Sophia Fulton soars to victory at Cronulla world junior event

MOLLYMOOK’S Sophia Fulton and Avoca’s Caleb Tancred have taken top honours at the final event on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series.

The Hydralyte Sports Surf Series also saw Zahli Kelly (Cabarita) and Te Kehukehu Butler (New Zealand) crowned 2018 Australasian/Oceania WSL JQS champions, sealing themselves a spot into the upcoming World Junior Championship.

Mirroring her result at the Key Sun Zinke Pro Junior at Manly earlier in the year, Fulton took top honours in the girls division at Cronulla – from Avalon’s Cedar Leigh-Jones, Zahli Kelly and Avalon’s Bohdi Leigh-Jones.

Fulton’s lightning fast backhand attack proved to be her advantage in the final, mustering up an impressive 13.25 two-wave heat total.

As a result, Fulton went into the third position on the 2018 JQS rankings.

“I was a bit nervous right at the end of that heat,” Fulton said.

“I knew I needed to back up my score with something decent, but thankfully I got that first one that put me in the lead.

“If I didn’t have that, I knew I could have been in trouble.

“I hadn’t done amazingly this year in the Pro Juniors, so it was really important for me to finish with a good result.”

In the boys event, Tancred won from Te Kehukehu Butler, Evans Head’s Callum Robson and Cronulla’s Jay Brown.

The Cronulla stop at the Hydralyte Sports Surf Series determined the qualifiers for the upcoming World Junior Championship and crowned the champions of the 2018 series.

The two-day event saw 72 men and 26 women compete.

The World Surf League (WSL) sanctioned Pro Junior events, which included 18 and under boys’ and girls’ divisions, formed part of the 2018 WSL Australasian Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), providing the winning athletes with an opportunity to win a coveted world title at the World Surf League Junior Championships in 2019.

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