National champions crowned on Phillip Island

December 7, 2023 BY

Willem Watson shot to the air to claim a fourth place in the U/18 Men. Photos: NOAH CLIFFORD/SURFING VICTORIA.

SIX new Australian champions were crowned in quality waves on Phillip Island over the weekend at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles.

The nine-day event featured 100 of the best junior surfers from across the country who produced some magical surfing moments and nail-biting contests.

The Victorian team featured 15 surfers from the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula.


More than 15 surfers from the Surf Coast and Bellarine represented Victoria, but Mornington Peninsula surfers secured the best overall results.

Willem Watson and Lucas Hickson reigned supreme in the U/19 Boys Allstars Schools division, while Sarsha Pancic and Eva Bassed scored wins in the U/19 Girls division.

Rose Holland finished with a third in the U/14 Girls.


Individually, Rose Holland charged her way to a third place in the U/14 Girls and Willem Watson finished with a fourth place in the U/18 Men.

The U/18 Men individual division was dominated by New South Welshmen Eden Hasson, who put on a clinical display to defeat his opponents.


New South Welshmen Eden Hasson won the U/18 Men division.


Hasson showed off his impressive rail game and elite forehand carving manoeuvres to close out the final with a 9.2 (out of a possible 10).

“I got the first two ones and then once I was in a comfortable position I kind of just loosened up and tried to go for some airs and it paid off,” he said.

“I’m so happy.”

As the winner of the U/18 Men division, Hasson also locked away a spot at the 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

“I was watching it [the 2023 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship] the last couple days and watching all the boys over there ripping. It definitely made me want to win this to get over there next year,” he added.

West Australian Willow Hardy was victorious in the premier U/18 Women division and furthered her credentials as a future star of the nation.

“It feels so surreal, so sick to actually get to show that I deserve to go [to the 2024 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship] in this kind of surf,” she said.

“I’m just so grateful. I had pretty good heats leading up to it, some of the best heats I think I’ve surfed. But it could’ve been anyone’s. I was just taking my time, being patient.”

Willow Hardy reigned supreme at Cape Woolamai.


Surfing Victoria contest director Liam Robertson said the event showcased “the future of surfing in Australia is in good hands.”

“It was a fantastic end to the Woolworths Australian Junior Surfing Titles at Cape Woolamai.

“We were greeted with playful 2ft waves, which saw some amazing surfing and great battles go down.

“A massive congratulations to all the champions and overall state champion Queensland.”

Victoria finished fourth in the overall state rankings.

For full results, head to australianjuniorsurfingtitles.com