JAN JUC, Victoria/Australia (Wednesday, January 6, 2010) – Felicity Palmeteer (Hillaries Beach/Perth/West Australia) made the ideal start to her 2010 surfing season by winning the ASP Quiksilver Jetty Surf Pro Junior in uneven 1m (2 to 3 feet) surf at Jan Juc Beach on Victoria’s Surfcoast.
Seventeen-year-old Palmeteer defeated Sarah Mason (Cabarita Beach/NSW) in a closely-fought Final with scores based on each surfer’s top two scoring rides of Palmeteer on 11.00 to Mason’s 10.35.
Palmeteer set herself an early season goal of trying to make the Top 5 on the ASP Austalasia Pro Junior ratings for the year, but after today’s win, has already adjusted her ambitions.
“It’s the greatest start to the year for me and now I’ll really aim to win the series or at least make the Top 2 for the season and try and qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships,” Palmateer said. “Even though I won an ASP Pro Junior last year in Perth, I have always felt that win had a lot to do with being on my home beaches, but now I’ve won here I’m starting to believe more in myself and I feel I’m ready to really challenge for the entire season. It feels good!”
Palmeteer set up today’s win early in the Final when she scored the Final’s highest-scoring ride of a 7.25 out of a possible 10 for a series of smooth and well-timed backhand bottom-to-top turns.
In crumbly and fairly weak waves, it was a decisive and excellent score.
Sarah Mason’s performance at this event was also her greatest competitive achievement to date.
The 14-year-old signalled her potential early in the event when she defeated the number 1 seed Tyler Wright and she showed that was no fluke but going all the way to today’s final and scoring numerous impressive excellent wave scores along the way.
“I feel good about making the final – There’s no pressure as I’m competing to simply gain the experience at this level but after today I feel confident that I can do well at this level and I plan to do all the Pro Junior events on the Australasian Series this year.”
“The final was hard,” Mason said. “Felicity scored that good wave early and I really couldn’t find a wave that had enough potential to match it.”
Equal third in today’s event were Dimity Stoyle (Sunshine Coast/Qld) who was defeated by Mason in the Semifinals and Philippa Anderson (Newle) who went down to Palmeteer in a close Semifinal.
ASP Pro Junior Rounds 3 and 4 of the men’s division were also completed today, with the biggest upset being the elimination of top seed Dean Bowen.
Bowen’s powerful backhand style struggled in today’s conditions which appeared to favour lighter weight surfers.
While Bowen exited the event, fellow South Coast NSW surfers Sam Wrench, Ty Watson and Jordi Watson were all super impressive and advanced to the final 16 surfers remaining in the event.
Others to impress today included Garrett Parkes (Byron Bay), Perth Standlick (Bondi), Billy Keane (Coffs Harbour), Chris Salisbury (Newport Beach) and Davey Cathels (Narrabeen).
Billy Keane looms as the dark horse in the event.
He has scored multiple excellent rides during this event utilizing what appears to be a well-honed aerial attack. His final ride today, scoring an excellent 8.33, was due to a successfully-d air reverse.
“I enjoy aerial surfing and I’m always prepared to go for the move knowing I have a good chance of success and knowing the move will score big – I’ve been working hard on these moves and I hope the training pays off” said Keane.
Tomorrow will be the final day of the Quiksilver Jetty Surf Pro Junior and jan Juc Beach is again the likely venue.
With just 16 surfers remaining in the event organizers will be starting early aiming to complete the final around mid day. (ASPWORLDTOUR:13647)