Finn McGill and Vahine Fierro take out 2017 Jeep World Junior Championship

UPDATED Thursday, January 11, 11.30am

Finn McGill (HAW) and Vahine Fierro (PYF) have taken out the 2017 WSL Men’s and Women’s Jeep World Junior Championship in Kiama NSW.

The final day saw 28 heats run and history made with bumpy three to four foot waves on offer at Bombo Beach.

Despite suffering an ankle injury and some incoming flight errors prior to the start of the Jeep World Junior Championship, Finn McGill managed to rise above to claim the coveted 2017 title.

Surfing against a blisteringly inform Joh Azuchi (JPN), McGill showed little signs of slowing down, putting together an electric performance to post two excellent wave scores, an 8.00 and an 8.90 to bring his accumulative total to 16.90.

McGill linked together a chain of giant backside turns in the final heat, which saw Azuchi requiring a combination of two-scores to take away McGill’s lead. 

“I can barely talk right now it hasn’t really sunk in just yet,” McGill said.

“After coming off an injury I wasn’t expecting too much of a result at this event. I was never feeling in much of a rhythm and seemed to just be sneaking through heats.

“It all changed in my Quarterfinal and all of a sudden I began to build and feel the flow. Then once I was in the Final I knew I had just one more heat to surf, so I knew I just had to wait for the good ones and surf them well.”

McGill was not only being willed by the energy at Bombo Beach but also by a friend at home who was recovering in hospital.

Former CT competitor and fellow Maui local Dusty Payne had a horror wipeout at Backdoor Pipeline yesterday and was at the forefront of McGill's thoughts as he went into Finals Day.

“Dusty is a surfer I have always looked up to and I was so rattled to hear what happened to him yesterday,” McGill said.

“He has been in my thoughts all day and was with me in every heat. I want to dedicate this win to him and I’m just so stoked he is okay. I can’t wait to get home and see him and know that he is still with us.” 

Vahine Fierro had a rocky road to the final that started in the middle of this season when she missed out on qualification by three spots. After an amazing showing in other regional Juniors, the young Tahitian was awarded a Wildcard into the WJC and didn’t let the opportunity go begging.

Fierro built on her performances through each round and saved her best performance until the final where she met good friend Summer Macedo.

Fierro took a commanding lead early with a 12.83 heat total awarded for a silky smooth approach in the trying conditions. Macedo failed to find a rhythm leaving Vahine to become the first ever WSL World Champion to come from Tahiti.

“This is such an amazing way to end my Junior career and kick off my 2018 season,” Fierro said.

“This is the first time I have been to the World Junior Championship and to win is so special, especially when I was so close to missing out on the event.

“Today was crazy with a lot of heats to surf but after a few lay days we were all so excited to surf which made it easier.

“That was my third Final with Summer which is so cool as we are great friends. I’m really speechless at the moment, I just can’t believe it.”

Joh Azuchi is no stranger to success, bagging himself an ISA under 16 World title earlier in 2017. The young natural-footer was on a tear at Bombo beach, posting big scores and lighting up the small difficult surf in each and every round and was a deserved finalist.

Unfortunately for Azuchi he came up against a rampaging Finn McGill who put him in a combination situation straight off the bat. Azuchi will leave Bombo with his head held high as he became the first ever Japanese competitor in a WSL World Junior Championship Final.

“I’m really really happy to have made it to the final,” Azuchi said.

“My goal coming into this event was to make the final which I did but to make it that far an not win is a bit disappointing.

“I have one more year in the junior division so my goal is to come back next year and go one step further.”

Jeep World Junior Championship Men's Final Results:

  • Heat 1: Finn McGill (HAW) 16.90 def. Joh Azucho (JPN) 11.00

Jeep World Junior Championship Women's Final Result

  • Heat 1: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 13.83 def. Summer Macedo (HAW) 6.36

Jeep World Junior Championship Men's Semifinal Results: 

  • Heat 1: Joh Azucho (JPN) 11.50 def. Yuji Nishi (JPN) 5.00 (interference)
  • Heat 2: Finn McGill (HAW) 11.17 def. Joao Chianca (BRA) 11.00
  • Jeep World Junior Championship Women's Semifinal Results:
  • Heat 1: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 11.67 def Taina Hinckel (BRA) 9.00
  • Heat 2: Summer Macedo (HAW) 9.17 def Minori Kawai (JPN) 7.53

