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Cody Young (HAW) and Brisa Hennessy (HAW) have won the the World Surf League (WSL) Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior in consistent three-to-four foot (1 metre) conditions at the southside of the Huntington Beach Pier. In addition to the action today, tomorrow will see elite performances with the conclusion of the Women’s Championship Tour and Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 10,000 events.
Hennessy continues to be a threat on the international level with her first-ever Vans US Open win in defining fashion. The 17-year-old South Shore, Oahu local showcased her talent to find her way into the Final where she blasted an excellent 8.67 on her first opportunity. Hennessy battled with two-time event winner Caroline Marks (USA), last year's CT event wildcard Meah Collins (USA), and current European Pro Junior Tour No. 1 Teresa Bonvalot (PRT). But, the 17-year-old Hennessy backed up her excellent ride with a 6.33 to regain the lead from Bonvalot and secured her victory.
“All the girls in that heat are amazing and I’ve been pushed by them for so many years to better my surfing,” said Hennessy. “I’m just so happy right now. I think the level of women’s junior surfing is getting pushed higher and higher, and I’m excited to see what happens. There’s just no words that describe how I really feel right now, this is so incredible and will never forget this. I can’t thank my family and everyone back home enough for all their support, I couldn’t do this without them.”
Brisa Hennessy (HAW)
Action then shifted to the Men’s Pro Junior Final and fireworks awaited right off the first horn. Kade Matson (USA) got straight to work with a near-excellent 7.67 on his opening wave, but eventual winner Young shadowed that ride with a brilliant 8.33 to open his account. Matson then earned the lead back with a 5.90, but once again was overtaken by Young with a 7.13. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) made a late charge under the ten-minute mark, but fell short of the 8.63 requirement and earned an 8.10. Barbadian talent Che Allan’s (BRB) final few attempts yielded no success and Young emerged victorious.
“To win this event in my last year as a Pro Junior is the best thing ever,” Young said. “I’ve done good on the juniors this year, but haven’t gotten a win yet and this is my first major win of my career so far -- I’m just so stoked on this right now. This will give me a lot of confidence going to the back half of the year and especially trying to get back to the World Junior Championships since all these guys are there. For Brisa [Hennessy] to win this event as well is super special and bring back two wins to Hawaii. We’re excited to have that opportunity and showcase what we can do. I’m looking forward to the rest of this year and hopefully carry this momentum into Kiama next year.”
Cody Young (HAW)