One time grommet and junior champ, Jesse Horner, is on song to claim the 2012 Open title after a blistering performance in the October pointscore held in challenging, overhead swells.
Horner the Younger clocked up his fourth victory of the season to edge further ahead of his main rivals – Rhys Moffat, defending champ and older brother Jarrod, and Drew Kelly.
After a swell drought since July, the Reef turned on some barnstorming waves to provide a canvass for riders to unleash their frustrations as well as competitive juices. And the fireworks had judges and spectators hooting!
Jesse might have lost his semi-final to Drew, but had the last laugh a few moments after the hooter sounded when he slotted into a gangbuster, four second tube ride that everyone scored 11 out of 10.
The final was a see-sawing encounter, with Drew, Tyler Barnes and Jarrod all snapping off giant manoeuvres along the way – only to see Jesse take command in the last few minutes with two cut-throat snaps under a collapsing overhead wall.
Tyler, after months of snowboarding, was as loose and casual as ever to claim the runner-up slot, followed by Jarrod and Drew.
The Junior final was also a cracker, with the Top 6 offloading gouging turns, floaters and cuties like there was no tomorrow.
While their fellow surfers made the best of thunderous lefts at Dunnies, the Junior contenders kept up a furious showcase that had even the judges guessing who was top gun. In the end it was Jedd Felice who grabbed first place and a $20 voucher from Puresea Surf Shop.
Not too far behind were Nathan Hatheier, Logan Weir, Andrew Petoumenos, Rohan O’Sullivan and Ned Coleman.
The SuperGroms was held over because of the size and turbulence of the swell.
So, now it’s on to the final countdown in November. Either 3-4 or 17-18.