Preping for 2020 YETI Australian Online Surf Championships

Promising surfing talents like Zali Hewson will still get a chance to compete on the national stage this year despite the 2020 Surf Dive n’ Ski Australian Junior Surfing Titles being cancelled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of every competitor travelling to North Stradbroke Island next month to compete as planned, national title hopefuls will instead vie for honours from their individual home breaks in an invitation-only online format.

The 2020 YETI Australian Online Surf Championships will see participants send in videos of themselves riding their local waves for judges to assess over three submission rounds.

“We’re sending in videos to the judges and they’re going to judge it online. That’s pretty cool, a bit different,” Hewson said.

For the Margaret River-based teenager it means a home advantage.

“I think there’s better waves here. I know the waves,” Hewson said.

The South West Academy of Sport athlete is in fine form for the event which is offering a platform for juniors to showcase their skills for the chance to share in more than $30,000 in prizes.

The 15-year-old, who has won three state championships, most recently earned first place in the under-16 cadet girls division of the final event in the Woolworths WA Junior Surf Titles series.

The online championships are Hewson’s fourth stint at nationals, with the young star having placed second at junior nationals in 2017.


Above photo: Surfing WA/Majeks, Cover photo: Teneille Watson