WAITPINGA BEACHW, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia (Thursday, 14 July, 2011) – The Fantastic Noodles Pro Junior began in very solid 2m (6 feet plus) surf at Waitpinga Beach on the pristine Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.
As the final event to the prestigious Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2011 Australasian Pro Junior Series, the Fantastic Noodles Pro Junior is critical for many surfers here as it will determine Australasian Pro Junior Series Champions for the season along with qualifiers for the all-important Association of Surfing Professionals World Pro Junior Championship Series – a series of three events beginning in Bali in October and finishing in Australia in January.
Queensland’s Thomas Woods currently lies second on the series ratings and is clearly focused on a big performance here and was impressive easily winning his opening round today.
” I’d love to win the series for sure and qualifying for the World Pro Junior Championships is very important to a lot of us so there’s a fair bit of pressure on us at this event” said Woods.
“I’m trying not to think too much about those things, just concentrate on getting a great result and the ratings and qualifications will take care of themselves – You need to focus on each heat here – conditions are really rugged out there, big waves and lot’s are closing out but there’s some good ones there as well and fortunately I found a few of them.”
South Coast NSW power surfer Dean Bowen also impressed today and is also in contention to win this series and qualify. Bowen has spent the past five days surfing massive 20 feet waves in Fiji and had to rush back to Australia to compete here.
“I’ve travelled all night to get here and arrived around 3am this morning so I’m very relieved to get through that first heat – It’s hard adjusting from tropical warm waters in Fiji to this but I’m glad the waves are big here and the next few days look like being fantastic surf which is when I feel I’m at my best so I’m ready for it” said Bowen.
New Zealand surfer Matt Lewis-Hewitt survived a close call placing 2nd in his four man heat behind Sam Schumann (NSW) to advance and keep his hopes of winning the series alive.
Ryan Callinan (Newcastle NSW) posted an outstanding 9 point ride and was the morning’s highest scoring heat winner with a combined two wave heat tally of 14.25 in his important win over local surfer Max Longhurst who also advanced in 2nd place.
Sunshine Coast surfer Jake Colreavy (Caloundra) surprised many today with a solid heat win over highly rated south coast NSW surfer Jordi Watson (Culburra).
Colreavy survived getting smashed by the days biggest set to take out the heat and advance to round two.
“I felt like I was close to drowning at one stage out there” said Colreavy.
“That set was relentless and I was caught in the wrong position in the line-up but it all worked out and I found a few good waves to win which was good.”
The Pro Junior Women’s had today off and like the Men’s division, many are anxious to perform well here chasing the series title and qualification into the ASP World Pro Junior Championship Series.
Coming into this event Philippa Anderson (Newcastle) narowly leads the series ahead of Dimity Stoyle (Maroochydore) with Felicity Palmeteer (WA), Noosa’s Naomi Stevic and Victoria’ Nikki Van Dijk in 3rd to 5th place but that can all change here.
Excellent surf is expected for tomorrow and Saturday which should see both divisions completed, series champions and qualifier’s decided.
The top four rated pro junior men and top two women will qualify to compete at the ASP World Pro Junior Titles which sees the first event take place in Bali during October.
Follow the Fantastic Noodles Pro Junior live via http://www.aspaustralasia.com/live/2011/fantastic/live.php
The Fantastic Noodles Pro Junior is supported by: Surfing South Australia, ASP Australasia, Surfing Australia, Fantastic Snacks, Events South Australia, Be Active, Cutloose Surf, Visionzone, Powerbalance, Toyota, HWR Media and Communication, UniSA, Woolworths and Balance Carbon.