Gale a surfing force at Park Beach
CLOSE calls at Park Beach were the order of the day during Wednesday's action of the Hurley NSW Junior Surfing State titles.
The state's best junior surfers turned up the heat as the under-18 and under-16 boys from all corners of NSW opened up their campaigns in pursuit of a crown.
Performances in the under-18s from both former state champions and new talent impressed the judges and Avalon Beach grom Connor Gale proved one to watch.
Surfing against Shane Campbell (Cronulla), Dan Hosking (Lennox Head) and Zac Ifield (The North Entrance), under sunny skies proved a challenge as the competition was tight between the boys.
"I went out there thinking it was going to be pretty close between me and Shane, I had a bit of a slow start until I got a 4 point ride which got my confidence up and then I got a 6.93 which put me up there," Gale said.
Still in second place with two scores on the board, Gale was chasing Campbell who nailed a high 7.67 wave.
"It wasn't until I found this left that I thought Campbell had it and I nearly stacked it but I got a 6.33 and went into first," the Avalon Beach surfer said.
"This is only the second time I've been to Coffs and last time the surf was a little messy but this time it's perfect."
Gale who is surfing his last year at the Junior Surfing Titles as he moves onto the Pro Junior moves onto the second round with Campbell. In the next round he'll face Mitchell Parkinson (Tweed Heads) who won his heat with a high flying a 9.5 ride wowing spectators and judges with the Hurley wave of the day.
Close scores seemed the order of the day as a straight knock out was on the table.
Brendan Hay (Copacabana) and Chaz Rayner (Berrara) were neck and neck with Jakob Dolan (Emerald Beach) and Danny Schouten (Bonny Hills) but it was Rayner and Hay who moved through to the next round.
Also doing well and making the cut for the second round in the under-18 boys was Liam Mortensen (Avalon), Jack Germain (Lake Cathie) and Kieran Conway (Caves Beach).
Wednesday afternoon saw the under-16 boys begin the opening round and Thursday will see round 2 take place for both the under-18s and under-16s.