Maxime Huscenot (REU), 17, has won the ASP World Junior title at Narabeen in Australia last night becoming the first French and European male surfer to clinch the coveted crown.
Huscenot, who defeated ASP Top 45 rookie Jadson Andre (BRA), 19, in a hard-fought final, dominated the punchy two-to-three foot (one meter) waves of Sydney’s famous beach of Narabeen to make his way through the Quarterfinals and Semifinals before winning the final encounter of the event.
“This is the biggest day of my life and it’s absolutely unbelievable,” Huscenot said. “It feels like I just won a heat, not the ASP World Title – it’s incredible. Jadson (Andre) is an amazing surfer and the whole Brazilian team rips so hard. I cannot believe it is my day. I am at a loss for words.”
The 17-year-old athlete, former ASP European Junior champion (2008) who received entry into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) as an ASP International wildcard, stepped-up against the world’s best Under-21 surfers throughout a week of intense surf battles to finish atop the 48-man field.
“I knew I was not a big name coming here,” Huscenot said. “Jadson (Andre) was the best surfer, doing massive air reverses that I cannot even dream of doing. But I just surfed the best I could and I guess the judges appreciated it.”
Huscenot, who started his 2009 Pro Junior season late due to school obligations that saw the young man graduate from high school by July, finished his regional run inside the ASP Europe ratings’ Top 10 taking out the ASP Grade-1 Sopelana Pro Junior, his only win in 2009. With several injuries making his year even tougher, Huscenot landed in Australia as an outsider.
“I never dreamed I would be here,” Huscenot said. “I was injured in October and couldn’t surf for a month. But I trained hard and got the wildcard here and once I made it past the fourth round, I knew it was going to be a good event for me. It feels amazing to be the first Frenchman to claim the ASP World Junior Title.”
Huscenot’s win at Narabeen rockets him onto the prestigious list of past winners that include ASP World Tour stars Joel Parkinson (AUS), Andy Irons (HAW), Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Adriano de Souza (BRA), a serious confidence boost and encouraging step for his international career.
Having defeated other 2010 ASP World Tour rookie and event favorite Owen Wright (AUS) in Round 4, ASP North America top representative Nat Young (USA) in the Quarterfinals and Brazil’s brilliant athlete Alejo Muniz (BRA) in the Semifinals, Huscenot wraps-up his 2009 Billabong ASP World Junior Championships campaign on top of the world.