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Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Juniors Down To Final Six

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MANLY BEACH, Sydney, NSW/AUS (Sunday, February 7, 2015) – The Hurley Australian Open of Surfing World Surf League (WSL) men’s and women’s junior divisions started with a field of over 100 exciting up-and-coming surfers and today that was culled to just six. The women’s event ran through three rounds of competition two decide the two Finalists while the men’s four Semifinalists were locked in.

Kanoa Igarashi (USA) put on a clinical display in his Quarterfinal win over fellow event standout Jordy Lawler (North Narrabeen, NSW/AUS). Igarashi linked explosive turns together seemingly with ease in the difficult conditions and clocked a massive two-wave heat total of 17.75 (out of a possible 20).

“This is probably the best board I’ve ever had!” Igarashi said. “I got it made in a rush right before I came here and Channel Islands were able to do some magic for me. The last couple of days has been a great warm up for the QS6000, but the Juniors is a big event too — full of amazing surfers so I’m super excited to be into Semis.”

Jacob Willcox (Margaret River, WA/AUS), reigning Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Pro Junior champion posted an impressive come from behind victory in his Quarterfinal clash against Hawaiian Joshua Moniz. Willcox was left chasing a solid score after Moniz landed some early aerials to post some mid-range scores. In the last two minutes Willcox posted an 8.50, the highest single wave score of the heat to steal the win and book a spot in the Semifinals.

“It’s great to have priority in the Finals because you don’t need to worry about hassling for waves,” Willcox said. “As soon as Josh (Moniz) let priority go near the end I knew I was still in with a chance. I remember this day last year — I was thinking how good it would be to be one of the last four guys in the event. It’s been a massive day, I’ve surfed three heats so I’m pretty tired, but I’m really happy.”

Isabella Nichols powering through to her first ever WSL Junior Final. Credit: WSL/Will H-S

Isabella Nichols (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS) took out the reigning World Junior Champion Mahina Maeda (HAW) in an exciting Semifinal match-up. Nichols and Maeda have both been in great form so far at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing, but it was Nichols who struck when it counted most — advancing to a WSL Junior Tour Final for her first time.

“That was my first ever pro junior Semi, so to now be in the Final feels amazing,” Nichols said. “The surf today is what my home break is like all the time, so I felt really comfortable out there. I just tried to wait for the big ones and do some turns — it can be hard work, but it’s worth it now to be in the Final.

Macy Callaghan (Avoca, NSW/AUS) also advanced into the Final and will take on Nichols in the coming days.

Noosa’s Harry Bryant also advanced into the Semifinals today. Credit: WSL/Will H-S

The Qualifying Series (QS) Men’s and Women’s QS6000 divisions will start on Monday and will see a week of non-stop action at Manly Beach. The action won’t be confined to the water with skateboarding demos and competitions, music concerts, art displays and more.

More info www.AustralianOpenofSurfing.com

The 2015 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing, owned and operated by IMG, will run from 7 – 15 February. The nine day, one-of-a-kind festival will bring together some of the world’s top athletes in surfing and skateboarding combined with two days of live concerts on the Channel [V] music stage, art/photo installations and interactive sponsor displays – all taking place on iconic Manly Beach, Sydney
All events are free and open to the public. Live webcast can be viewed at www.australianopenofsurfing.com. The surfing event will be broadcast live on FOX Sports at the following times:
Friday Feb 13 – 0730 – 1600 – Fox Sports 2
Saturday Feb 14 – 0730 – 1430 – Fox Sports 4
Sunday Feb 15 – 0730 – 1600 – Fox Sports 4
It will also be broadcast internationally via a highlights show, bringing all the action to over 110 countries across the globe.
The essence of Hurley is based on our love of the ocean and its constant state of change.  With deep roots in beach culture, we are all about inclusion and positivity. Our brand was started with the idea of facilitating the dreams of the youth.  Music and art are the common threads that bring us all together.  We are passionate about freedom of expression and the individual voice.  We place a premium on smiles.  Welcome to our world, imagine the possibilities  http://www.hurleyau.com
Or  http://facebook.com/HurleyAus
Destination NSW is the lead NSW Government agency for tourism and major events sectors. The NSW Government, through Destination NSW, assisted with securing the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing for Manly in 2015.

The role of Destination NSW is to market Sydney and NSW as one of the world’s premier tourism and major events destinations; to secure major sporting and cultural events; to work in partnership with Business Events Sydney to win major international conventions and incentive travel reward programs; to develop and deliver initiatives that will drive visitor growth throughout the State; and to achieve the NSW Government’s goal of doubling expenditure within the State’s visitor economy by 2020.

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