November 26 - December 2, 2023: Issue 607


Junior Irukandjis team in Brazil for 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

Pittwater surfer Milla Brown has been named for Junior Irukandjis team which arrived in Brazil for ISA World Junior Surfing Championship on Thursday November 23 2023. Freshwater surfer Fletcher Kelleher is also part of the team.

  • Keira Buckpitt and Lennix Smith named captains of the team
  • Competition due to start today 
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Competition dates: November 24 – December 3, 2023

The junior Irukandjis team has arrived in Brazil for the 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

Keira Buckpitt and Lennix Smith have been named captains of the team as they prepare to take on the world's best junior surfers at Macumba Beach.

17-year-old Buckpitt is hoping to make it into the top five this year after finishing ninth in El Salvador.

“The team is looking very strong. Everyone’s looking good.”

18-year-old Smith will be competing at the event for the first time after an injury setback forced him to withdraw from last year's competition.

“To be able to experience the culture and going over as a team and being in that environment with everyone should be really good and pretty special. We couldn’t have a better team. I think we all should do well. Everyone is really talented.”

Coco Cairns, Keira Buckpitt and Jahly Stokes will compete in the U18 Girls division. Photo Credit: Surfing Australia.

The Championship is set to kick off with an Opening Ceremony at Macumba Beach on Friday morning (local time) before the potential start of the surf contest in the afternoon.

For more information, visit the ISA event website HERE.

About the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship:

The best junior surfers from every part of the globe will contend for medals in this prestigious event that has proved itself as a direct pathway to the Olympic Games, with Stephanie Gilmore among past ISA World Junior Champions.

2023 Junior Irukandjis team:

U18 Girls

  • Coco Cairns (Tewantin, QLD)
  • Jahly Stokes (Buddina, QLD)
  • Keira Buckpitt (Culburra Beach) *Junior Irukandjis team Captain

U18 Boys

  • Harley Walters (Angourie, NSW)
  • Lennix Smith (Barrack Point, NSW) *Junior Irukandjis team Captain
  • Willis Droomer (Jan Juc, VIC)

U16 Girls

  • Isla Huppatz (Bilinga, QLD)
  • Milla Brown (Newport, NSW)
  • Sierra Kerr (Bilinga, QLD)

U16 Boys

  • Kash Brown (Cronulla, NSW)
  • Rico Haybittle (Palm Beach, QLD)
  • Fletcher Kelleher (Freshwater, NSW)

The Irukandji name

In a historic moment for Australian Surfing, a new team name and identity was unveiled Wednesday, 17 March 2021, at the Novotel in Manly for Australia’s national surf team. The much-anticipated new namesake and tagline was revealed to be ‘The Irukandjis: Deadly in the Water’, after the Irukandji jellyfish – an extremely venomous species of jellyfish that inhabit Australian marine waters.

“They pack a serious punch, just like our Australian surfers in the water”, said Surfing Australia CEO, Chris Mater, of the name that will lead Australia’s inaugural Olympic surf team’s debut into the Tokyo games this July.

For the first time, Australian representatives across all surfing genres, including Junior, Open, Masters, Olympic, Longboard, Big Wave, Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) and Adaptive disciplines, will compete under The Irukandjis national identity and united colours at international events such as the Olympics, International Surfing Association (ISA), World Surfing Games, WSL World Juniors and Longboard Championships. 

Pittwater's Milla Brown - a few notes

In 2021 Milla Brown finished her State Title campaign with a bang as she took out the Under-16 Girls final. 

In 2022 Milla Brown Won her Division in the 2022 Australian Junior Surfing Titles and Qualified for the 2023 Irukandjis Team.

On July 11 2023 15-year-old Milla Brown (Bungan Beach) showed she remains one to keep an eye on in future years as she took out the coveted Pro Junior title as well as the Under-18 Girls division in the 2023 Skullcandy Oz Grom pres. by Vissla. In November Milla won the Let’s Surf Lake Mac Pro Junior 2023.

Milla Brown being chaired by friends after winning the 2023 Pro Junior + Skullcandy Oz Grom Open. Photo: Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

10 Things to Know About the 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

The 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship (WJSC) is set to gather the world’s best junior surfers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on November 24 – December 3, 2023.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the upcoming competition.

1. Pathway to the Olympic Games

The best junior surfers from every part of the globe will contend for medals in this prestigious event that has proved itself as a direct pathway to the Olympic Games. 33 out of the 40 Tokyo 2020 Olympic surfers previously participated in the WJSC, 16 of them claiming ISA World Junior medals, including Olympic Bronze Medallist Owen Wright (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), and Gabriel Medina (BRA).

Multiple Paris 2024 qualified surfers have also topped the podium at the WJSC, including current WSL World Champions Caroline Marks (USA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA).

2. Former Medallists and Future Olympians Return

Three of the four of the 2022 WJSC U/16 Boy’s medallists will be present. Silver medallist Inigo Madina (FRA) and copper medallist Hans Odriozola (ESP) will once again vie for the U/16 World Title, while 2022 U/16 World Junior Champion, Willis Droomer (AUS) will compete for the first time in the U/18 Boy’s division.

Two of the four 2022 WJSC U/16 Girl’s medallists will also return. Bronze medallist Mirai Ikeda (JPN) and copper medallist Tya Zebrowski (FRA) will both seek to better their results in the U/16 Girl’s.

Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualified surfer Sanoa Olin will represent Canada in her fifth WJSC when she competes in the U/18 Girl’s.

3. Record National Teams Participation

46 national teams will gather to compete for the coveted Team Gold medals, surpassing the previous record set in 2022. Current Team World Champions, Team Hawaii, will look to defend their title and add a sixth World Championship to their total as they approach Australia’s record of seven. The home team of Brazil hasn’t won since the inaugural event in 2003. Will this be the year they win it back?

4. New National Teams

Three national teams, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ukraine, will be represented in the WJSC for the very first time, while one team, Romania, will participate in their first ever ISA event.

Macumba Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Naslo Bustamante

5. The Divisions

365 athletes will compete across four divisions:

  • Girl’s U/16
  • Boy’s U/16
  • Girl’s U/18
  • Boy’s U/18

6. Gender Equality

A record 177 girls (44% of competitors) will compete and represent their nations in the 2023 WJSC. Since 2017 the ISA has offered equal competition slots for men and women across its World Championship Series, promoting women’s participation and gender equality in surfing.

7. Where to Watch

The live webcast will be streamed on from November 24 – December 3. Visit for results, team rosters, photos, videos, and news pertaining to the competition.

8. Social

The ISA will be posting live updates, photos and videos from the competition on social media. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Don’t forget to use the official hashtag #ISAworlds.

9. Schedule

  • November 24 – Opening Ceremony, Macumba Beach; 3:30pm – Local Time
  • November 25 – December 2: Competition Days
  • December 3: Finals and Closing Ceremony

10. The ISA and Brazil

The WJSC is being hosted by the Brazilian Surfing Confederation (CBSurf) with the strong support of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and the State of Rio de Janeiro.

It will be the 19th edition of the WJSC and the second time the event has been hosted by Brazil, after the 2006 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship was held in Maresias. Two historic editions of the ISA World Surfing Games were also hosted by Brazil, the first of which was in Rio de Janeiro in 1994.

Opening Ceremony:

National Teams will parade carrying their flags to the “Sands of the World” ceremony.

Date: Friday Nov 24th

Place: Macumba Beach

Time: 3:30pm – Local Time

Competition runs from Nov 25th to Dec 2nd.

Watch live webcast via this link and check ISA's social platforms for daily news.