Jeep World Junior Championship Men's Quarterfinal Results: 

  • Heat 1: Joh Azuchi (JPN) 10.17 def. Rio Waida (IDN) 6.56
  • Heat 2: Yuji Nishi (JPN) 9.67 def. Cody Young (HAW) 6.83 (interference)
  • Heat 3: Finn McGill (HAW) 16.03 def. Barron Mamiya 8.46
  • Heat 4: Joao Chianca (BRA) 13.54 def. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 13.07

Jeep World Junior Championship Women's Quarterfinal Results:

  • Heat 1: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 12:00 def. Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 8.10
  • Heat 2: Taina Hinckel (BRA) 9.93 def. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 9.30
  • Heat 3: Minori Kawai (JPN) 12.00 def.  Zahli Kelly (AUS) 8.83
  • Heat 4: Summer Macedo (HAW) 13.74 def. Zoe McDougall (HAW) 9.33

LAY DAY: A Lay day has been called on Day 6 of the waiting period at the 2017 Jeep World Junior Championship in Kiama.

Cody Young. Credit: World Surf League

Small surf has continued on Australia's East coast but an increase is expected throughout today and into tomorrow.

"Unfortunately, the swell is still tiny today and there just isn't enough on offer to run heats," WSL Contest Director Will Hayden-Smith said.

"We are expecting an increase tomorrow so will hope to resume competition first thing in the morning.

“We are getting to the pointy end of the event and want to make sure we allow competitors the best opportunity in the best waves we can get during the event window.

“This is the most important event of these competitors lives so we want to make the right call by them and it's really exciting to know that we will have the Men's and Women's World Junior Champions for 2017 decided by week's end." 

When competition resumes title hopeful Finn McGill (HAW) takes on fellow Hawaiian Ocean Macedo (HAW) in Heat 7 of Men's Round 3. 

Brazilian Samuel Pupo (BRA) will take on Jake Elkington (ZAF) from South Africa in Heat 10 of Men's Round 3. 

Reigning Women's World Junior Champion Macy Callaghan (AUS) will come up against fellow Australian Alyssa Lock (AUS) and American hopeful Kirra Pinkerton (USA) in Heat 2 of Round 3.

ROUND 3: It’s been another exciting day of action at Bombo Beach for Day 5 of the 2017 Jeep World Junior Championship. With small clean conditions continuing, event organisers were able to complete Men’s Round Two and six heats of Men’s Round 3 in the two to three foot waves before the high tide swallowed the remaining surf. 

Mateus Herdy (BRA) burst onto the scene at last year’s World Junior Championship with an equal fifth place in his maiden appearance. The progressive young Brazilian has been turning heads with his super fast aerial attack and looked to dominate into today’s smaller conditions.

That was until South African Adin Masencamp (ZAF) decided to rain on his parade, finding a gem of a left and posting an excellent 8.33 (out of a possible 10). Herdy scoured the lineup looking for an answer, but it was to no avail as Masencamp went on to win with a two-wave total of 14.33 (out of a possible 20).

“I feel like Mateus and I are a closer match if the waves are a bit bigger but thought he might have an edge in the smaller waves today,” Masencamp said.

“I knew he would bring his air game but I just focused on my strengths and it paid off. I surfed earlier and was really familiar with where to sit, so that definitely helped me through what was always going to be a hard heat.” 

Heat 5 of Round 3 saw a battle of the goofy-foots with Cole Houshmand (USA) take on Sandon Whittaker (AUS). The two revelled in the reeling left-handers with Houshmand holding the upper hand for the majority of the heat.

With only 5 minutes left Whittaker found one of the bigger waves of the heat and went to work, posting a heat total of 14.00 to take the win from Houshmand and move into Round Four.

“It is a little slow out there but when the waves come they are really fun,” Whittaker said.

“We have had a couple of days off which has been fun to test boards and hang out here in Kiama. It’s a beautiful place and has so many fun waves.

“It was good to get competition back on today and I’m stoked to have made it into Round Four. It’s a great atmosphere with all of the Aussies getting behind one and other.” 

Jeep World Junior Championship Men’s top seed Cody Young (HAW) was excited to hit the water against Erwan Blouin (FRA). A few days off showed how excited the pair were to return to the water, catching a total of 21 waves in the 30-minute heat.

