Running from January 4th through January12th, 2017, the World Surf League World Junior Championship was a picture perfect professional surfing competition showcasing the remarkable talents of the younger age groups in the WSL. Sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the notion that only older and adult age surfing professionals can actually compete at an elite skill level, but the reality is much different in the sense that in a competition like the 2016 WSL World Junior Championship it becomes obvious that sometimes it is the Junior level pros that can be most creative and innovative in their surfing style.
On occasion, some of the most profound lines and innovations in surfing come about in the younger age group elite level surfers in competitions exactly like the 2017 World Junior Championship. This year’s WSL World Junior Championship contest was held at a location down under, in the country of Australia. Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, to be more specific, where the waves were hitting big and the potential for shark attacks is among the highest of any surf location anywhere on earth. Many people who know anything about the world of surfing know that many surf spots in Australia have a relatively high potential for shark encounter, and this constant aspect definitely adds a kind of edge to Australia-based surf competitions sometimes.
Doing quite well on the home turf and successfully representing their homeland, Australian-native and junior World Surf League surfer Ethan Ewing had a simply fantastic performance out in the breaks at Kiama, NSW, Australia. As a result of his impressive and nearly flawless performance at Kiama and the 2017 WSL World Junior Championship, Ethan Ewing took home the first place victory. Given that the 2017 WSL competitive season is just now beginning, and also considering the prestigious and high profile nature of the World Junior Championship event in general, Ethan Ewing stands to receive a significant boost to his overall career positioning at the present time.
Additionally, Ethan Ewing’s rankings in the context of the WSL Junior division have received a substantial improvement as a result of his first place victory at Kiama. With the weather cooperating for the most part, and the waves breaking in excellent formation at Kiama, the 2017 WSL World Junior Championship is definitely an event worth reviewing if you missed out on it. To benefit those surfing fans who have not yet gotten any information about this awesome WSL contest in Australia, the final results and event overview will now be shared below.
The quarterfinals at the 2017 World Junior Championship contest saw some really intense competition between the four heat matchups, with three out of four wave score averages coming in at over 6.00 points. Starting out with the Heat 1, Quarterfinals matchup, there was an effectively placed contest between surfers C. Young and M. Herdy that resulted in scoring margins that represented the second closest margin in the quarterfinals. C. Young was able to take the first place position within Heat 1, Quarterfinals after giving a solid performance that earned him a 12.74 point scoring value.
Young was able to maximize his speed on the Kiama breaks, allowing him to execute some really intense, quick snaps and cutbacks that helped to boost his scoring total in the quarterfinals. C. Young definitely deserved to take the first place slot in Heat 1, Quarterfinals, which he was able to do over his heat competitor M. Herdy. Herdy was able to perform well in the first heat of the quarterfinals, although he was likely somewhat disappointed considering that he lost to Young by less than a one-point margin. In spite of taking the second place slot in Heat 1, Quarterfinals, M. Herdy still had a strong heat coming in with an 11.83 point scoring total. With an average wave score of 6.14 points in the first heat of the quarterfinals, both Young and Herdy exhibited high level surfing at Kiama.
Heading into the second heat of the quarterfinals we got to see a matchup between E. Ewing and J. Maree. While this was another fun-to-watch heat contest, it did not exactly offer judges and spectators the close contest that heats one and three in the quarterfinals had to offer. Heat 2, Quarterfinals saw E. Ewing more or less dominating the field, as he was able to bring in a heat scoring total of 14.76 points, which was the single highest surfer scoring total in the quarterfinals by a margin of over one whole point.
Ewing was able to soundly defeat his heat matchup, J. Maree, by a margin of more than four whole points, which was essentially a blowout compared to other margins in the quarterfinals. Maree came in with a 10.67 point scoring total, and while his performance was not necessarily bad by any means, he was definitely not surfing on the level that E. Ewing was able to pull off at Kiama, NSW, Australia. The average wave score in Heat 2, Quarterfinals came out at 6.36, though it would have been a lot higher if J. Maree had been able to keep up with Ewing’s phenomenal second heat performance.
Although Heat 3, Quarterfinals saw the highest average wave scoring, it is hard to say that any competitor in the quarterfinals out-surfed E. Ewing. The third quarterfinal heat put together one of the more exciting matchups of the 2017 World Junior Championship at Kiama, NSW, Australia between F. McGill and R. Heazlewood, and these two competitors could have hardly been placed into a better competitive matchup. The reason that their matchup was so awesome, and one of the most exciting ones in the entire competition, was that both McGill and Heazlewood were surfing on such a closely paired skill and intensity level at Kiama.
Some solid evidence for this claim comes down to the fact that there was only half a point separating their heat scores at the conclusion of Heat 3, Quarterfinals, and that their averages were so close together in terms of scoring values. F. McGill finished out the third quarterfinal heat with a scoring total of 13.35, compared to Heazlewood’s third heat score of 13.00 points flat. Both surfers seemed to thrive on the fast-moving and steep breaks at Kiama, NSW, Australia, as they surfed without any hesitation or trepidation through the lines they executed in the third quarterfinal heat. McGill was able to seal the deal over Heazlewood mostly due to the reality that his stylistic prowess was superior to McGill’s, and his ability to clear the lip of the wave on his cutbacks but him half a point over Heazlewood.
