Huge scores were there for the taking whenever surfers committed to the barrelling waves as demonstrated by Byron Bay surfer Garret Parkes who found an overdue return to form by posting the highest heat score of the day of 19.35 out of a possible 20 which included an excellent 9.50 barrel ride.
“My year has sucked as far as contest performances go,” said Parkes who actually made the top five on this circuit last year but is languishing in 15th spot coming into this third last event on the series.
“I don’t think I can qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships even if I win these final three events so really I have just set myself a goal to try and win a few of the remaining events and get my confidence and competition head back.
“The waves today are probably the biggest and most powerful we’ve had all year on this circuit so it’s good although it’s also very tricky out there, a lot of the waves close out and it’s hard to pick the right ones,” added Parkes.
The top seeds in Mitch Crews and Davey Cathels both won their opening heats impressively and are relishing these conditions.
The biggest upset of the day came from current No. 3 on the ratings Chris Friend (Qld) who was eliminated in his opening heat.
Friend chose an unusual strategy of surfing the close-out rights off the sandbank and by heats end he was comprehensively beaten and eliminated from the event.
In what is a very close race to qualify for the ASP World junior Championships series, Friend’s loss today leaves him vulnerable to hold his position in the top five on the ratings.
Girls were given the day off today in readiness for tomorrow which should see their finals run and conditions are again expected to be excellent with offshore winds and swells maintain and possibly even increasing!
South Australia’s top rated surfer and local to the Victor arbour region Khai Adams was unlucky not to advance today.
The 18-year-old showed glimpses of his excellent potential pulling some critical moves on some of the biggest waves in the heat but these waves invariably closed out on Adam’s and he went down narrowly to Sydney surfer Tom Myers.
This event forms a crucial leg of the ASP Australasian Pro Junior circuit whereby professional surfers aged under 21 compete for points and prize money in a bid to become the Australasian Junior Champion and ultimately the ASP World Junior Champion.
The event carries an ASP Grade-5 boys rating and Grade-2 girls rating, and offers a stunning $36,000 prize pool, making the annual competition this years highest boys and girls combined event on the ASP Pro Junior Australasian circuit.
For the third year running the Fantastic Noodles Pro Junior organisers have decided to undertake a full Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions analysis and to commit to offsetting 100% of its associated emissions.
These efforts to reduce its impact on climate change are a clear demonstration of the Fantastic Pro Juniors commitment to environmental sustainability. The Fantastic Noodles Pro Juniors organisers are partnering with Balance Carbon Pty Ltd to analyse the GHG emission generating activities associated with the event. Surfing SA, event managers have also committed to offsetting 100% of the audited emissions to achieve a zero net emission footprint or as more commonly referred, ‘carbon neutral’.
For more information, visit balancecarbon.com/event
The event is being streamed live at www.fantasticsurfing.com.au