NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND, Queensland/Australia (Friday, February 4, 2011) Port Macquarie youngster Matt Banting threw caution to the wind today, as he dominated the 0.5m conditions at North Stradbroke Island’s Main Beach during day-three of the 2011 5-Star, Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Oakley Pro Junior.
Banting displayed his small wave prowess in the shifting beach break peaks, posting a combined two-wave heat total of 14.00 (out of a possible 20), comfortably disposing of Portugal’s Vasco Ribero (10.00), Mitchel Baker (Phillip Island, Vic – 9.00) and Josh Sherwell (Maroochydore, Qld – 5.15) who finished second to fourth respectively.
Banting, who finished equal third at the Oakley Pro Junior last year, showed why he’ll be hard to stop in the business end of the event, with the natural footer’s lighting fast approach perfectly suited to the conditions on North Stradbroke Island.
“I’ve been watching the other surfers the last two days sore epic waves, so it was nice to finally get amongst the action,” said Banting.
“Hopefully enough swell hangs in there for tomorrow, but I’m not getting ahead of myself as there’s still a handful of competitors who can definitely win this thing,” he said.
Surfing Queensland Contest Director Adam Yates indicated that with a fading swell, the event could possibly conclude tomorrow (Saturday, February 5) – one day before the event waiting period expires.
“With the swell appearing to continue to taper off this afternoon and into tomorrow, we may be forced to finish the event early to ensure the finals are held in the best available conditions,” said Yates.
“We were very fortunate to complete a majority of the earlier rounds in the fantastic conditions throughout the first two days of the event, which created the opportunity to monitor conditions today and place competitors in the best possible waves as we move closer to crowing a champion,” he said.
Tomorrow will kick off the JS Surfboards expression session – the Tractor Big Boost, which will see 12 hand picked competitors (four locals, four Australians and four international competitors) compete for three brand new custom JS surfboards, with the best placed local surfer also winning one brand new JS surfboard!
The Oakley Pro Junior is proudly supported by Oakley, ASP Australasia, Surfing Queensland, Red Bull, Vertra, Stradbroke Ferries, Stradbroke Island Holidays and Redland City Council.
Visit www.oakleyprojunior.com for news, photos and updates relating to the 2011 Oakley Pro Junior.