Young had the Frenchman on the ropes for the entire heat posting a 12.83 heat total to move closer to the pointy end of the draw while Blouin is eliminated in equal thirteenth place.

“That was a slow heat but I’ really glad we ran because I was super pumped to compete today,” Young said.

“These smaller conditions are definitely not my strong suit but I just worked hard on staying positive which is really important on days like today.” 

The opening heat of the day saw a much-anticipated battle between local ripper Lucas Wrice (AUS) and Lennox Head’s Mikey McDonagh (AUS). The two good friends left their mateship on the beach and got to work in the small clean conditions.

McDonagh built slowly through the heat consistently upping his wave scores to eventually win with a heat total of 13.27. Wrice was eliminated in equal 25th place. 

“It’s been a really whirlwind few days,” McDonagh said.

“I thought I was going to surf yesterday morning then we went on hold then in the afternoon we went off so I feel like I’ve been in the zone preparing for this heat for days.

“It was tough coming up against my good friend Lucas Wrice in that heat, you always prefer to have those heats later in the event. At the end of the day we are here to win heats so friendships are left on the beach.

“I’m enjoying my time here in Kiama, it’s really relaxing and reminds me of home (Lennox Head) which is super comforting.” 

Indonesia’s Rio Waida (IDN) continued his great run in Kiama posting another heat win and progressing into Round 4. He will join other Round 3 winners Yuji Nishi (JPN) and Joh Azuchi (JPN) in Round 4 when competition resumes.

Men's Round 3 Results Heats 1-6: 

  • Heat 1: Rio Waida (IDN) 15.10 def. Leo Paul Etiene (FRA) 14.26
  • Heat 2: Yuji Nishi (JPN) 14.97 def. Momoto Tsuzuki (JPN) 14.27
  • Heat 3: Adin Masencamp (ZAF) 14.33 def. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 11.57
  • Heat 4: Joh Azuchi (JPN) 12.73 def. Ryland Rubens (USA) 11.80 
  • Heat 5: Sandon Whittaker (AUS) 14.00 def. Cole Houshmand (USA) 13.30
  • Heat 6: Cody Young (HAW) 12.83 def. Erwan Blouin (FRA) 7.23

ROUND 2: Competition resumed on day four of the 2017 Jeep World Junior Championship in Kiama and the action didn’t disappoint with big performances and even bigger upsets going down in fun two to three foot surf at Bombo Beach.

With a building North swell throughout the day, contest directors were able to complete Men’s 10 heats of Round Two until strong winds forced an early finish on day four of the waiting period. 

In what was one of the most heavily anticipated matchups of the event thus far, Australia/Oceania 2017 Junior QS Champion Reef Heazlewood (AUS) came up against good friend and roommate, Ocean Macedo (HAW) in Heat 3 of Round 2.

In 30 explosive minutes of action, Macedo and Heazlewood went toe-to-toe, boosting huge air-reverses and giant snaps in an attempt to move through to the third round.

When the heat boiled down, Macedo was able to claim the win by a 0.5 margin in what is surely the most bittersweet victories of his young career.

Heazlewood was unlucky with his 15.90 heat total (out of a possible 20) coming in at the second highest of the day to Macedo’s 16.40, meaning he would have won any other heat.

“That was definitely bittersweet, but it feels great to take that one out,” Macedo said.

“The dynamic in the house Reef and I are staying at was a little tense over the last few days, but nothing too bad. Reef is such a cool guy, that I think that this is just one of the things that’s best left in the water. To get into the third round is a giant relief though.”

The first heat of the day looked like getting off to a false start as Finn McGill (HAW) and Kauli Vaast (FRA) traded a handful of low scoring waves.

McGill and Vaast both shared moments where they appeared to gain the upper hand, however, McGill managed to get the edge thanks to a respectable 4.63 wave score that propelled him in front of Vaast by a 0.26 margin and cemented his spot in Round 3.

“That heat was a nailbiter for sure,” McGill said.

“I just tried to get myself on the best wave of the heat because I knew that’s how I could get ahead of Kauli. I’m one of the most amped people ever, so even though the waves were small, I was so excited to surf the heat. In saying that, I got really nervous in the last moments of that heat and had to tell myself to just calm down and relax.

“I’m stoked it worked.”

