GOING AERIAL: Chris Zaffis won a heat of the Pro Junior competition at the Hurley Pro Australian Open of Surfing. PHOTO: OWENPHOTO.COM
GOING AERIAL: Chris Zaffis won a heat of the Pro Junior competition at the Hurley Pro Australian Open of Surfing. PHOTO: OWENPHOTO.COM

Zaffis stakes pro-junior claim

CLARENCE Valley surfer Chris Zaffis has got the attention of the junior circuit with a standout performance in the Pro Junior competition at the Hurley Pro Australian Open of Surfing.

Sharp turns and inverted aerials scored him a 7.55 and 7.50 in his round two heat in Manly on Saturday, which saw him advance comfortably ahead of top-ranked seeds Kai Hing and Ethan Ewing.

The Angourie local made it to the top 16, but just missed a spot in the quarter-finals when a round-four stoush with Kanoa Igarashi, Sheldon Simkus and Kai Hing saw him fall less than a point short of the top two placings.

"There was a lot of hassling going on, the surf was small and there wasn't a lot of waves," Zaffis said.

"I just tried to focus on what I wanted to do and not get caught up in it all.

"It felt good to get a few early waves and pull off a few moves."

Meanwhile, Yamba surfer Jeames Young advanced to round three of the four-man heats but was knocked out by Hawaiian Joshua Moniz and Liam Mortensen.

He said this year's competition was run in tough conditions, with weak swell and a limited number of two-foot waves on offer.

"You've got to be ready for any conditions and unfortunately on the day I didn't get the waves," Young said.

"I got one at the end but it was too late. It's unfortunate but that's contests; you've just got to deal with it.

"You've got to stay positive and move on to the next one."

He will do just that this week by heading to Newcastle to compete in the 2015 Hunter Business Board Riders Pro Junior, which starts tomorrow.

Young said he felt confident about the year ahead.

"Hopefully I get a good result at Newcastle and bounce back," he said.

"I'm feeling comfortable out there, and apparently there's supposed to be swell."



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