Hydralyte Sports Surf Series at Bells Beach
Dextar Muskens and Zahli Kelly on the podium at Bells Beach for the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series JQS
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 January, 2018 - The Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong has crowned Dextar Muskens and Zahli Kelly as champions today at Bells Beach. The final day of the event was held at the primary location of Bells Beach after an increase in swell overnight that saw 3-4ft waves at the world famous beach. In a hotly contested Girls Final, Zahli Kelly (Tweed Coast, NSW) pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the closing minutes to win the opening event of the WSL Junior Qualifying Series (JQS).
“I'm so happy to win, especially because I did it on my last wave,” Kelly said. “To win at Bells is so special. Having a CT (Championship Tour Event) here and being able to surf a Pro Junior is an amazing experience.”
Needing an excellent scoring ride Kelly took off in the final minute and locked in a score of 9.50, the highest wave score of the day, to move ahead of Californian surfer Alyssa Spencer (USA). “I knew that I needed a big score and I couldn’t really hear the scores because of the wind. I didn’t feel any pressure because I didn’t think I was going to win, so I just wanted to have fun on my last wave.”
Spencer had one last chance to regain the lead in the dying seconds but fell short by 0.4 of a point, finishing with a head total of 15.00 (out of a possible 20). Kelly finished with 15.40 points.
Kirra-Belle Olsson (Avoca, NSW) finished in third on 12.60 points, with Piper Harrison (Gold Coast, QLD) in fourth on 6.85 points. The Boys final also saw an equally impressive display of surfing with Dextar Muskens taking the win. Muskens looked comfortable in the rising surf locking down two excellent rides on his way to a 17.40 heat total.
“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” said an elated Muskens. “It was my goal this year to win a Pro Junior and to do it so early is awesome. I have been coming here to compete for about 5 years now. Bells is such an iconic break, I’m stoked to get it done today and take the win.”
Placing in second was Kehu Butler (NZ), who also put on an incredible show, however, fell just short of Muskens with a 16.00 heat total. Placing in third was Joel Paxton (Byron Bay, NSW) on 11.65 points followed by Jackson Roberts (Central Coast, NSW) on 9.50 points.
The World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned Pro Junior events, which includes 18 and under boys’ and girls’ divisions, form part of the 2018 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title at the World Surf League Junior Championships in 2019.
Proudly supported by WSL, Billabong and Surfing Australia, the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong will provide an important event platform at a crucial point in the development of Australia’s leading junior surfers.
It represents an important link in the ‘Pathway to the Podium’ developed by Surfing Australia, with surfers now able to progress from the Weet-Bix SurfGroms program, onto the Woolworths Surfer Groms Comps presented by Wahu, into the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong, followed by the nudie Australian Boardriders Battle series.
The first event of the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong at Bells Beach Victoria will run from January 13 - 14. For more information, images and highlights from the event, head to www.worldsurfleague.com or check out the free WSL App.
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong Bells Beach Results:
1st Zahli Kelly – 15.40
2nd Alyssa Spencer – 15.00
3rd Kirra-Belle Olsson – 12.60
4th Piper Harrison – 6.85
1st Dexter Muskens – 17.40
2nd Kehu Butler – 16.00
3rd Joel Paxton – 11.65
4th Jackson Roberts – 9.50
Hydralyte Sports Surf Series presented by Billabong Event Dates and Locations:
EVENT 1 - Bells Beach, VIC - Jan 13 - 14, 2018
EVENT 2 - Gold Coast, QLD - April 28-29, 2018
EVENT 3 - Cronulla, NSW - August 4 - 5, 2018