The inaugural Powerade Junior Pro presented by Cloudbreak has been an awesome surfing event in Fiji. Competitors travelled fro Samoa, Vanuatu, New Zealand and Australia to be part of this historic event. They contested the 18 and under boys and girls as well as the 16 and under boys and girls. The surfing comp was held at Sigatoka Sand Dunes, Kulukulu.
Designed to challenge the Fijian juniors against an international field proved very successful with many local surfers outpointing their international rivals.
Over the 2 days conditions proved testing as the 1.5m swell was blown around by a 20-knot sideshore wind. The faces were clean though and the surfers ripped apart every section they could attack.
The strong Vanuatu team surfed extremely well and showed good discipline in every heat. With an organised team support of coach, manager and judge the surfers demonstrated a high level of skill and contest strategy.
Samoa’s team were also there to impress with some fast flaring surfing that caught the judge’s eye to receive strong scores consistently. Likewise New Zealand came prepared to perform and right from the start showed their opponents they would be hard to beat.
Australian surfers Sam and Holly Williams carried their countries hopes and performed exceptionally. Sam received a perfect 10 in his semi for an amazing deep barrel whist Holly scored a 9 for two critical backhand snaps.
Fiji wasn’t intimidated though and surfers like Jimmy Tomeru, Api, John Vasea Rae, Kalani Wakeham, Kesha Wakeham and Filo Ann showed their own impressive skills. Fijian coach Inia Nakalevu had the Fijians performing at their best.
In the end the results were;
18 and under boys – 1st Sam Williams Aus., 2nd Jesso Kalotiti Vanuatu, 3rd Jimmy Tomeru Fiji and 4th Palei Martin Samoa
18 and under girls – 1st Holly Williams Aus., 2nd Serah John Vanuatu and 3rd Filo Ann Fiji
16 and under boys – 1st Sam Williams Aus., 2nd Roger Taleo Vanuatu, Chris Martin Samoa and 4th Palei Martin Samoa
16 and under girls – 1st Holly Williams Aus., 2nd Kea Smith NZ, 3rd Kesha Wakeham Fiji and 4th Linieta Bokadi Fiji
A special award was given to John Vasea Rae and Kesha Wakeham for being the highest placed Fijians. They won the trip to the Ocean Performance Centre on the Sunshine Coast courtesy of FIT College, Pivot Point Fiji and OPC (Ocean Performance Centre). The pair will get to train there for 7 days under the watchful eye of elite surf coaches. Inia Nakalevu will accompany them and gain valuable mentoring that will be put into good use back in Fiji.
The Fiji Surfing Association wishes to that its generous sponsors – Coke Cola, Fiji National Sports Commission, Cloudbreak, FIT College, Pivot Point Fiji, Ocean Performance Centre and Fiji Surf Co. Your support was much appreciated by all.
Ian “Porto” Portingale
Fiji Surfing Association