Ryan rides into Pro Junior finals
LENNOX Head surfer Nyxie Ryan reached the final of the Lake Macquarie Pro Junior event at Catherine Hill Bay on Sunday.
Ryan was a standout in the early rounds and cruised through to seal a spot in the women's quarter-finals.
She kept busy riding eight waves in the heat to eventually post a combined two-wave total of 13.50 to earn her a place in the semi-final where she advanced from second.
"I was watching the waves for a long time before my heat and thought it was going to be really slow,” Ryan said.
"With that in mind, I really wanted to get an early start and try to post a decent score in the first few minutes.
"It turned out there were plenty of waves and opportunity which was good. I had so much fun out there.”
It should be another big year in the water for the teenager who broke her elbow late in 2018.
She returned to competition just before Christmas where she won the under-16 girls division at the Rip Curl GromSearch for a second straight year at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast.
The Lake Macquarie Pro Junior was won by Central Coast surfers Molly Picklum and Caleb Tancred who claimed victory over an impressive international field.
Competition got underway Saturday morning at Red Head Beach but was moved to Catherine Hill Bay after a strong southerly front moved through the region in the mid-morning.
After the event moved locations, it was completed in clean, four-foot surf.
Tancred seemed destined to end up in the final posting excellent scores all event.
The final was no different with a 15.25 (out of a possible 20) two-wave combination.
Fellow finalists Alister Reginato, Tane Bowden and Jagger Bartholomew put on a great chase but couldn't catch a rampaging Tancred who was surfing in his fourth Final from five events.
"That was challenging out there, especially with the standard of surfers in the event,” Tancred said. "I really enjoyed it and the perfect conditions at Redhead. I'll take some confidence from this win as we have a big stretch of events coming up in 2019.”
Picklum took down event standouts Alyssa Spencer, Pacha Luque-Light and Ryan.
"I'm very happy to win another Junior Qualifying Series event,” Picklum said.
"The waves here and at Red Head were excellent and tested all of us.
"I'm looking forward to coming back to Newcastle and competing at the QS6,000 later in the month at Merewether.”