MANU BAY, Raglan/New Zealand (Friday, May 14 2010) – Talented New Zealand 18 year-old Matt Hewitt (Mt Maunganui) signaled his intentions to make the most of his local opportunities by blitzing the field in his high scoring round two heat win at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Billabong Pro Junior Manu Bay Raglan today.
Hewitt posted the events highest single wave score with an 8.75 out of a possible 10 along with the top scoring heat so far in the pro junior men’s division of 16 points for his top two scoring rides (8.75 and 7.25) as he defeated Australian’s Tom Myers (NSW) and Max Longhurst (SA).
“It’s great to take the Australian’s on in my own waters and in good waves as well,” said Hewitt.
“I’m aiming to finish in the top four on the Australasian Pro Junior Series this season and qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships so a good result here is important to me – I’m currently 10th on the ratings and really keen to go a long way in this event, hopefully win it.”
“I know this wave well and the local surfers here advise me on where to sit in the line-up and it’s an advantage for sure – I just have to capitalise on it.”
Early rounds of the women’s pro junior division were also run in the good quality 1m ( 3 to 4 feet) surf at Manu Bay and the NZ girls were also in good form with the Mason sisters, Airini and Sarah, originally from Gisborne but now based near the Gold Coast in Australia to maximise their surfing potential, both advancing through to the semi finals.
Sarah Mason (16 years of age), leads the Australasian Pro Junior ratings following two wins on the series this season and she has the chance here to consolidate her lead and qualify for the ASP World Juniors. The top two end of season rated girls on the series will qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships Series which comprises two events held in Bali and Sydney to decide the ASP World Junior Champion for 2010.
“I’m trying not to think about the ratings or the qualification into the ASP World’s that much, I started this season just hoping to gain experience on this tour and all of a sudden I’m leading it – It’s in the back of my mind that I’m doing well but really I just focus on my next heat.”
“I’m loving the surf here at Manu Bay, to surf a left point wave on my forehand is great fun,” said Sarah Mason.
Sarah Mason will face Nikki Van Dijk (AUS/Vic) in the first semi-final while Airini comes up against Philippa Anderson (AUS/Newle) in the second semi-final.
Pro Junior Men’s completed their round two heats and standouts included highly rated Australian’s Dean Bowen, Wade Carmichael, Matt Banting and Ty Watson.
New Zealand pro junior men surfer still in contention here and all through to the final 32 surfers remaining in the event include Alex Dive (Mt Maunganui), Buck Woods (Gisborne), Keone Campbell (Taranaki), Sean Peggs (Tairua), Matt Hewitt (Mt Maunganui), Tane Wallis (Piha) and Tyler Lawson (Hawkes Bay).
Well over half the event has been completed and there’s a strong chance the women’s division will crown a winner tomorrow with the men’s division on Sunday.
The event will resume at Manu Bay tomorrow morning around 8:00am.
Monster wave of the day went to Matt Hewitt for his outstanding 8.75 in round two today.
The event can be followed live via www.aspaustralasia.com/live/2010/raglan/live.php