Japanese competitor Yuji Nishi (JPN) had the tough task of taking on Frenchman Marco Mignot (FRA) in Heat 5 of Round 2.

Mignot struggled to find his feet falling on a number of air attempts while Nishi strategically waited for the rare set waves. Nishi unleashed on his backhand to post a solid heat total of 15.00 and progress into Round Three while Mignot was sent packing in equal 25th place.

“That was a really intense heat,” Nishi said.

“Marco was catching a lot of waves an I wasn’t sure if I should do the same. Luckily waiting paid off and I scored a couple of the bigger waves of the day. I’m having an awesome time here in Australia and just want to  keep making heats.”

Heat 8 of Men’s Round Three was an all South African showdown as Joshe Faulkner (ZAF)took on compatriot Max Elkington (ZAF).

The good friends traded blows throughout the heat, utilising lefts and rights to post their respective scores.

In the end, it was Faulkner’s smooth drawn out backhand that saw him progress with a two-wave total of 10.90. Faulkner admitted although it was a heated battle in the water, their friendship comes before heat results.

“We are super good friends and have been for a long time but that is all left on the beach when we are competing against one and other,” Faulkner said.

“It is tough coming up against a good friend but we are here to win so that is all I focused on during the heat. It was a shame to come up against one and other this early in the comp in tough conditions like this but that is surfing I guess.

“I’m stoked to be into Round Three and am excited to get back out there for my next heat.”

Following a less than stellar year in on the 2017 Australia/Oceania Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), Rio Waida (IND) shifted his focus to the Qualifying Series (QS) where he was able to get to 96th on the rankings.

As a result, Waida was awarded a wildcard into the World Junior Championship, which he proceeded to take full advantage of in his Round 2 heat when he took down Peruvian Jhonny Guerrero (PER).

Waida threw down an array of impressive backside snaps as well as one critical air-reverse to get the edge over Guerrero with a heat total of 14.57.

“I worked pretty hard in the juniors at the beginning of 2017, but I didn’t have the best results,” Waida said.

“I started thinking that if I can get into a good enough spot on the QS then I might still be able to get into this event. Fortunately, it worked and now I just want to go out there and have fun.”

After the heats were put on hold over the high tide, competition kicked back off with two highly regarded juniors in Tyler Gunter (USA) and Eli Hanneman (HAW) going head-to-head.

The small windblown conditions put Hanneman in favour on paper but Gunter had other ideas posting a two-wave total of 12.90 to take the lead.

Hanneman was left chasing a solid 8.54 point ride but was unable to get into a rhythm leaving Gunter to progress into Round 3.

“I was about to paddle out for my heat earlier today and there wasn’t much happening so I’m stoked we went on hold,” Gunter said.

“There is a lot more energy in the ocean now so it was definitely the right choice. Eli (Hanneman) is such an amazing surfer and at only 15 years of age, I’m sure he will dominate this event in the years to come. I’m really enjoying it here and am pumped to be in Round 3.” 

The final heat of the day saw WSL America JQS winner Ryland Rubens (USA) overcome Ford Van Jaarsveldt (ZAF) in quickly deteriorating conditions. In what became the final heat of the day, Rubens ran way with the win posting a two-wave total of 13.60 to progress into Round 3.

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

  • Heat 1: Finn McGill (HAW) 10.63 def. Kauli Vaast (FRA) 10.37
  • Heat 2: Rio Waida (IDN) 14.57 def. Jhonny Guerrero Yauri (PER) 11.83
  • Heat 3: Ocean Macedo (HAW) 16.40 def. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 15.90
  • Heat 4: Keanu Kamiyama (JPN) 11.53 def.  John Mel (USA) 10.03
  • Heat 5: Yuji Nishi (JPN) 15.00 def.  Marco Mignot (FRA) 12.40
  • Heat 6: Joao Chianca (BRA) 14.10 def. Theo Juliette (FRA) 13.27
  • Heat 7: Cole Houshmand (USA) 12.27 def. Yuri Ogasawara (JPN) 10.57
  • Heat 8: Joshe Faulkner (ZAF) 10.90 def. Max Elkington (ZAF) 9.03
  • Heat 9: Tyler Gunter (USA) 12.90 def.  Eli Hanneman (HAW) 8.50
  • Heat 10: Ryland Rubens (USA) 13.60 def.  Ford Van Jaarsveldt (ZAF) 5.70
  • Heat 11: Mikey McDonagh (AUS) vs. Lucas Wrice (AUS) 
  • Heat 12: Adin Masencamp (ZAF) vs. Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) 

SATURDAY: A lay day has been called at Bombo due to small surf conditions.

