Progressive Duel Unfolds at Billabong ASP World Junior Championships
NORTH NARRABEEN/New South Wales/Australia (Saturday, January 8, 2011) - The opening day of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships saw both men's and women's Round 1 action completed at Sydney's North Narrabeen with the world's finest under-21 surfing talent unleashing a progressive showdown while hunting for the prestigious title of ASP World Junior Champion.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships marks the last of two stops on the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour, with the first event unfolding in Bali at the Oakley World Pro Junior.
Miguel Pupo (BRA), 18, current No. 17 on the ASP World Junior Rankings, got the best of a blow-for-blow aerial exchange over fellow goofy-footer Evan Geiselman (USA), 17, by lofting a variety of massive forehand airs on several North Narrabeen ramps to snatch the day's highest single wave score of an 8.67 out of 10 while posting the day's highest heat total of 15.83 out of 20 to advance directly through to Round 3.
"That was a hard heat," Pupo said. "Evan (Geiselman) started with an 8.17, so I gave it my best and got the score so I'm happy. Last time I surfed against Evan, he won the contest and I got 4th. I just did my best to catch waves and do some airs."
Pupo, who refines his aerial skills at the beachbreaks surrounding his home in Brazil, felt equally comfortable in North Narrabeen's often tricky conditions.
"It's pretty easy for the Brazilians here because the waves are like this at home," Pupo said. "We have all beachbreaks, no points, with waves breaking everywhere, so Narrabeen reminds me of the waves I surf in Brazil."
Mitch Crews (AUS), 20, displayed an impressive variety of fins-free turns and airs on North Narrabeen's alley rights to detonate one of the day's highest heat totals, 15.30 out of 20, to win his Round 1 heat.
"It's really fun out there," Crews said. "I started on those alley rights and saw some sneaky ones come through and the other boys followed me. I got lucky with those runners. I just throw in the supermans because I think it's a cool little move to throw in between on your wave to get the judges excited."
Crews, current No. 3 on the ASP World Junior Rankings, hopes he can better his Semifinals performance earned in Bali in an attempt to take out the ASP World Junior Title for Australia.
"It'd be great to go one better here," Crews said. "Bali was epic, it was so much fun. We've got fun waves here now and the waves are amazing. It's summer here in Australia and it'd be amazing to go one better here and take this thing out at home. It'd be good to get an Aussie to finally win this thing."
Jack Freestone (AUS), 18, current ratings leader on the ASP World Junior Tour, carried the momentum from his Oakley World Pro Junior victory to North Narrabeen to advance directly through to Round 3, moving him one step closer to an ASP World Junior Title.
"It feels good coming into Narrabeen as No. 1," Freestone said. "The waves are really hard out there, but it puts me in a good spot. I was watching heats before mine and everyone was just getting small scores, so I went and tried this right. Unfortunately it was filled with bluebottles. I'm just going to cruise around Narrabeen and surf and hang out with my family and wait for Round 3."
Maxime Huscenot (FRA), 18, defending Billabong ASP World Junior Champion, suffered an early elimination at the first stop on the ASP World Junior Tour, putting him at No. 17 entering the event. The young Frenchman returned to form in his Round 1 heat today to take the win with polished surfing on both his forehand and backhand to keep his hopes of a repeat Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Title alive.
"It feels good to come back as defending champ," Huscenot said. "I've been here to Narrabeen eight times now and it feels good to surf as defending champion this year. My friends were really stoked for me when I won last year and everyone at home is enjoying my success. I have great support from the people at home."
Prior to the start of men's competition, the world's best female ASP Pro Junior Talent tore through the early-morning conditions in an impressive display of their own.
Tyler Wright (AUS), 16, current ratings leader on the ASP Women's World Junior Tour, dismantled several right-handers today to earn the highest heat total of Round 1 women's action, a 13.67 out of 20, and made her goal of winning the event clear after the prestigious title eluded older brother, Owen.
