Kaua‘i’s Leila Hurst won the Arnette Association of Surfing Professionals Women’s Junior presented by Quiksilver, Sunday, at Praia Do Diablo, the backup location in Brazil.
Hurst had a dominant performance on the final day of competition, topping Joanne Defay of France at the second of three stops on the ASP World Junior Tour while marking 15.50 to Defay’s 10.53.
The Garden Isle surfer was a standout throughout the event’s entirety, states an ASP release, storming her way through to the final with a 13.66-11.57 edge over Brazil’s Monik Santos in the semis. Following a 9th place at the ASP World Junior Tour season opener, the win puts Hurst back in contention for the elite ASP Women’s World Junior Crown.
“It was my first time in a World Junior Final and it might be my last year, so I’m excited,” Hurst said in the release. “I feel so blessed to be in Brazil. Everyone has been so nice and I’m just really excited. Australia is next, so who knows? Normally, I get so stressed out at contests, but I just tried to relax and have fun.”
During the inaugural Arnette ASP World Junior presented by Quiksilver, Hurst was equally efficient at both the main event location of Arpoador with its lefthanders as well as the rights of Praia Do Diablo, scoring consistently at the top throughout the Arnette ASP World Junior competition.
“I feel like both waves were really similar,” Hurst said. “It was really hard to control your board out there because there is so much backwash coming off the rock.”
During the quarterfinals, Hurst advanced to the semifinals with a 16.64-14.33 win over Australia’s Dimity Stoyle.
Defay, finishing equal third place in Bali, established herself as a frontrunner for the Under 21 crown when she finished runner-up to Hurst after topping Australian Phillipa Anderson in the semifinals clash on the day’s highest score of 9.57. In that win, Defay posted 17.57 to Anderson’s 9.83.
“I’m pretty happy to have made the final,” Defay said. “Phillipa was inside and I had the priority. I had the first nice carve and made the re-entry to get through.”
Anderson, finishing second at the ASP World Junior in Bali, was on fire in Rio de Janeiro but was unable to find a rhythm in her semifinals matchup against Defay, finishing an equal third.
“I was feeling good throughout the entire event and I don’t know what happened out there in the semifinal,” Anderson said. “I guess that’s the way the cookie crumbles, sometimes. There were a couple of bombs out there, but I just didn’t find them.”
With the results of the Arnette ASP Women’s World Junior, Anderson and Defay are the frontrunners for the ASP Women’s World Junior Crown.