of contenders in a combination situation, where each surfer was left needing more than a perfect 10.00 ride to take the lead.
"The waves were super fun, there were some good double-ups coming through,” Harrison said.
"I'd love to be Queensland champ again this year but all the girls were ripping, so we'll just have to wait and see.”
The Under 16 Boy's final was a close battle that came down to the wire with Josh Grange of Burleigh Heads taking top honours, and will now go into event two on the Sunshine Coast at the top of the series leader board.
In the Under 16 Girl's final, another Snapper Team member Raya Campbell continued her recent hot streak to claim victory over Holly Williams (Buddina, Qld), Shaye Leeuwendal (Currumbin, Qld) and Ellia Smith (Coolum Beach, Qld). Campbell was one of the stand outs of the weekend and has well and truly proved herself to be one of the best junior surfers in the state.
The winners of the 2017 Woolworths Queensland Junior Titles presented by World Surfaris in the Under 18 Boy's and Under 18 Girl's divisions will receive the opportunity to surf against the world's best at the 2018 World Surf League Championship Tour Quiksilver and Roxy Pro trials at Snapper Rocks.
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