NORTH CRONULLA BEACH, SYDNEY (Sunday, May 1 2016): Competitors in the final Subway® Surf Series Pro Junior for 2016, battled through a day of minuscule waves at North Cronulla as Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW) claimed the World Surf League (WSL) Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) title, as well as the Womens event division, while Kehu Butler (NZL) took the win in the Mens division.
Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW) put the icing on the cake in what has been a stellar beginning to 2016, claiming the WSL Australian JQS Championship, as well as her fifth Pro Junior event for the year. In a wave-starved final, Callaghan managed to make the most of the limited opportunities, posting a nine-point ride, which left fellow finalist Kobie Enright (Tweed Heads, NSW) chasing an elusive 7.51 wave score that never eventuated. As a result, Macy also earned her position into the upcoming World Junior Titles.
“My biggest goal this year was to win the JQS series and a few Pro Junior events, so I’m happy that I achieved them,” said Callaghan. “It’s a bit of a bummer that the waves dropped so much by the finals, but my Dad just told me to get whatever I could and fortunately I got that nine-point ride. This whole series has given me the best platform to go onto the Qualifying Series next year and to have my name on the same list as some of my heroes is a great feeling.”
After bagging a handful of impressive results over the course of the 2016 WSL Australasian JQS Series, Kobie Enright (Tweed Heads, NSW) finished her year with a runner-up result. After posting a series of impressive results over the course of the event, the far north coast surfer was unable to find any score of substance in the final and had to settle for second position behind Callaghan.
“I’m so stoked with the way this year all panned out. Last year wasn’t great for results, so I’m happy to get to a few finals over the course of this series,” said Enright. “When Macy got that nine-point ride, my confidence went down a bit and I was just unable to find anything decent, but I’m still super happy with the way it all panned out.”
Kehu Butler (NZL) made his trans-Tasman journey worthwhile taking out the Junior Mens division. The powerful natural-footer made light work of the weak conditions, executing a variety of technically sound arcs and snaps. After claiming victory in the final, Butler was greeted by family members who performed the traditional Maori haka dance in celebration of the win.
“I’m never going to forget this moment. Having my family on the beach doing the haka as I got carried up is something I’ll remember forever,” said Butler. “We have small, tricky waves that are similar to this at home, so I’ve been training a lot in conditions similar to this. My boards were dialled in really well and fortunately it all came together for me.”
Sandon Whittaker (Avoca, NSW) nearly completed the double header victory for the Central Coast, holding down the lead for a solid portion of the Junior Mens final, however was pipped by Butler who managed to find waves with better scoring potential. The runner-up finish is Whittaker’s best result to date in a Pro Junior event and puts him within striking distance of qualifying for the World Junior Titles.
“This is my first year doing the Pro Junior events , so to make the final is a pretty good feeling,” said Whittaker. “My goal at the beginning of the season was to get as many points as possible, but to make the final and now to potentially qualify for the World Juniors is a dream come true.”
The WSL sanctioned Subway® Pro Junior events, which includes 18 and under men’s and women’s divisions, form part of the 2016 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title, at the WSL World Junior Championships in early 2017.
The Subway® Surf Series is proudly supported by WSL, Surfing NSW, Surfing Australia and Billabong.
1 – Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW) – 12.00 heat total
2 – Kobie Enright (Tweed Heads, NSW) – 6.75 heat total
1 – Kehu Butler (NZL) – 11.60 heat total
2 – Sandon Whittaker (Avoca, NSW) – 9.40 heat total
SUBWAY® SURF SERIES EVENT CALENDAR – 2015/16:
SUBWAY® PRO JUNIORS
Gold Coast, QLD – January 19-20, 2016
Margaret River, WA – February 6, 2016
Avoca, NSW – February 13-14, 2016
Philip Island, VIC – March 5-6, 2016
Fleurieu Peninsula, SA – March 19-20, 2016
Wollongong, NSW – April 9-10, 2016
Cronulla, NSW – April 30 – 1st May, 2016