NORTH NARRABEEN, New South Wales/Australia (Monday, January 11, 2010) - Clean one-to-two-foot (0.5 metre) lefts and rights were on offer this morning, prompting event organizers to unleash the world's best junior surfers on the sandbars North Narrabeen for the commencement of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy.
Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), 20, was nearly flawless on his backhand this afternoon; the stylish Brazilian dissecting the running Alley righthanders to net several impressive scoring rides en route to acquiring the day's high heat total of 14.66 out of a possible 20.
"The waves are tough out there but the righthanders are lining up much better than the lefts," Dantas said. "I have a really good board under my feet and felt really good today."
Brazilians have claimed four of the past 10 ASP World Junior Titles, and Dantas now leads one of the strongest ASP South American teams in history in North Narrabeen.
"Of course it would be a great honor to win the ASP World Junior Title," Dantas said. "Pablo (Paulino) and Adriano (de Souza) are great inspirations in Brazil and it is everyone's goal to follow them. There are so many good surfers here. It will be a big challenge to win the title."
Garrett Parkes (AUS), 18, was another standout this afternoon, leading the Australian contingent in Round 1 this afternoon, executing a futuristic backhand shove-it aerial in the dying moments to take the heat win, and the day's highest single wave score of an 8.00 out of a possible 10.
"I'm pretty stoked," Parkes said. "I was struggling to get the score the whole heat, and I didn't get a good ramp until the last minute. It always feels good to come from behind on the last wave. I think everyone in town wants to see an Aussie win so we'll see what happens."
When men's competition resumes, up first will be the highly-anticipated Round 1 bout between Owen Wright (AUS), 19, Clay Marzo (HAW), 20, and Ryan Callinan (AUS).
Prior to the men's action this afternoon, the world's best junior females tore into the morning conditions at North Narrabeen, completing their respective Round 1 of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy.
Malia Manuel (HAW), 16, former U.S. Open winner (in 2008 at age 14), dominated the women's action in the opening heat of the event, posting an impressive 14.83 out of a possible 20 for her progressive forehand and backhand attacks.
"First heat of the event and it glassed off so great call waiting for the high tide to drop," Manuel said. "It was a wonderful format with half and hour and I knew that the waves would come. I'm thrilled to be here and get my campaign off to a good start."
Although a relative newcomer to the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, Manuel recognizes the importance of the event.
"I'd be honored (to win the ASP World Junior Title)," Manuel said. "It's the biggest junior event in our careers. To make a few rounds, and even just to qualify here, is a massive honor."
Laura Enever (AUS), 18, local Narrabeen surfer, is a major crowd favorite at the world-renowned break and despite a slow start in her Round 1 heat, the affable natural-footer rebounded to take the win and advance through to Round 3.
"I was really nervous in that heat," Enever said. "I was freaking out. All my friends and family are here and I want to do well for them. I was nervous in the beginning but got a few waves at the end and had fun."
The surprise upset in today's Billabong ASP World Junior Championships came in the form of reigning ASP World Junior Champion, Pauline Ado (FRA), 18, as the young natural-footer was relegated to the elimination Round 2.
"It was pretty messy and very hard to catch the good waves," Ado said. "Obviously I didn't catch the same ones. I hope I surf better than this and now I have to make it through Round 2. I'm just going to be patient and take things heat by heat."
When women's competition resumes, Ado will face Sarah Baum (ZAF), 15, and Susa Leal (BRA) in the elimination Round 2.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.
Highlights from today's Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy are available via www.billabongpro.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.83, Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.43, Sayuri Hashimoto (JPN) 5.60
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 11.84, Leila Hurst (HAW) 9.26, Nao Ohmura (JPN) 7.20
Heat 3: Sage Erickson (USA) 11.67, Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 11.10, Susa Leal (BRA) 5.20
Heat 4: Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 12.60, Gabriela Leite (BRA) 10.83, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 7.53
Heat 5: Joanne Defay (FRA) 12.66, Alessa Cuizon (HAW) 11.20, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.57
Heat 6: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.33, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 8.03, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 6.93
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA), Sarah Baum (ZAF), Susa Leal (BRA)
Heat 2: Sayuri Hashimoto (JPN), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Nao Ohmura (JPN)
Heat 1: Hiroto Arai (JPN) 11.00, Keito Matsouka (JPN) 10.20, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 7.81
Heat 2: Marco Fernandez (BRA) 14.54, Tonino Benson (HAW) 12.20, Dean Bowen (AUS) 12.00
Heat 3: Davey Cathels (AUS) 10.83, Nat Young (USA) 9.43, Casey Grant (ZAF) 8.37
Heat 4: Luciani Heremoana (PYF) 10.23, Granger Larsen (HAW) 10.10, Kyle Lane (ZAF) 8.23
Heat 5: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 10.54, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.76, Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 7.90
Heat 6: Garrett Parkes (AUS) 13.90, Maxime Huscenot (REU) 12.00, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.87
Heat 7: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.66, Jocelyn Poulou (PYF) 8.17, Brent Reilly (USA) 6.43
Heat 8: Klee Strachan (ZAF) 9.10, Brent Savage (AUS) 8.83, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.43
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS), Clay Marzo (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 10: Alejo Muniz (BRA), Medi Veminardi (REU), Made Rhondi (IDN)
Heat 11: Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Jatyr Berasaluce (ESP), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 12: Charles Martin (GLP), Dillon Perillo (USA), Franklin Serpa (BRA)
Heat 13: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Luke Davis (USA), Frederico Moraes (PRT)
Heat 14: Manuel Selman (CHL), Cory Arrambide (USA), Chris Friend (AUS)
Heat 15: Chad Du Toit (ZAF), Arashi Kato (JPN), Cody Thompson (USA)
Heat 16: Nicolau Von Rupp (DEU), Albee Layer (HAW), Kaito Ohashi (JPN)