Heat 4, Quarterfinals did end up seeing the lowest scoring totals on average within the overall quarterfinal progression of the 2017 World Junior Championship, but that is not to say the surfers in heat four didn’t put on a great show for the fans and judges all the same. The fourth quarterfinal heat put together a matchup between professional surfers G. Colapinto and C. Allan. Colapinto had a strong performance and bested C. Allan by a decent margin of nearly two whole points, finishing out the fourth quarterfinal heat with a heat scoring total of 12.67 points overall. Colapinto’s first place heat finish was really important for his progression in the 2017 World Junior Championship, and allowed him to advance into the semifinals.
At second place in the quarterfinals was C. Allan, who finished out his fourth heat performance with a scoring total of 10.84 points. Although at 10.84 points C. Allan had one of the lowest totals in the quarterfinals, he still was able to surf with style and intensity, but he was not able to integrate enough technical maneuvering into his lines that he would have needed to overtake G. Colapinto’s scoring total. With an average wave score of 5.88 points, the fourth quarterfinal heat was the lowest average scoring heat in the quarterfinal round in spite of the Heat 4, Quarterfinals competitors putting together a solid string of waves at Kiama, NSW, Australia for the 2017 World Junior Championship as part of the World Surf League 2017 season.
Heading into the semifinals of the 2017 World Junior Championship at Kiama, NSW, Australia, only four competitors remained in the competition. These four competitors included Ethan Ewing, Cody Young, Griffin Colapinto, and Finn McGill. Starting out with the first heat in the semifinals, we got to see an exciting matchup between Ethan Ewing and Cody Young that yielded a close outcome. Heat 1, Semifinals saw another strong performance from Ewing, as he was able to finish out the heat with a scoring total of 12.70 points. Ewing’s Wave 1 scoring came in at 6.50 points, and his Wave 2 scoring came in at 6.20, so in all respects he was surfing with a high degree of consistency throughout the progression of the 2017 World Junior Championship at Kiama.
Ewing was simply able to out-surf Hawaiian surfer Cody Young in the first semifinal heat, defeating him by over two whole points. Cody Young finished out the first semifinal heat with a scoring value of 10.63 points, and although he was soundly defeated by Ewing, he also maintained a strong degree of consistency in the semifinals. This is evidenced by Young’s consistent wave scoring, with a Wave 1 score of 5.50 and a Wave 2 score of 5.13 points. The average wave score of 5.83 points in Heat 1, Semifinals was the lowest in the semifinals by a margin of about 0.25 points. In spite of Cody Young’s strong effort in the pounding Kiama lineup, Ewing was on a roll that Cody was unable to overcome.
Heat 2, Semifinals saw an absolutely commanding performance from United States professional surfer Griffin Colapinto, who was able to secure one of the only nine-club scores of the entire event. Colapinto was matched up against Hawaiian surfer Finn McGill in the second semifinal heat, and Colapinto was able to defeat McGill by a remarkably large points margin of nearly eight points! Colapinto was on his game in a major way, with a Wave 1 scoring of 6.00 points, and a Wave 2 scoring of 9.60 points by the end of the semifinals. This totaled out to 15.60 points in all for Colapinto’s comprehensive semifinals scoring in the 2017 World Junior Championship.
Hawaiian surfer Finn McGill simply could not keep up with Colapinto’s dominating semifinal round surfing performance, with McGill bringing in a total overall scoring of 8.74 points in Heat 2, Semifinals. McGill’s Wave 1 scoring came in at 4.17 points, and his Wave 2 scoring came in at 4.57 points. In this light it is clear that Finn McGill was surfing consistently in the second semifinal heat against Griffin Colapinto, but he simply was unable to incorporate enough technical surfing into his lines to boost his scores up. The average wave score in the second semifinals heat came in at 6.09 points, which was the highest average in the semifinals.
Judging by Griffin Colapinto’s outstanding, dominating semifinals performance, it was easy to predict that he would take the victory as a result of his final round surfing. This did not happen though, unfortunately for Colapinto, and in fact he endured a terrible upset and was blown out of the water by Australian surfing professional Ethan Ewing who took the first place victory. Ewing began his final round performance with a Wave 1 scoring of 6.17 points, in keeping with his average scoring ranges over the entire duration of the 2017 World Junior Championship. Ewing’s Wave 2 performance saw a slight decrease from his averages, as he came in with a 5.17 point score after Wave 2 scoring completed. Ethan Ewing managed to receive an 11.34 point final score at the conclusion of the final round, which ended up defeating Colapinto by nearly ten points.
Griffin Colapinto endured an awful upset and a painful defeat at the conclusion of the 2017 World Junior Championship, with his Wave 1 scoring coming in at 1.00 and his Wave 2 scoring coming in at 0.97 points. Colapinto ended up choking really badly at the conclusion of the event at Kiama, NSW, Australia, and he simply could not get his act together in the finals. It was definitely a disappointing conclusion for Colapinto, who ended up dealing with a final scoring total of only 1.97 points at this World Surf League junior championship competition. As a result of Griffin Colapinto’s failure in the finals, the average wave scoring in the final round was only 3.33 points overall.