TORQUAY, Victoria/Australia (Thursday, January 6, 2011) – New Zealand surfer Matt Lewis-Hewitt won the Championship Moves Pro Junior in Victoria and became the first male Kiwi surfer to win an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event in Australia since Maz Quinn in 1996.
The 19 year-old Mount Manganui surfer defeated good friend and experienced ASP campaigner Dean Bowen in small windswept 0.5m surf at Jan Juc.
“It’s great to finally win one of these events” said Lewis-Hewitt.
“They are tough to win, all the surfers on this circuit are very experienced and talented athletes and coming into my last season , I was wondering if I’d ever really win one – now I have, I want more…my confidence is up and to win the opening event of the season is ideal – I’ll aim high from now on.”
Ironically both finalists have overcome serious knee operations over the past 6 months and both were relieved to begin the season so well.
“It’s been a tough time, lots of time out of the water and rehab” said Lewis- Hewitt.
Bowen was similarly pleased with his recovery.
“Perfect preparation for the coming World Junior Championships in Sydney for me – I feel great and ready to fire in Sydney – Matt and myself are good friends and we’ve suffered the same injury together and to surf against him in today’s final was good for both of us – I would have liked to have won but I’m pleased for Matt so it’s all good “.
The final was a see-sawing duel with multiple changes to the lead as both surfers desperately tried to get the best out of a very weak small swell.
The final score line saw Lewis – Hewitt on 8.65 to Bowen’s 8.50 and the low scores were indicative of the very small surf and windy conditions.
Next event on the Australasian Pro Junior Series will be the Hurley Burleigh on the Gold Coast in late January.
A number of surfers from this event, like Dean Bowen, now head to Sydney for the ASP Billabong World Junior Championships which begins on Saturday.