Written by Lauren Taniyama
Today’s competition was pretty stacked with the Junior event coming to an end. The semifinals and finals ran today and two champions were crowned. The surf was similar to Day 7 with 3-4ft waves and a light onshore breeze. The ladies of the Junior event have been waiting since last Sunday to finish up their competition. They were ready and the waves increased for them to show off their skills in the finals.
Heat number one was run by Quincy Davis (USA) while Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) and Leila Hurst (HAW) battled for second. Leila who was a standout in earlier rounds did not open her account until there was less that ten minutes left. However, she locked in two good scores in the back half of the heat. The next semi final was similar to the first in that it was dominated by Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) with a 18.34 two wave total. Kaleigh Glichrist (USA) came out on top by posting the third highest single wave score of the heat. Nikki Van Dijk was looking in good form and seemed like she was just having fun and that worked well for her.
The final was taken out by Australian surfer Nikki Van Dijk (AUS). This was her first US Open showing and I am sure she will be visiting again next year and years to come. She didn’t really show up to the final until about sixteen minutes in but she nailed two high scores back to back. Nikki comes from Phillip Island, Victoria, which I can say from experience, has some amazing waves and gets overlooked a lot. The local talent there has a lot of variety to work with and I can see how Nikki performed so well having such a great training ground. Congratulations are also in order for the second place finisher is Leila Hurst who was able to pull ahead to second at the very end of the heat. Third place went to Quincy Davis (USA) and fourth went to Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA). It was an exciting heat for these girls.
Great surfing from these young ladies throughout the contest was consistent and we are sure to be seeing these names again making their way up the rankings to qualify in the next few years. Look out for all the Junior talent over at the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro down in Oceanside, CA on August 9-12.