Milla Brown - Harley Walters Win Let’s Surf Lake Mac Pro Junior 2023
Harley Walters (AUS) and Milla Brown (AUS) have claimed victory at the 2023 Let's Surf Lake Mac Pro Junior. The pair overcame a massive field of the region's best 20 and under surfers in challenging surf at Redhead Beach in Newcastle to win the final event of the 2023 World Surf League Australia / Oceania Junior Qualifying Series (JQS).
Harley Walters (AUS) dominated Finals Day, Sunday, November 5, 2023, taking an easy win in the four-man final with a solid heat total of 14.10 (out of a possible 20), which included an excellent 8.00 point ride (out of a possible 10). Walters utilised lefts and rights in the peaky, wind-affected waves, showing skill and precision on both his frontside and backside to take his maiden WSL Pro Junior victory. With the win, Walters charged up the rankings into the top spot, booking a spot in the 2023 WSL World Junior Championships to be held in California early next year.
"I'm so stoked to get the win," Walters said. "I've never won an event of this size, so I'm super happy. The waves have been tough, but overall, it's been a really fun comp. I've made a couple of finals, so I'm stoked to put it together and get the win."
Milla Brown (AUS) has gone back-to-back today, having won the last JQS event, the Skullcandy Pro Junior at Lennox Head, back in July. The women's Final was tight, with less than 3.50 points separating first from fourth. Brown surfed a busy and consistent heat to post a two-wave total of 9.46 which was enough for the win.
"This feels so good," Brown said. "The waves were pretty hard, but it was good to get the win amongst some really good surfers. I won the last pro junior, so it was good to win this one to back it up. I don't think I'll have enough points to make the World Juniors, but I'm really happy with my year overall."
With the top two men and women on the WSL Australia / Oceania rankings securing a spot at the World Junior Championships, Kiera Bickpitt (AUS) was able to hold on to the second women's spot with her runner-up finish. She will compete in California with Sierra Kerr (AUS), who has already locked in a spot. Walters took the top spot, with Luke Brumby (AUS) also moving up the rankings with a fifth-place finish today at Redhead.
Over 80 of Australia's best 20 and under surfers arrived in Newcastle on Friday, November 3, ahead of the 2023 Let's Surf Lake Mac Pro Junior. The World Surf League (WSL) Pro Junior event was set to run at Red Head Beach over the weekend of November 4 and 5.
Playing as the last event of the WSL Australia / Oceania Regional Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), the Let's Surf Lake Mac Pro Junior decided the region's representatives at the 2023 WSL World Junior Championship to be held early next year in California. The top two men and women on the rankings at the end of the weekend earned a spot to compete for the title against the World's best 20 and under surfers.
After a breakout Pro Junior season, Sierra Kerr (AUS) had already secured her spot at the World Junior Championship as she sits on top of the rankings with an unassailable lead. Below her in second sits Keira Buckpitt (AUS), who needed to fend off the likes of Milla Brown (AUS), Ocea Curtis (AUS) and Jahly Stokes (AUS), who were all within reach.
On the men's side, the two spots were well and truly up for grabs, with only 800 points separating the top 10 on the regional rankings. Saxon Reber (AUS) and Lennix Smith (AUS) who were currently holding spots one and two and needed a Finals Day finish to hang on to a place in the World Junior Championships.