Surfing’s future will be let loose on the Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior with the world’s top 20-years and under surfers battling it out for the inaugural title next week. Burleigh Heads, Australia, renowned for its warm waters and freight train barrels will provide the ultimate surfing arena for 192 new wave warriors between 22-28th January, 2007.
With battle lines drawn, a stacked field of 36 internationals will attempt to bring down Australia’s best pro junior surfers. The winners will be sharing in the $20,000 prize pool making it the richest pro junior surfing event to be ever held in Queensland.
A who’s who of Australia’s junior stockpile including the high quality acts of Julian Wilson (Coolum), Owen Wright (Culburra, NSW), Laurie Towner (Angourie, NSW), Mitchell Coleborn (Maroochydore) and Nick Riley (Fairlight) will line up for the 7 star ASP Australasia Pro Junior event.
Adding to the already high stakes is the automatic qualification of the contest winner into the trials of the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley WCT event at Trestles, California in 2007. The winner will also receive a wildcard into the $20,000 prize money Boost Mobile Surf Show to be held on the Gold Coast on April 15th 2007.
Queensland surfing prodigy Julian Wilson (Coolum) will contest the tournament and is fully mindful of the opportunity to compete on the ‘Dream Tour’. To compete on the world stage would be awesome,” explained Wilson. “The prospect of surfing in front of the surfing world at the same time as competing against the world’s best really excites me. This is one event that everyone wants to win.”
Wilson, 18, is a lightning fast surfer, with the uncanny ability to pull off unpredictable and futuristic manoeuvres at the drop of the hat. The 2006 ASP Australasia Junior Series runner-up has been a standout at both the national and international level for many years.
His form at the start of the ’06 junior series was nothing short of amazing, and he backed it up with an impressive victory at the ISA world championships in Brazil, defeating newly crowned World Junior champion Jordy Smith (South Africa) and WCT newcomer Jeremy Flores (Reunion Island).
The coast’s biggest names; Brent Dorrington (Coolangatta), Brendan Leckie (Palm Beach) and Nick Vasicek (Coolangatta) are anxiously waxing their boards in anticipation of Queensland’s biggest pro junior event. Dorrington, who recently won a trials spot into the only WCT event on the Gold Coast in ’07, has been the form surfer of Queensland’s domestic competition.
Of the strong international contingent, Tiago Camaro (Brazil) is the chief danger, following a recent quarterfinal appearance in the world junior championships at Nth Narrabeen, Australia. Also competing will be Hurley international team riders Kai Barger, Nate Rex, Dillon Perillo and Kekoa Cazimero.
In 1977, Burleigh was the venue for the first Stubbies Classic, the surf contest generally regarded as the beginning of big league world tour competition. It was also the first big pro event to feature man-on-man heats, a competitive form still used in ASP events today. This same format will be used to crown the Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior winner in 2007.
Bolstering to the unparalleled competition format is Hurley’s ‘Burleigh Battle’ presented by Sony Ericsson, which will be staged on Australia Day. The ‘Burleigh Battle’ will bring surfers from different territories together in a new team-style format to determine which is the strongest in pro surfing.
Eight teams of two surfers will compete in 45-minute heats in a four team per heat format. Teams will be from Australian States (QLD, NSW, VIC, WA, SA/TAS) and three international teams consisting of the top six international seeds. The state teams will consist of the highest two seeds from each state, which are competitors in the main event.
Teams will be judged on their best aerial along with their best-ridden wave, plus a “shared” wave, where surfers from the same team have to ride a wave together. The concept was created to encourage teams to work together, and judging was set up to favour teams that have both surfers on the same wave-face, surfing in the same direction at the same time.
As an added bonus for competitors, the exciting junior event will offer a seven-day surfing window for five days of competition surfing. The tournament window will run from Monday 22nd January through to Sunday 28th January, 2007. The official Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior press launch will be held on Monday 22nd January to coincide with the commencement of the event.
The Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior is the second stop on the ASP Australasia junior series.