With three days of competition left, and seven days left in the window, event organisers are going to wait for the best conditions on offer so will reconvene tomorrow morning and make another call.

The call was made at 7am today.

"As we had anticipated the swell has backed right off through yesterday afternoon and last night," WSL contest director Will Hayden-Smith said.

"There really isn't much on offer today so we have called a lay day and will come back tomorrow and make another call.

“There are some increases in swell over the next few days so we would prefer to wait, and give competitors the best opportunity possible." 

ROUND 2: 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 two 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,” Spencer said.

“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,” Kelly said.

“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.”

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

ROUND 1:  In what was a slow start for quality waves, Samuel Pupo (BRA) opted to scour the lineup for anything and remain busy to post scores.

Pupo scratched into a total of 13 waves over the course of his Round One heat, but it was the dual-6.00 scoring rides (out of a possible 10) that allowed him to gain the upper-hand over Ryland Rubens (USA) and Marco Mignot (FRA), who finished in second and third respectively. As a result, Pupo cemented his position straight into the third round.

“The waves were quite fun out there when they came, so I just remained busy as I could,” Pupo said.

“I was stoked when I turned up and saw the swell had increased to this. My goal out there was to post two good scores in that six-or-seven-point range, but it was difficult to find those bigger scores, so I had to rely on just those two 6.00 waves. This is my first World Juniors, so I’m happy to start my campaign off with a win.”

Thanks to a mammoth backside air-reverse, Mateus Herdy (BRA) was able to put his fellow competitors Mikey McDonagh (AUS) and Keanu Kamiyama (JPN) into a combination situation in the second heat of Round One.

Flanked by his uncle, former elite Championship Tour surfer Guilherme Herdy, Mateus was able to notch up an impressive 15.16 heat total (out of a possible 20 points) to take the win and earn a position into the third round.

“I know that every single heat is going to be difficult in this event, so it’s a huge relief to take a win in the first heat,” Herdy said.

“It’s like every year that passes, the level of surfing jumps to another level. Having my uncle Guilherme in my corner helps a lot. He has taught me a lot about competing and strategy, having been there himself, while I teach him a lot about filming, so it’s good for me to teach him new stuff while he teaches me old stuff.”

Hawaiian powerhouse Barron Mamiya (HAW) continued his dominant year-long run with an opening heat win at Bombo today.

As the tide continued to rise, quality waves became few and far between. While his opponents struggled to find scores, Mamiya steamed ahead, winning the heat with a two-wave total of 13.60.

“I feel like I got really lucky during that heat,” Mamiya said.

“The conditions got really tricky so it was hard to find good waves – you had to be in the right spot to get a score and luckily for me I was. I’m really stoked to be here competing with the world’s best.”

Japanese competitor Momoto Tsuzuki (JPN) caused one of the opening days biggest upsets taking down 2017 Australia / Oceania regional JQS champion Reef Heazlewood (AUS).

Tsuzuki opted to surf the right-handers displaying his razor-sharp backhand attack to post a winning total of 12.10. Heazlewood was unable to find his required score and will move into sudden death Round Two.

“I was really nervous in that heat,” Tsuzuki said.

“I knew Reef and Theo (Juliette) would be tough to beat so I’m really glad to make it. The waves aren’t the best but it is still good fun out there so I’m glad to continue in the event.” 

Event wildcard Liam O’Brien (AUS) got the ball rolling for the local Australian surfing contingent, claiming a win in Heat 8 of the first round.

O’Brien used the rolling right-handers that became predominant on the high tide to his advantage, posting a 13.10 heat total. O’Brien attributed the round one victory to the momentum he gained from taking out the last QS1,000 event in Australia in 2017.

“Being a wildcard takes a little bit of pressure off in this event and I can just focus on putting on a good performance, rather worrying about results and things like that, which seems to work well for me,” O’Brien said.

“I had a rough run through the start of 2017, but I began to get a bit of momentum at the end of the year, which fortunately ended with the win at Port Stephens. It was a huge confidence boost which I hope I can keep in this event.” 

