Mateus Herdy and Kirra Pinkerton crowned 2018 world junior surfing champions

December 10, 2018 | Surfing
Mateus Herdy: your 2018 WSL world junior surfing champion | Photo: Hain/WSL

Mateus Herdy and Kirra Pinkerton have taken out the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Junior Championships in Jinzun Harbour, Taiwan.

The one-off event offered highly contestable wave riding conditions for both men and women.

Herdy joined the likes of Adriano de Souza and Gabriel Medina as a world junior surfing champion. The Brazilian was competing on the Triple Crown of Surfing, but received a wildcard spot and jumped on a plane to Taiwan.

"I still can't believe. Everything happened so fast. I did good in Haleiwa; it didn't work out in Sunset Beach, but I God had a plan for me," said Mateus Herdy.

"I had never been here. What a beautiful place! When I got here, I thought I was in Hawaii because the waves are super fun, and the people here are really happy all the time and humble. I will remember this for the rest of my life."

Kirra Pinkerton: your 2018 world junior surfing champion | Photo: Hain/WSL

The women's final got underway in super clean, three-to-four-foot waves blessed by light off-shore winds. Pinkerton, from San Clemente, beat Hawaiian talent Keala Tomoda-Bannert by a narrow margin.

"I have no words to express what I feel right now. It was definitely my goal for this event, and I am so happy it just came through," said Kirra Pinkerton.

The Southern Californian, who had recently won the WSL North America Junior Qualifying Series (JQS), only managed to take the lead in the dying moments of the final.

"The waves were so good throughout the event. The tides are a big thing here, there are big lulls, and the waves are a lot like home. So I was a bit more prepared for that."

2018 Taiwan Open World Junior Championships | Finals

Men
1. Mateus Herdy (BRA) 18.37
2. Eithan Osborne (USA) 11.67

Women
1. Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 15.27
2. Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) 15.03

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