NORTH NARRABEEN, New South Wales/Australia (Friday, January 7, 2011) – The world’s finest ASP Pro Junior talent has assembled from all corners of the planet at Sydney’s North Narrabeen in preparation to do battle for the prestigious title of ASP World Junior Champion at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships and the event’s waiting period begins tomorrow, January 8, 2011.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships marks the second and final stop on the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour, with the first event unfolding at the Oakley World Pro Junior in Bali. Australian Jack Freestone (AUS), 18, emerged victorious in Bali and a now leads the field entering North Narrabeen.
Nat Young (USA), 19, current No. 5 on the ASP World Junior Tour, is one American standout who has competed in several Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in North Narrabeen and is out to solidify his promising career with a win in Australia.
“Winning this event would be the biggest accomplishment of my life,” Young said. “It’s all the best juniors in the world, so to win and be the World Junior Champ would be a dream come true.”
Young, who earned his position on this year’s ASP World Junior Tour as the top rated American on the ASP World Ranking, feels the stacked competition at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships is equal to that of the tough challenges that he faces in ASP PRIME events.
“This event is definitely on the same scale as a PRIME,” Young said. “Every heat from the start could pretty much be a final and a lot of the top juniors in this event came close to qualifying for the World Tour.”
Conner Coffin (USA), 17, put on an impressive performance at the Oakley World Pro Junior via his wildcard entry and proved to be a dangerous addition to the event by notching an equal 5th place finish. The powerful natural-footer will be back in a singlet at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships and feels that entering the events as a wildcard relieves the pressure to perform that several of his fellow competitors are facing.
“Going into Bali, I definitely felt no pressure as a wildcard and I think that it gave me an advantage,” Coffin said. “As a wildcard you surf against the high seeds and they tend to have more pressure on them. I’m going into this event with the same mindset and just hope that I can have a good time and get some fun waves. It’s cool that I still have a shot at the title but at this point it’s really just one heat at a time. I was really excited to have the opportunity of competing in this year’s worlds and am looking forward to having some good times over here in Australia.”
Although Coffin has minimal experience surfing at North Narrabeen, the young American traveled to Australia a week prior to the start of the event to familiarize himself with the break.
“I’m going to be here for the next week before the contest starts so I’m hoping to get some practice out there,” Coffin said. “I’ve watched a ton of video from the past contests out there and it looks like a real rippable little wave.”
The promising talent also feels that competing at the heightened level of competition that unfolds at the ASP World Junior Tour level sets the perfect stage for his personal progression.
“The level of surfing is amazing in the Junior series these days,” Coffin said. “This year was my first year competing in the contest, but it is pretty mind blowing how well everyone is surfing. In Bali it seemed like every heat was so hard. It is definitely really inspiring and motivating to push the level of my surfing.”
Other surfers in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Draw include defending event champion Maxime Huscenot (FRA), 18, and current ASP World Junior No. 2 Dale Staples (ZAF), 20.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships holds a waiting period from January 8 through 16, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.billabongpro.com.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
The Billabong ASP World junior Championships fuelled by Monster Energy is made possible with the support of Sony, Volkswagon, VonZipper, Nixon, Australia’s Surfing Life Magazine, Manly Warringah Council and NSW Sport and Recreation.
Upcoming Round 1 Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Heats:
Heat 1: Shaun Joubert (ZAF), Tyler Newton (HAW), Ty Watson (AUS)
Heat 2: Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Krystian Kymerson (BRA), Evan Thompson (USA)
Heat 3: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Chad Du Toit (ZAF), Takumi Nakamura (JPN)
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA), Luke Davis (USA), Andrew Doheny (USA)
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Evan Geiselman (USA), Hiroto Arai (JPN)
Heat 6: Granger Larsen (HAW), Nic Von Rupp (DEU), Enrique Ariitu (PYF)
Heat 7: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Alex Smith (HAW), Ramzi Boukhiam (MOR)
Heat 8: Jack Freestone (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Keala Naihe (HAW)
Heat 9: Dale Staples (ZAF), Charles Martin (GLP), Tom Cioarec (FRA)
Heat 10: Mitch Crews (AUS), Chris Salisbury (AUS), Arashi Kato (JPN)
Heat 11: Jesse Mendes (BRA), Albee Layer (HAW), Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 12: Kiron Jabour (HAW), Dean Bowen (AUS), Ian Gentil (HAW)
Heat 13: Davey Cathels (AUS), Guillermo Satt (CHL), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 14: Kolohe Andino (USA), Kaimana Jaquias (HAW), Kaishu Tanaka (JPN)
Heat 15: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF), Keanu Asing (HAW), Kaito Onashi (JPN)
Heat 16: Brendon Gibbens (ZAF), Fillpe Jervis (PRT), Peterson Crisanto (BRA)