Steele too strong at Aus titles
THE Australian junior surfing titles have wrapped up at Coffs Harbour's Park Beach.
Finals day saw high flying action and a career highlight for Sunshine Coast surfer Eli Steele.
He became the standout competitor of the day while taking out the premier boy's under-18 title.
Steele's last performance was so strong he left his fellow competitors chasing a combination of scores with the final score-line seeing him on 16.65, ahead of Sydney surfer Jordan Lawler on 13.65, Tommy Boucatt (Ocean Shores) 12.60 and Kelly Norris (Sunshine Coast) 10.95.
"I'm really pleased to win this event," Steel said.
"It sets me up for a shot at the World under-18 championships early next year in South America and there's been heaps of great surfers win this event in the past so it's a great feeling.
"I was never over confident here and just took every heat as it came, did my best and luckily that was enough to take the title."
Steele displayed great aerial skills in the final along with a powerful and precise style throughout the event to engineer a deserved win.
The under-18 girl's final was a much closer affair with Currumbin surfer Eden Putland taking the win, ahead of Ellie-Jean Coffey, Nikki Van Dijk and Mikaela Greene.
Putland scored a decisive excellent 8.25 ride early in the final to secure the win over the more fancied Coffey and Van Dijk.
The closest final of the day was definitely the under-16 boys with Michael Wright (Lennox Head) and Jacob Wilcox (Margaret River WA) going wave for wave in a dynamic shoot-out which saw Wright take the narrowest win on 16.15 to Wilcox on 16.05.
The under-16 girls saw Holly-Sue Coffey take an exciting come-from-behind win scoring an 8.5 ride in the final minute.
She beat out Isabella Nichols (Coolum) with Holly Wawn third and Cali McDonagh fourth.
Schools' finals were also held with wins to Margaret River State High (Western Australia), Newhaven College (Victoria) and Palm Beach-Currumbin Secondary High (Queensland).
The highlight of the schools finals was certainly the unprecedented win by Nikki Van Dijk representing Newhaven State College by herself and defeating Palm Beach Currumbin pair Brodie Doyle and Eden Putland.
Van Dijk won with two excellent rides and without a partner in the paired final, won on two-wave scores, while the other two girls had four-wave scores.
The overall state team results from first to sixth were: New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia.
All details and results can be found at the event website at http://prosurfinglive.com/live/surfingaustralia