Manly, NSW/Australia -- The second day of the Australian Open Of Surfing at Manly Beach presented by Hurley and Billabong saw sunshine and stellar surfing with both the women's and men's Pro Junior events being run well into the business end of the competition. The Women's Australian Open Of Surfing Pro Junior saw some massive scores being dropped all day with the field now reduced to just 2 surfers.
Nikki Van Dijk (Phillip Island, VIC/AUS) advanced to the Final of the Australian Open Of Surfing Women's Pro Junior today. Van Dijk scored a near perfect 9.80 (out of a possible 10) and back it up with an 8.35 to easily win her Semifinal over the current ASP World Junior Champion Leila Hurst (HAW) who finished equal 3rd.
"The waves were so much fun out there, I hope it's like that for the Final next weekend," Van Dijk said. "After winning the first Pro Junior event of the year at Jan Juc, and now making it into the Final at the Australian Open Of Surfing, this really sets up my year. I'm so happy right now, I'm loving Sydney.
Philippa Anderson (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) also advanced to the Final of the Australian Open Of Surfing Women's Pro Junior today. Anderson has been surfing really strong all event, posting big scores in every heat and will now face Nikki Van Dijk (VIC/AUS) in the Final which will be held next weekend.
"It sucks surfing against your friends!" Anderson said. "In the Quarterfinals it was Skye (Burgess) and then in the Semis it was Georgia (Fish), I feel bad beating them, but I guess that's competition. I'm so stoked to make the Final, I did pretty bad at the first event of the year, so to now make the Final is a huge boost to my confidence. The Final isn't till next weekend, but I'll be keeping busy because I'm also in the Women's ASP 6-Star event this week.
Connor O'Leary (Cronulla, NSW/AUS) won an extremely close Quarterfinal against Connor Coffin (California, USA). The battle of the Connors was the heat of the day with both surfers posting some big scores, but Coffin had the lead in the dying moments. O'Leary caught a last minute wave and was walking up the beach after the hooter had sounded when it was announced that he'd done enough to steal the victory.
"I saw that wave with about 15 seconds on the clock and knew I had to go," O'Leary said. "Lucky for me it walled up and allowed me to do some turns. Connor and I have had a few battles at this comp, and he beat me in those, so it's great to get one back on him. This will be my first Semifinal, I'm so happy!"
Matt Banting (Port Macquarie, NSW/AUS) survived a close heat against Creed McTaggart (Margaret River, WA/AUS). Banting won by a mere 0.85 of a point, and is thrilled to be through to the Semifinals.
"There was good waves all day, but it got tricky just before our heat," Banting said. "Whoever got the best waves was probably going to win the heat. Creed is an unreal surfer and I was nervous going into that heat, but I've had a really good day and I'm stoked with my performance. This comp has been unreal, I'd love to go all the way and take top honours. This is the one comp I've been thinking about for a while and I really want to win."
Tomorrow the Australian Open Of Surfing will see the start of the Women's ASP 6-Star rated event and will also feature skating competitions and demos, music concerts, athlete signing sessions and much more. The event is free for the public to view in person and live on the internet via australianopenofsurfing.com