NORTH NARRABEEN, Australia - The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships recommenced this morning with the final seven heats of the men’s Round 1 before tearing into the dramatic elimination Round 2.
The deciding event in the hunt for the undisputed ASP World Junior Title, the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships enjoyed a full day of sunny skies and clean three foot (1 metre) waves at Sydney’s North Narrabeen beach in which world’s best junior surfers reveled, locking in the highest scores of the event.
Julian Wilson (AUS), 20, who gained entry into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships via his win at the VonZipper Trials, rebounded from a morning loss in Round 1 to absolutely decimate his Round 2 heat this afternoon, netting the event high heat total of an 18.50 out of a possible 20 to dispatch of Koki Nakamura (JPN).
“I had a pretty shaky start this morning in Round 1 but I feel way better after that one,” Wilson said. “The conditions are getting way better and I think the level of surfing is going to really lift in the coming days.”
Part of a star-studded Australian contingent, Wilson is keen to claim the ASP World Junior Title for himself, bringing the prestigious accolade back to Australia, where it hasn’t been held since current ASP Dream Tour standout Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, last claimed it in 2001.
“It’s been ages since an Aussie won this title,” Wilson said. “That spurs us all on…we want it back here in Oz!”
Rudy Palmboom (ZAF), 20, suffered an unfortunate loss in Round 1 two days ago, but made amends today, posting and impressive heat total of a 17.10 out of a possible 20 to eliminate Jules Thomet (FRA) from Billabong ASP World Junior competition in today’s Round 2 bout.
“I was a bit nervous at the start – as I am with most competitions – but because I have this high-scoring heat it has given me much more confidence,” Palmboom said. “Last year was my first year in this competition and I got 9th. I want to better that result taking it heat by heat and see what happens.”
Palmboom punctuated his impressive Round 2 victory with his own excellent single wave-score of a 9.10 out of a possible 10 for a series of vicious backhand blasts.
“I’m stoked with my 9-point ride in the last couple of seconds,” Palmboom said. “The other guy in my heat was in a good position so I made sure I got it. It had a nice wall and I got a good score on it.”
Alex Ribeiro (BRA) was another to flare in the dying conditions this afternoon, posting an incredible 9.00 out of a possible 10 for a series of impressive forehand fin wafts on the roping lefthanders.
“This is my first year in the event and Australia and I’m very happy so far,” Ribeiro said. “I’m just going to work as hard as I can to get through as many heats as possible. I think Brazil brought a great team but all countries have so good surfers the best people for possible.”
BILLABONG ASP WORLD JUNIORS (MEN) ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tonino Benson (HAW) vs. Tamaroa McComb (PYF)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Klee Strachan (ZAF)
Heat 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Blake Jones (USA)
Heat 4: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Alex Lima (BRA)
Heat 5: Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) vs. Lincoln Taylor (AUS
Heat 6: Kiron Jabour (HAW) vs. Medi Veminardi (REU)
Heat 7: Granger Larsen (HAW) vs. Travis Beckmann (USA)
Heat 8: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Dean Bowen (AUS)
Heat 9: Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Maxime Huscenot (REU)
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Marc Lacomare (FRA)
Heat 12: Casey Brown (HAW) vs. Jayke Sharp (AUS)
Heat 13: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Magno Pacheco (BRA)
Heat 14: Nat Young (USA) vs. Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK)
Heat 15: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Nicholas Godfrey (ZAF)
Heat 16: Charles Martin (GLP) vs. Kai Barger (HAW)
BILLABONG ASP WORLD JUNIORS (WOMEN) QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Arini Mason (NZL) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
QF 3: Leila Hurst (HAW) vs. Diana Cristina (BRA)
QF 4: Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Bethany Hamilton (HAW)