Career Best Victory For Matt Hewitt
Mount Maunganui surfer Matt Hewitt has surfed to a career best win at the first event of the Australasian Pro Junior Series completed in Australia overnight (5th January 2011).
The win is the first by a male Kiwi surfer at this level since the domination of Maz Quinn in the mid 1990s.
The 19 year old surfer defeated good friend and experienced ASP campaigner Dean Bowen (AUS) in small windswept 0.5m surf at Jan Juc, Victoria to claim the Championship Moves Pro Junior title.
"It's great to finally win one of these events" said Hewitt.
"They are tough to win, all the surfers at this level are very experienced and talented athletes and coming into my last season , I was wondering if I'd ever win one - now I have, I want more ... my confidence is up and to win the opening event of the season is ideal - I'll aim high from now on."
Both finalists have overcome fairly serious knee operations over the past 6 months and both were relieved to begin the season as finalists - "I know my knees good now and I can really push myself hard - it's been a tough time over 6 months, lots of time out of the water and rehab but now it's all worth it."
Bowen was similarly excited - "Perfect preparation for the coming World Junior Championships in Sydney for me - I've recovered and feel great and ready to fire in Sydney" said Bowen.
Hewitt won the tightly contested final by 0.15 scoring 8.65 to Bowen's 8.50 (out of a possible 20 points).
In a marathon day which saw both Pro Junior Men's and Women's completed due to dramatically dropping swells the finals ran through to the evening hours to ensure the event got what little was left of the swell.
Fellow Mount Maunganui surfer Alex Dive finished the first event of the season in 49th while Whangamata surfer Grace Spiers placed seventh in the girls division.
The event is the first of nine on the 2011 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series with events to be staged throughout Australia, Tahiti and Indonesia.
The top five surfers from the year end ratings qualify to compete in the ASP World Pro Junior Series at the end of the year, a goal that is now well within sight of Hewitt.
The next event of the series is the Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior - the biggest pro junior event of the year. Hewitt placed fifth at the event in 2010, his previous best result at this level.
Source: Surfing New Zealand
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