After Round One of the Men’s was completed it was time for the top Junior women to hit the line-up. In Heat 1, Portugal’s Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) got her campaign off to a great start overcoming Alyssa Lock (AUS) and Sophie Bell (ZAF).

With two thirds and a fifth to her name at the last three World Junior Championships, Bonvalot is keen to break into the final and looks well on her with a great opening performance.

“I’ve been doing this event for a long time now, and I’ve come close but I’ve made silly mistakes,” Bonvalot said.

“I’ve tried to learn from these mistakes and hopefully I can get a decent result this year. The waves were tricky with the tide dropping out. I watched the men’s heats and it was changing all the time so I wasn’t sure where to sit, so you had to really make the waves you caught count."

Current Women’s World Junior Champion Macy Callaghan (AUS) returned to Bombo Beach with a bang on Day 1, posting an incredible heat total of 17.50 with an electric backhand display.

Callaghan dominated opponents Shino Matsuda (JPN) and Ellie Turner (GBR) who will surf off in Round 2, while Callaghan will progress into Round 3 and hope to continue her good fortune in Kiama. Callaghan's total came from an excellent 8.00 and a near-perfect 9.50.

“The waves were pretty tricky out there but I managed to find a couple of good lefts,” Callaghan said.

“It’s great to be back in Kiama, I don’t come here often but I have some great memories here. I got picked up by my sponsor Billabong here when I was 12, I then won my first Australian Title here and then last year my first World Title, so it’s a really special place for me.

“I’m looking forward to Round Three and what it may bring.”

2017 WSL Jeep World Junior Championships Men's Round One Results:

  • Heat 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 12.00, def Ryland Rubens (USA) 10.96, Marco Mignot (FRA) 4.43
  • Heat 2: Mateus Herdy (BRA) 15.16, def Mikey McDonagh (AUS) 8.80, Keanu Kamiyama (JPN) 8.43
  • Heat 3: Jake Elkington (ZAF) 12.10, def Rio Waida (IDN) 11.40, Ocean Macedo (HAW) 9.33
  • Heat 4: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 13.60, def Adin Masencamp (ZAF) 7.20, Jhonny Guerrero Yauri (PER) 7.60
  • Heat 5: Erwan Blouin (FRA) 13.34, def Finn McGill (HAW) 11.60, Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) 11.56
  • Heat 6: Cody Young (HAW) 14.97, def Lucas Wrice (AUS) 11.83, Kauli Vaast (FRA) 8.96
  • Heat 7: Momoto Tsuzuki (JPN) 12.10, def Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 12.04, Theo Julitte (FRA) 11.06 
  • Heat 8: Liam O'Brien (AUS) 13.10, def Tyler Gunter (USA) 10.07, Yuri Ogasawara (JPN) 5.86
  • Heat 9: Joh Azuchi (JPN) 11.17 def, Joshe Faulkner (ZAF) 9.33, Max Elkington (ZAF) 8.40
  • Heat 10: Sandon Whittaker (AUS) 12.50, def John Mel (USA), 11.50, Eli Hanneman (HAW) 7.44
  • Heat 11: Leo Paul Etienne (FRA) 12.27, def Yuji Nishi (JPN) 8.44, Cole Houshmand (USA) 12.00
  • Heat 12: Che Allan (BRB) 11.80, def Joao Chianca (BRA) 9.27, Ford Van Jaarsveldt (ZAF) 11.17

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

  • Heat 1: Teresa Bonvalot, (PRT) 11.20, def Alyssa Lock (AUS) 11.10, Sophie Bell (ZAF) 4.27
  • Heat 2: Vahine Fierro (PYF) 10.70, def Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 6.23 (Intf) Kayla Nogueira (ZAF) 4.60
  • Heat 3: Macy Callaghan(AUS) 17.50, def Shino Matsuda (JPN) 9.64, Ellie Turner (GBR) 7.20
  • Heat 4:  Zoe McDougall (HAW) 10.17, def Alyssa Spencer (USA) 8.96, Sol Aguirre (PER) 7.50 
  • Heat 5: Minori Kawai (JPN) 12.10, def Zahli Kelly (AUS) 11.80, Sara Wakita (JPN) 10.73
  • Heat 6: Sophia Fulton (AUS) 15.54, def Summer Macedo (HAW) 13.40,  Taina Hinckel (BRA) 9.93

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