Adam Wickwire scored a sensational victory over fellow finalists Cory Arrambide and Wesley and Granger Larsen to claim the inaugural Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Pro Junior in peaky 3’ to 4’ South Swell at Huntington Beach.
Taking down event No. 5 of 10 on the 2007 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Pro Junior Series, Wickwire’s victory at the ASP Grade-2 Pier Pressure narrowly edges out former ratings-leader, and fellow finalist, Cory Arrambide for the top spot on the 2007 ASP North America Pro Junior ratings.
“I’ve just missed out on qualifying for the ASP World Junior Championships the past two years so to be on top at the halfway point feels amazing,” Wickwire said. “I’ve had a few results in past years, but never a victory at a big event. The win here at the Nike 6.0 event is my biggest on the Pro Junior series to date and hopefully I can keep the momentum building.”
Despite surfing with a buckled board, Wickwire jumped out to an early lead in the finals utilizing his blazing speed and progressive forehand attack.
“We had a slow start to the final and I was fortunate enough to get a few scores in the beginning, but I didn’t think I had it won until it was over,” Wickwire said. “The funny thing about this board is that I won my last Pro Junior on it. It’s a pretty old and buckled Joe Johnson, but having perfect equipment is so crucial at a spot like Huntington that I had to ride it.”
Wesley and Granger Larsen received the ASP Hawaii regional wildcards into the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Pro Junior and surfed through six rounds to earn their finals berth. Both surfers garnered the attention of the media and their fellow competitors as they tore through the weekend conditions en route to the podium.
“I’ve surfed against Wesley my whole life so it felt just like a free surf session in the final,” Pier Pressure runner-up Granger said. “Unfortunately, the conditions didn’t really offer a lot of big-scoring waves, but I’m stoked with the result and it’s good practice for when we go back to Hawaii and compete on our regional Pro Junior Series.”
Last year’s ASP North America Pro Junior Champion Eric Geiselman and younger brother Evan (New Smyrna Beach, FL) came close to making the final a family affair before being eliminated in their respective semifinal heats. Despite missing out on the finals, both surfers looked in brilliant form throughout the weekend and their results rocket them into the Top-10 on the current ASP North America Pro Junior ratings, Eric at No. 3 and Evan at No. 8 respectively.
Competitors on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series will hold onto their six best results of the ten-event season in hopes of qualifying for one of the five coveted regional seeds into January’s ASP World Junior Championships (WJCs). ASP North America will invite the top-4 finishers on the regional Pro Junior Series as well as the highest placing North American surfer on the World Qualifying Series (WQS) who is of junior age to compete at the WJCs.
With past ASP World Junior Champions including the likes of Andy Irons (Hanalei, HI), Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta, AUS) and Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF), the Nike 6.0 Pier Pressure Pro Junior has played a pivotal role in developing the surfing superstars of tomorrow.
The next event on the 2007 ASP North America Pro Junior Series will be the ASP Grade-2 Lost Pro Junior running in conjunction with the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach from July 20-29, 2007.
1 – Adam Wickwire (USA) 14.57
2 – Granger Larsen (HAW) 10.70
3 – Wesley Larsen (HAW) 9.04
4 – Cory Arrambide (USA) 9.00