It has been a whirlwind of ups and downs the last two weeks for Sunshine Coast surfer Mitch Coleborn. Four days after winning the Billabong Pro Junior Series event on home turf on the Sunshine Coast, the 19-year-old has lost a swag of worldly possessions, including his contest winning “dream” board, his laptop, clothes and his wallet after thieves stole his car from Duranbah Beach on the Gold Coast.
This last weekend, Mitch didn’t let that stop him as he took first place for the second week in a row at the Billabong Pro Junior Series in Coffs Harbour, Australia. The powerful goofy footer defeated 16-year-old Brazilian dynamo Alejo Muniz (Florianopolis) in ideal 1m beach breaks, an early lead setting up the emphatic win. The back-to-back wins catapulted Mitch into the number one spot on the ASP Australasian Junior Series ratings.
Sunshine Coast surfing superstar Coleborn, 20, blasted an 8.75 ride on his opening wave to lead from the outset in the 25-minute clash before backing up with a 6.10 late in the heat. His young Brazilian opponent fired back with a 6.25 at the mid-way point to shoot into contention and held priority for over eight minutes towards the final siren. Requiring an 8.36 to snatch victory, Muniz grabbed a last ditch attempt but fell short with a 5.40.
“At the start of last week I knew I needed to get some good results because I had a shocker on the Gold Coast in the second event,” said Coleborn. “It’s pretty sick, I’m just trying to get my head around it at the moment. It was a stressful heat because at the start I got that one good score but I feel like I blew a couple of good waves as well,” said Coleborn. “I was just hoping he didn’t get that score on his last ride and he didn’t.”
The victory signaled back to back wins for Coleborn, who secured his first breakthrough of the season in his hometown last week. It also lifted the to the number one spot on the ASP Australasian Junior Series ratings after leader Jayke Sharp bowed out in round four. Coleborn is at the helm on 6589 points, Beau Atchison (Copacabana) is in second on 6428 and Sharp was bounced back into third spot on 6287.
“I was really confident coming into this event, I feel like I have been surfing pretty good lately,” said Coleborn. “I didn’t even get a chance to ride my own board but I guess I went alright on the ones I had. It happened to me all last year where I just needed to go one spot better or get through one more heat to take the lead and I have always wanted to top the leaders board.”
It was a roller coaster week for the 20-year-old who had his car stolen with all his surfboards, clothes, wallet, phone and other possessions on the way to the Coffs Harbour Pro Junior on Valentines Day. With just two surfboards, a t-shirt and one pair of boardshorts to his name Coleborn competed in the five-day event and came away in first position.
“It’s been an up and down well I had my car stolen from Duranbah on Wednesday so I just put that out of the road, I knew I had a job to do down here so I just put my head down and did it. I’ve still got the same pair of shorts I have had on since Wednesday, they are getting pretty smelly.” Coffs Coast local Heath Joske (Nambucca) fell devastatingly short of his first Pro Junior final after losing out to Brazilian Muniz in the Semi.
Joske was the lone remaining local hope in the event after Coffs Harbour resident Otis Carey bowed out in round five to secure an equal 9th. The 18-year-old led the Semi and looked certain to face Coleborn in the decider before the tenacity of Muniz came through, locking in two identical 7.50 rides in the last six minutes and snatching finals glory away from Joske.
Never the less, the Nambucca local’s second equal third placed finish for the season has bolstered his standing on the ASP Junior rankings, lifting him to fourth. “I’m a little bit disappointed but still happy with the result,” said Joske. “It’s starting to get a bit annoying finishing in third, I think it has happened four or five times now but I had a good contest and I’m still content.”
“It’s good to be the top local because there is so many of them at the moment with Jayke Sharp, Otis Carey and Madison Williams all doing really well,” said Joske. “There are a lot of good locals coming out of this region and it is good to be one of them, we all push each other a lot.” South Coast young gun Owen Wright (Culburra) went down to Coleborn in the Semi-Final despite yet again being a standout competitor throughout the five-day event.
Wright, 17, easily defeated Gold Coast surfer John Cummings (Coolangatta) in the Quarterfinals on a two wave combined heat score of 17.00 to set up the penultimate clash against the Sunshine Coaster.
Put on the back foot from the word go when Coleborn chalked up an 8.50 on his opening wave, Wright could not get back in the game. The light-footed Goofy continues to reach the Semi-Final and Final stages of Australasian Pro Junior Series events but is still yet to record a maiden victory on the circuit.
“He got one at the start and I was looking for a right and as soon as we got out there it all changed,” said Wright. “He got that 8.50 start and I thought I could still do it, I just needed to find a good wave. I just couldn’t find one of those waves that would keep lipping up for me. It’s definitely my goal to get a win in one of these events,” said Wright. “Third are still a good result but not the result I was after from this contest.”
Tweed Heads surfer Chris “Chipper” Wilson took out the ever-exiting Panasonic Expression today for a huge frontside air to reverse. Wilson has exploded onto the scene in the pro junior series as a leader of futuristic surfing. Todays mind blowing Panasonic victory is his fourth to date.
Current ratings bridesmaid Atchison took out the best Kustomised Maneuver and was awarded $1000 courtesy of Kustom Shoes. The explosive natural footer landed a huge frontside air reverse in his Quarter Final loss to Joske and was rewarded with an 8.50 for just the one single turn.
The Billabong Pro Junior Series is supported by Vodafone, Panasonic, UV Triplegard, Clearasil, Von Zipper, Kustom, Surfing NSW and the Coffs Harbour City Council.
- 1. Mitchell Coleborn
- 2. Alejo Muniz
- 3. Heath Joske
- 3. Owen Wright
- 5. Nick Riley
- 5. John Cummings
- 5. Beau Atchison
- 5. Richard Christie
2007 Billabong Junior Series Events
- $13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Sunshine Coast, February 6 to 11
- $13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour, February 14 to 18
- $13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Raglan, March 29 to 31
- $13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Wollongong, September 13 to 16
- $23,000 Billabong Pro Junior Bells, September 26 to 30