World junior surfing champion Ella Williams' first foray into the international senior ranks this year ended with a credible ninth placing at the Australian Open today.
The Whangamata 19-year-old had surfed strongly through to the fifth round at Manly Beach on Sydney's north shore, including pushing current world open champion Carissa Moore on Thursday afternoon.
But her run came to an end this morning in small, sloppy surf with a quarter-final appearance beckoning.
Williams totalled 12.67 for her two best waves to finished behind Maud Le Car (France, 14.33) and Leila Hurst (Hawaii, 13.20) in their heat.
The result earned Williams $US900 and 920 points from the World Qualifying Series contest.
Williams plans a steady campaign on WQS this year with a hope of doing enough to break into the Dream Tour for 2015.
Earlier, top-ranked Kiwi Paige Hareb exited in the third round.
The pair will shift their focus to the Newcastle WQS event next week.
- © Fairfax NZ News