The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) has announced that a fourth Oakley Pro Junior contest has been added to the 2006 junior event series.
The Grade 2 Oakley Pro Junior, which takes place from September 23-24th at Newport’s 54th Street break, is being held in conjunction with the Newport Pro Presented by Jeep and is also the second stop of the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series presented Jeep. Forty-eight top American and International surfers under the age of 20 will compete for the $10,000 prize purse and the opportunity to earn valuable points toward the 2007 Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
“Aligning the Oakley Pro Junior with the Newport Pro provides another great opportunity to support our junior pro program and an important WQS event on the US tour,” says Ronny Nelson, Oakley Inc’s surf marketing manager. “Since only the top four ranked junior professional surfers move on to the World Junior Championships, the Oakley Pro Junior Series has a substantial impact on year-end rankings as well as the future of these talented young surfers.”
The Oakley Pro Junior aligns the top-rated international junior competitors against the top 40 highest rated ASP North American juniors. The small field and competitive draw demands each surfer perform at the top of their ability. There are 11 ASP North America Pro Junior events scheduled in 2006. Each contest offers the domestic competitors important points toward the year-end standings and a chance to receive entry into the Billabong World Junior Championships.
“The pressure’s on,” says Sean Nielsen, director of event operations, Action Sports Group. “With the addition of this event, ASP North America’s elite junior competitors now have 2 remaining opportunities to break into the top four of the ratings. The points race is going to add excitement and drama to the series going into the final Oakley Pro Junior at the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Presented by Jeep.”
After the Newport Pro, the series of Oakley Pro Junior events will culminate at the 2006 O’Neill Coldwater Classic at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California from October 17-22nd, which is also the final stop of the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series. On Sunday September 24th, Amp’d Mobile will broadcast the final round of the Oakley Pro Junior live to Amp’d Mobile phones.
Past winners of the ASP World Junior title include World Championship Tour (WCT) pros Andy Irons (USA), Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Adriano de Souza (BRA). This years Oakley Pro Junior seed list includes the top surfers on the pro junior circuit including stand-outs Alex Gray (USA), Eric Geisleman (USA) and Sterling Spencer (USA).