The Oakberry Tweed Coast Pro Junior, the first event of the 2023 World Surf League saw impressive performances from Sierra Kerr and Lennox Chell claiming victory in three to four ft conditions at Kingscliff.
Sierra Kerr came into her home event on the Tweed Coast as a favourite, with the 16-year-old phenom competing as the defending winner. Kerr was in solid form all event but saved her best performance until last, showing massive commitment to the heavy end sections to post two impressive rides of 8.37 and 8.03 (out of a possible 10). Kerr’s two-wave heat total of 16.40 (out of a possible 20) was the highest of the event and was too much for her competitors Jahly Stokes, Keira Buckpitt, and Ocea Curtis to overcome with the trio finishing second, third and fourth respectively.
“I’m frothing to come back here and get it done again,” Kerr said. “It’s been such a fun event with plenty of waves and good conditions. Everyone was ripping, so I’m stoked to come out with the win. My Dad and I always surf on the Tweed Coast; it feels so familiar and fun to compete here. I’m looking forward to getting into the QS event now, and it looks like the waves are going to keep coming, so I can’t wait to keep the momentum going.”
The men’s Final was an all goofy foot affair, with eventual winner Lennox Chell taking on Ben Lorentson, Harley Walters and Saxon Reber in the 30-minute matchup. All four competitors looked in a good place to win at different stages, but it was Chell who would find a solid closeout hit on his last wave to post an excellent 8.43 and take the win with a two-wave total of 14.93. For Chell, it was the second win of his career as he looks to find a spot in the WSL World Junior Championships to be held later this year.
“This is my second Pro Junior event win from two events, so I’m over the moon,” Chell said. “This has been a great event with good waves, making the win even better. This has been a good warmup for the QS event, but I’m also keen to qualify for the World Junior Championships, and this win will be good for my chances to do that, so I’m stoked.”