Perfect 2-meter surf, a select crop of internationally acclaimed junior surfers and two ASP World Junior Titles at stake, will make for sensational surfing when the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships get underway at Sydney’s North Narrabeen beach, tomorrow.
The event, now in its tenth year, marks the most important stop on the 2007 ASP International Junior Surfing calendar and will crown the 2007 ASP World Junior Men’s and Women’s Champions.
Formatted to ASP elite Men’s and Women’s World Tour specifications, the event holds a ten day window period and will see junior surfers compete in man-on-man heats, using priority rules, just like their ASP World Tour heroes would at top level competition.
Running as a precursor to the main event, the Von Zipper Wildcard Trials culminated today which saw multiple Australian Junior Champion Owen Wright (AUS) and Hawaii’s Granger Larsen, advancing through three rounds and 16 surfers, to earn their spots into the main event.
“I was looking at the heat draw before this event and I thought to myself, ‘wow I really want to be in that and see what I can do against those guys’,” overall winner Wright said, after posting a near perfect 9.00 (out of ten) point ride in the Final. “We’ve got a great Aussie team this year; I’m stoked to be a part of it and am planning to give it my best shot.”
Excellent waves peeled across North Narrabeen beach all morning, thanks to the low pressure system currently off the coast of Queensland, and all indications point to a great week of waves ahead.
“We’ve had a lot of swell on the whole east coast over the last four days and looking at the forecast, it should last all the way through the first bits of the waiting period,” Contest Director and former ASP World Tour campaigner Luke Egan (AUS) confirmed this morning. “The weekend could get a little windy so we’re looking to start the event first thing tomorrow morning and run through as many rounds as we can, over the next few days.”
The next call will be at 07h30 tomorrow morning for a possible 08h00 start.
First heat in the water sees Hawaiian Tonino Benson take on the Japanese duo of Tatsuya Fukagawa and Shu Hagiwara.
A total field of 48 junior men, 18 junior women plus four wildcards from eight surfing regions will compete for the coveted ASP Billabong World Junior Men’s and Women’s Titles.
The event will be broadcast live via the internet on www.billabongpro.com.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships are supported by Panasonic, The Association of Surfing Professionals, Von Zipper, The Warringah Shire Council and Surfing NSW.
Billabong World Junior Championships Round 1 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Tonino Benson (HAW); Tatsuya Fukagawa (JAP); Shu Hagiwara (JAP)
Heat 2: Dusty Payne (HAW); Charlie Brown (BRA); Nicolau Von Rupp (DEU)
Heat 3: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA); Julian Wilson (AUS); Beau Atchison (AUS)
Heat 4: Charles Martin (GLP); Cory Arrambide (USA); Angelo Lozano (MEX)
Heat 5: Robson Santos (BRA); Brandon Jackson (ZAF); Jean-Heifara Tahutini (PYF)
Heat 6: Tanner Gudauskas (USA); Casey Brown (HAW); Giancarlo Zampieri (BRA)
Heat 7: Mason Ho (HAW); John John Florence (HAW); Casey Grant (ZAF)
Heat 8: Adriana De Souza (BRA); Nick Rosza (USA); Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 9: Pablo Paulino (BRA); Jatyr Berasaluce (ESP); Yan Guinaraes (BRA)
Heat 10: Matt Wilkinson (AUS); Torrey Meister (HAW); Tamaroa McComb (PYF)
Heat 11: Romain Cloitre (FRA); Clay Marzo (HAW); Kento Takahashi (JPN)
Heat 12: Mitchell Coleborn (AUS); Brandon Roberts (ZAF); Jayke Sharp (AUS)
Heat 13: Chris Waring (USA); Kyle Ramey (HAW); Heath Joske (AUS)
Heat 14: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF); Adrien Valero (FRA); Klee Strachan (ZAF)
Heat 15: Granger Larsen (HAW); Keito Matsuoka (JPN); Brett Shearer (ZAF)
Heat 16: Josh Redman (ZAF); Adam Wickwire (USA); Osawa Nobuyuki (JPN)