First Eliminations Take Place in Women’s Round Two at 2017 Jeep World Junior Championship

Kiama, NSW/AUS (Friday, January 5, 2018) - A quickly fading swell at Bombo Beach on Day 2 of the 2017 Jeep World Junior Championship forced a short day of competition and the completion of Women’s Round Two. Although conditions were deteriorating, the action was intense with the first eliminations of the event taking place in super clean 2 foot waves.
At only 14-years of age, North American 2017 Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) champion Alyssa Spencer (USA) kept her dream alive by taking out her do-or-die Round 2 heat against Sophie Bell (ZAF). Spencer put on an electric performance over the duration of the heat, which peaked with her notching up a near perfect 9.50 wave score (the equal highest of the event so far) for three giant frontside turns that left Bell chasing a combination of scores to take the lead. Spencer will make her next appearance in the third round.

“The waves were definitely slow out there, but fortunately I got lucky with that 9.50,” said Spencer. “I actually expected the swell to drop a more than this, so this was a really good surprise. That good wave looked like it was going to have a decent wall on it, but after I did my first turn I thought it would just be a closeout, but it held up perfectly and kept going.”

Fellow 14-year old Zahli Kelly (AUS) followed a similar trajectory to Spencer, claiming her Round 2 heat against Kayla Nogueira (ZAF). Kelly flew through a variety of tricky sections on her backhand to post an 11.16 heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to claim the win. Kelly attributed the victory to the similar conditions she surfs on the far north coast of NSW

“I’m stoked to get through that. I was actually hoping today may have been a lay day, but it was fun considering how small it was,” said Kelly. “I get similar waves to this regularly, so I felt comfortable out there. I’m not really feeling too much pressure in this event, I’ll just keep taking it one heat at a time and hopefully, I can get to the semi-finals or higher.”

Young Australian hopeful Alyssa Lock (AUS) stayed busy in her Round Two match-up with Peruvian Sol Aguirre (PER), catching eight waves to Aquirre’s three. The busy approach paid off with Lock finding a two-wave total of 10.97 for a couple of long lefts which allowed the goofy foot to open up on her front side.

“I had a really close heat yesterday so it was nice to come back and get a win today,” Lock said. “It is pretty small and weak today but it has been like that for the last few weeks at home so I feel pretty ready for anything. I’m stoked to make it into Round Three at my first WJC. It looks like there are some more waves on the way so I hope we score in the coming days.”

Other Round Two Heat winners included Summer Macedo (HAW) Taina Hinckel (BRA) and Kirra Pinkerton (USA) who posted the highest heat total of Round Two with a 15.84 two-wave combination Pinkerton narrowly overcome Sara Wakita (JPN) from Japan in an exciting Round Two match-up.

“When she got a wave right at the end I couldn’t believe it,” Pinkerton said. “I was so nervous waiting for the score to come through as I have had a few close losses recently. I’m just stoked to make it through such a tough heat like that.”

The 2017 WSL Jeep World Junior Championship will be held from January 4 - 12, 2018. For more information, highlights and images, head to www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.

2017 WSL Jeep World Junior Championships Women's Round Two Results:

Heat 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 16.00 def. Sophie Bell (ZAF) 4.63
Heat 2: Zahli Kelly (AUS) 11.16 def. Kayla Nogueira (ZAF) 7.27
Heat 3: Summer Macedo (HAW) 14.26 def. Ellie Turner (GBR) 9.30
Heat 4: Alyssa Lock (AUS) 10.60 def. Sol Aguirre (PER) 8.33
Heat 5: Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 15.84 def. Sara Wakita (JPN) 15.67
Heat 6: Shino Matsuda (JPN) 11.93 def. Taina Hinckel (BRA) 9.27

2017 WSL Jeep World Junior Championships Men's Round Two Match-Ups:

Heat 1: Finn McGill (HAW) vs. Kauli Vaast (FRA)
Heat 2: Rio Waida (IDN) vs. Jhonny Guerrero Yauri (PER)
Heat 3: Reef Heazlewood (AUS) vs. Ocean Macedo (HAW)
Heat 4: John Mel (USA) vs. Keanu Kamiyama (JPN)
Heat 5: Yuji Nishi (JPN) vs. Marco Mignot (FRA)
Heat 6: Joao Chianca (BRA) vs. Theo Julitte (FRA)
Heat 7: Cole Houshmand (USA) vs. Yuri Ogasawara (JPN)
Heat 8: Joshe Faulkner (ZAF) vs. Max Elkington (ZAF)
Heat 9: Tyler Gunter (USA) vs. Eli Hanneman (HAW)
Heat 10: Ryland Rubens (USA) vs. Ford Van Jaarsveldt (ZAF)
Heat 11: Mikey McDonagh (AUS) vs. Lucas Wrice (AUS)
Heat 12: Adin Masencamp (ZAF) vs. Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL)