Lucas Wrice’s World Junior Championship dream came to an abrupt end on Monday morning when he was eliminated from the competition.
After high winds delayed Sunday’s second round heat, the Coledale surfer was knocked out by fellow Australian Mikey McDonagh in a tight contest. The emerging Lennox Head surfer claimed a 1.47 point victory, 13.27 to 11.80.
McDonagh was consistent throughout the heat, and was rewarded by the judges for his ability to build on each wave he surfed.
“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 which is super comforting.”
The defeat marks the completion of Wrice’s junior career and he will spend 2018 contesting the WSL Qualifying Series.
The final second round heat saw South Africa’s Aden Masencamp comfortably defeat New Zealand’s Te Kehukehu Butler.
Masencamp had very little time to rest, as he quickly found himself back in the water for his third round heat against Brazilian Mateus Herdy. However, Masencamp had found his groove and an 8.33 wave saw him upset the highly fancied 16-year-old.
Herdy finished fifth at this event last year and Masencamp knew he would have to perform at his best if he was to knock off his rival.
“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 after the heat.
“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.”
Australian Sandon Whittaker proved why he has emerged in recent years as one of the country’s hottest young surfers when he took out highly-credentialed American Cole Houshmand in a tight heat.
Whittaker trailed for much of the heat before a 7.07 wave with five minutes remaining propelled him to the lead.
The Avoca resident was the only Australian to contest a third-round heat on Monday, with McDonagh set to face fellow Australian Liam O’Brien when the third round resumes.
Monday also saw 2017 semi-finalist Cody Young defeat France’s Ethan Blouin, Japan’s Joh Azuchi eliminate American Ryland Rubens, Indonesia’s Rio Waida overcome Frenchman Leo Paul Etienne.
Finally, Yuji Nishi claimed an all-Japanese heat when he knocked out countryman Momoto Tsuzuki.