Mililani's Bacalso surfs to world junior crown
Mililani's Kekoa Bacalso beat Tahiti's Michael Bourez in the final of the Billabong World Junior Championships yesterday at North Narrabeen, Australia.
Bacalso, 20, became the first Hawai'i surfer to win the World Junior Championship since Kaua'i's Andy Irons in 1998.
The final day of the four-day competition took place in 4-foot waves.
In the final, Bacalso scored an 8.67 and 7.33 for a total of 16, while Bourez scored 4.67 and 3.67 for an 8.34.
Bacalso won $6,000 and Bourez earned $3,200.
In the semifinals, Bacalso beat Maui's Hank Gaskell, 14.23-13.10. Gaskell led for most of the heat, but Bacalso received a 7.4 in the closing minutes to win it.
Gaskell, 19, received $2,750 for third place.
The contest is considered the world championship for surfers under the age of 21, professional or amateur.
Three other Hawai'i surfers were eliminated in the fourth round: T.J. Barron of O'ahu's North Shore, Granger Larsen of Maui and Dustin Cuizon of 'Ewa Beach.