JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Thursday, July 14, 2011) – Alejo Muniz (BRA), 21, is having one hell of a year in 2011. Scalps the opening ASP Prime event of the season in Fernando de Noronha, clinches the 2010 ASP Breakthrough Performer of the Year (2010) at February’s ASP World Surfing Awards, nails a 5th at the opening ASP World Title event of the season on the Gold Coast and currently sits at No. 14 on the ASP World Title Rankings (27 on the ASP World Rankings). The frontrunner in the hunt for the 2011 ASP Rookie of the Year award, Muniz is recovering from a back injury, but excited about competing in his first ever Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay. ASP International recently caught up with the young natural-footer to pick his brain about his first year on tour. This…is his story…
How have you been spending the 7/8 weeks since the last event in Brazil?
I got injured in Rio. I injured my back free surfing. I started surfing about two weeks ago and it is feeling a bit better. I just stayed at home and did physio training and spent time with my family seeing as I have been on the road since January. This contest will be a great return to competition.
You’re currently leading this season’s ASP Rookie of the Year race. What have been your impressions of the tour so far? What are your motivations and goals for the year?
It’s has been very good year so far. I really wanted to surf better in Rio, but I’m just taking it event by event at the moment. I think it’s too early to talk about the Rookie of the Year right now, especially now that Julian is surfing better than all at the moment.
What have been your experiences at Jeffreys Bay? Is it a wave that you’re comfortable surfing?
I surfed J-bay two years ago and it was one of the best surfs of my life. The wave is difficult because it is so perfect. Many can surf this wave, but very few can surf it amazing. I hope I can surf well.
Who are the biggest threats out at Jeffreys Bay?
Sean Holmes, Jordy Smith, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning!
Alejo will take on reigning 10-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 39, and a TBD wildcard in Round 1 of competition.
Catch Alejo and the rest of the ASP Top 34 do battle LIVE at the BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY
For more on ALEJO MUNIZ, check out his ASP WORLD TOUR PROFILE
BILLABONG PRO JEFFREYS BAY ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Cory Lopez (USA)
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA), C.J. Hobgood (USA, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Bobby Martinez (USA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Adam Melling (AUS), TBA
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Alejo Muniz (BRA), TBA
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Chris Davidson (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 10: Damien Hobgood (USA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)