"This is my third year competing in this event and I haven't passed the third round," Wright said. "This contest has so much significance to me and I'd like to do well. This event means a lot. It eluded my brother and I want to do this one. It's the highest rated junior event there is, so it'd be a good one (to win)."
Lakey Peterson (USA), 16, who is competing in her first Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, blasted what many would call the most progressive maneuver of women's Round 1 competition with a powerful frontside rail-grab reverse, earning a 6.83 for the single maneuver and berth into Round 3.
"It was really fun out there," Peterson said. "It's not my first time to Australia, but it's my first time in this contest. It's a really cool place and I'm happy to be here. The waves were really fun. That right always has a little section, so I just went for the reverse."
Laura Enever (AUS), 19, defending Billabong ASP Women's World Champion, was in top-form in her opening heat, detonating several tail-drifting turns at her home break of North Narrabeen to take a Round 1 win to keep her chances of a repeat victory alive.
"It's always good to get that first heat win out of the way," Enever said. "I wasn't really too nervous. I just tried to treat it like a free-surf and I had a lot of friends and family on the beach so it was good. I wasn't really a good local out there. I did a lot of paddling. I got off to a good start, but struggled to find a backup wave. I'm happy to get the first heat win though."
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am local time for a possible 8am start.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships holds a waiting period from January 8 through 16, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.billabongpro.com.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
The Billabong ASP World junior Championships fuelled by Monster Energy is made possible with the support of Sony, Volkswagon, VonZipper, Nixon, Australia's Surfing Life Magazine, Manly Warringah Council and NSW Sport and Recreation.
Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Ty Watson (AUS) 9.40, Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 8.30, Tero Tahutini (PYF) 7.63
Heat 2: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 12.26, Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 11.67, Evan Thompson (USA) 10.77
Heat 3: Chad Du Toit (ZAF) 8.60, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 8.50, Takumi Nakamura (JPN) 7.30
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 11.87, Luke Davis (USA) 10.27, Andrew Doheny (USA) 5.80
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.84, Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.44, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 6.47
Heat 6: Granger Larsen (HAW) 10.84, Nic Von Rupp (DEU) 6.27, Enrique Ariitu (PYF) 5.17
Heat 7: Ramzi Boukhaim (MOR) 8.94, Alex Smith (HAW) 8.93, Caio Ibeli (BRA) 6.50
Heat 8: Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.26, Ian Goiveia (BRA) 6.87, Keala Naihe (HAW) 3.96
Heat 9: Dale Staples (ZAF) 12.00, Charles Martin (GLP) 12.00, Tom Cloarec (FRA) 6.26
Heat 10: Mitch Crews (AUS) 15.30, Chris Salisbury (AUS) 10.77, Arashi Kato (JPN) 12.00
Heat 11: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.07, Albee Layer (HAW) 10.67, Conner Coffin (USA) 8.24
Heat 12: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 13.44, Ian Gentil (HAW) 12.67, Dean Bowen (AUS) 8.67
Heat 13: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.67, Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.43, Guillermo Satt (CHL) 9.60
Heat 14: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.27, Kaishu Tanaka (JPN) 9.73, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 9.04
Heat 15: Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.73, Beyrick Devries (ZAF) 11.93, Kaito Ahashi (JPN) 8.14
Heat 16: Brendon Gibbons (ZAF) 10.53, Felipe Jervis (PRT) 9.77, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 0
Billabong Women's ASP World Junior Championships Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.16, Camila Cassia (BRA) 8.26, Justine Dupont (FRA) 7.30
Heat 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 10.83, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.83, Chantelle Rautenbach (ZAF) 8.94
Heat 3: Laura Enever (AUS) 11.33, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 6.00, Minato Takahashi (JPN) 3.40
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.67, Ellie Jean-Coffey (AUS) 10.00, Diana Cristina (BRA) 0
Heat 5: Leila Hurst (HAW) 9.67, Nao Omura (JPN) 7.77, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 6.07
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.27, Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 7.17, Phillipa Anderson (AUS) 2.80
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