Best local surfers take on toughest rivals in major comps
IT HAS been a busy week of competition for some of the region's best surfers as they compete at events across Sydney and overseas.
Lennox Head surfer Stu Kennedy competed in the first event of the Australasia Qualifying Series with the Carve Pro in Maroubra, Sydney, at the weekend.
He was beaten in the semi-finals by eventual winner Nicholas Squiers from the South Coast.
Kennedy is coming off an impressive 2015 and could be a wildcard into the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast in March.
He was the No. 1 seed at the Carve Pro and was beaten when Squiers secured an eight-point ride late in the heat.
"I didn't think that wave would give him the score," Kennedy said.
"That wave was bigger and looked as if it was breaking into the channel a bit but it must of offered him a few good sections.
"It's always tough to lose a heat that late after leading for most of it but I'm really happy with how I surfed throughout the event and hope I can carry that into some of the bigger events down the track."
Elsewhere, Byron Bay surfer Soli Bailey finished equal third after he was eliminated in the semi-finals of the Ericeira World Junior Championships in Portugal.
"I'm definitely happy with a third place here, I improved on last year, unfortunately that was my last opportunity but I'm happy," Bailey said.
"The wind turned onshore and I can't help but think it could have been to my advantage if I made the heat, to do airs."
Meanwhile, Lennox Head pair Mikey McDonagh and Nyxie Ryan competed in the national finals of the Rip Curl Gromsearch in Narrabeen.
Ryan beat three other surfers in the final to take out the 12 and under girls division of the event.
She has had a big couple of months, winning Occy and Wahu Grom events in the lead up.
McDonagh surfed up a division and finished runner up in the 16 and under boys final with a score of 16 out of a possible 20.
Previous winners of the Gromsearch event include World Surf League competitors Gabriel Medina, Felipe Toledo, Kolohe Andino along with Australian professionals Owen Wright, Tyler Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore.