Droomer’s big break: Victorian rising stars fly Aussie flag in El Salvador

June 9, 2022 BY

Winners are Grinners. New U16 World Junior Champion Willis Droomer. Photo ISA SEAN EVANS

NEW U/16 World Junior Champion Willis Droomer and three-time Australian junior surfing champion Ellie Harrison have just returned from flying the flag for their country as members of the Irukandjis (Australian Junior Surfing Team) in El Salvador at the International Surfing Association World Junior Surfing Championship.

Droomer, 15, was able to take out the biggest win of his career in pumping conditions at La Bocana and El Sunzal in El Salvador on Saturday afternoon, while Harrison was able to charge towards the fourth round of the U/18 Girls division but narrowly missed out on progressing to the quarterfinals.

Harrison and Droomer were given the honour of pouring the sand of Australia at the opening ceremony on behalf of the country. Photo SUPPLIED


The 18th edition of the ISA World Junior Championship featured the best up-and-coming surfing talent from across the globe and serves as a leading pathway to world-class and Olympic surfing.

Droomer was able to put his best forehand surfing on display in the pristine surf conditions throughout the event, making it through all the way to the final as one of the last four surfers left out of the hundred competitors in his division.

The Jan Juc youngster was able to bounce off the amazing levels of camaraderie from his team and secure two strong scoring rides in the final of the U/16 Boys division while the crowd went crazy on the beach.

Droomer was elated to have taken out the win and his fellow Australians were quick to rush towards him to chair the 15-year-old up the rocky terrain as celebrations kicked off.

Willis Droomer lighting it up on his backhand in El Salvador. Photo ISA/SEAN EVANS


“Everyone was screaming and was so excited when each member of the team got a good wave,” he said.

“Our team’s motivation was absolutely infectious and it has been so much fun being around the Aussie team at such a massive event like the ISA Games.

“I hope to continue improving and rising up towards the big leagues of the sport.”

Harrison came into the event ranked at number two on the Australasian Professional Junior tour and managed to keep up her strong 2022 form in the U/18 Girls division of the event.

The Barwon Heads talent exhibited her damaging rail game, securing a spot in the fourth round, but was unlucky to not progress further into the event.

However, Harrison was thrilled to make it through some tough heats against the world’s best juniors and said she absolutely loved experiencing the culture of El Salvador.

“It was so amazing to meet so many new people at the event and surf some pumping waves,” she said.

Ellie Harrison in action during the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships. Photo ISA/MIKE RODRIGUEZ


“I was so happy to get the opportunity to represent my country against the world’s best junior surfers and will cherish the memories and friends I’ve met for a very long time.”

Overall, Australia took home the silver teams medal.