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Maui surfers storm into finals day at Sambazon World Junior Championships

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Jackson Bunch of Maui after surfing in Heat 7 of the Round of 16 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on Jan. 12, 2023 at San Diego, California. (Photo by Brady Lawrence/World Surf League)

Maui surfers, Jackson Bunch and Eli Hanneman storm into Finals Day at the SAMBAZON World Junior Championships after posting strong heat totals, and earning Round of 16 victories.

Jackson Bunch of Hawaii surfs in Heat 7 of the Round of 16 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on Jan. 12, 2023 at San Diego, California. (Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League)

Bunch picked up where he left off from his Opening Round win and posted an excellent 16.77 heat total, according to the World Surf League. “Bunch showed his potential earlier this year, earning a runner-up at Ala Moana Bowls, and put his competitors on notice once again today with a commanding win over Adur Amatriain (EUK),” the WSL reports.

“I knew the tide was coming up and peaking in my heat, so I just wanted to stay busy,” said Bunch. “My first wave, I ended up falling, so I just stayed calm then started getting my waves. Then I got that first eight, kept going and catching waves, and then got my next eight, so I’m psyched. I’ll see what conditions are like tomorrow, and if it’s bigger, I’ll be more selective, but we’ll see what the swell brings.”

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Also earning a clutch Round of 16 victory and a spot into Finals Day, is Bunch’s fellow Maui competitor Eli Hanneman, who posted 13.50 points.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 12: Eli Hanneman of Hawaii surfs in Heat 2 of the Round of 16 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on January 12, 2023 at San Diego, California. (Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League)

Finals day at the World Surf League SAMBAZON World Junior Championships Hosted by Best Western is expected to get underway on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023.

Tahiti’s Kauli Vaast (FRA) had the highest heat total on Thursday with 17.50 (out of a possible 20).

Kauli Vaast of France after surfing in Heat 3 of the Round of 16 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on Jan. 12, 2023 at San Diego, California. (Photo by Brady Lawrence/World Surf League)
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“Today is really good; it’s better than the first day we surfed because it’s a little bit bigger,” Vaast told the WSL. “It’s still offshore; there’s power on the wave so that you can do the big turns, and I got a couple of good waves. We’re man-on-man now, and there’s more opportunity to express your surfing and stoked to get through that heat.” 

Kauli Vaast of France surfs in Heat 3 of the Round of 16 at the 2022 Sambazon World Junior Championships on Jan. 12, 2023 at San Diego, California. (Photo by Kenny Morris/World Surf League)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

Men’s Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Brodi Sale (HAW) 11.76 DEF. Taro Watanabe (USA) 10.33
Heat 2: Eli Hanneman (HAW) 13.50 Luke Thompson (RSA) 12.00
Heat 3: Kauli Vaast (FRA) 17.50 DEF. Saxon Reber (AUS) 12.00
Heat 4: Levi Slawson (USA) 13.77 DEF. Kade Matson (USA) 12.87
Heat 5: Jarvis Earle (AUS) 14.97 DEF. Jett Schilling (USA) 12.20
Heat 6: Oscar Berry (AUS) 11.40 DEF. Caua Costa (BRA) 9.00
Heat 7: Jackson Bunch (HAW) 16.77 DEF. Adur Amatriain (EUK) 12.04
Heat 8: Alan Cleland (MEX) 17.40 DEF. Ryan Kainalo (BRA) 12.10

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Upcoming Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Brodi Sale (HAW) vs. Eli Hanneman (HAW)
Heat 2: Kauli Vaast (FRA) vs. Levi Slawson (USA)
Heat 3: Jarvis Earle (AUS) vs. Oscar Berry (AUS)
Heat 4: Jackson Bunch (HAW) vs. Alan Cleland (MEX)

Women’s Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 11.83 DEF. Aelan Vaast (FRA) 11.80
Heat 2: Laura Raupp (BRA) 11.67 DEF. Rachel Presti (DEU) 11.23
Heat 3: Sawyer Lindblad (USA) 15.10 DEF. Janire Etxabarri (EUK) 10.33
Heat 4: Sol Aguirre (PER) 11.53 DEF. Daniella Rosas (PER) 6.83 
Heat 5: Erin Brooks (CAN) 15.03 DEF. Luana Silva (BRA) 13.00
Heat 6: Francisca Veselko (PRT) 14.10 DEF. Sara Wakita (JPN) 8.67
Heat 7: Sierra Kerr (AUS) 12.47 DEF. Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 11.60
Heat 8: Zahli Kelly (AUS) 14.23 DEF Ellie Harrison (AUS) 10.13

Upcoming Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA) vs. Laura Raupp (BRA)
Heat 2: Sawyer Lindblad (USA) vs. Sol Aguirre (PER)
Heat 3: Erin Brooks (CAN) vs. Francisca Veselko (PRT)
Heat 4: Sierra Kerr (AUS) vs. Zahli Kelly (AUS)

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