Wade Carmichael (Central Coast, NSW/AUS) is on a roll, fresh from a win at the Billabong World Junior Championships 2 weeks ago, he’s now come to the Australian Open Of Surfing Men’s Pro Junior and posted the highest wave score of the day a 9.00 (out of a possible 10).
“I was just lucky to be in the right spot when that good wave came through,” Carmichael said. “I rode it all the way in and was able to do some turns and got a 9.00, so I’m wrapped. I’m feeling confident after a few good results lately, but this is the important time of year with a couple of comps back-to-back, so you just have to keep it going.”
Mitch Parkinson (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) won the first heat of the day and in the process eliminated hometown hero Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen, NSW/AUS). Parkinson’s smooth style saw him carve up a score big enough to be safely into the next round.
“It’s pretty crazy having a junior event with such a massive set-up,” Parkinson said. “I was in the first heat of the contest and I’m pretty stoked that I got through. The waves aren’t too bad either, 1 to 2 foot and if you pick off the right ones they’re pretty fun.”
Tim Macdonald (North Stradbroke, QLD/AUS) was one of the standout surfers of the day, managing to find a couple of waves that stood up from out the back all the way to the shore.
“I’ve done ok in a few comps lately, except the one at home last week,” Macdonald said. “I just tried to catch the waves that allowed for a couple of turns out the back. The surf is small, but it’s fun. It’s great for the juniors to have a comp on this scale, we’re loving it.”
Connor Coffin (California, USA) posted some big scores thanks to his trademark smooth but powerful surfing. The young Californian is in both the Junior and the 6-Star divisions of the Australian Open Of Surfing, and is looking to post big results in both.
“This is busier than the first day of US Open usually is, so I can’t wait to see what it’s like at the end of the week,” Coffin said. “The Australasian Pro Junior events are super hard, so I’m stoked to make the heat. We don’t have a lot of Junior events in North America so I decided to stay over here and have a go and I’m really enjoying it. Today the waves are a lot like Huntington Beach so, I just focused on catching the good ones and the ones I caught were super fin.”
Jordi Watson (South Coast, NSW/AUS) advanced to the next round after finishing 2nd to Jose Ferreira (PRT). The two surfers had a good battle and finished well ahead of the 3rd and 4th placed Ryan Hunt (AUS) and Josh Radford (AUS).
“I’ve had a good start to the year in a couple of competitions, so I’m just looking to build on that from here,” Watson said. “It’s small and tough out there, so it’s a matter of searching the line-up for the best waves. It’s a great to have this kind of set-up for a junior comp, it’s way better than the one tent on the beach that we’re used to, this is huge!”
The Australian Open Of Surfing at Manly Beach will see the juniors hit the water again tomorrow, followed by the ASP 6-Star men’s and women’s divisions from Monday through to next weekend. The Australian Open Of Surfing will also feature skating competitions and demos, music concerts, athlete signing sessions and much more. The event is free for the public to view in person and live on the internet via australianopenofsurfing.com
IMPORTANT EVENT INFO
The cigarette and alcohol-free event is expected to welcome more than 100,000 people to Manly, the location of the very first World Surfing Championships in 1964 and the first Australian beach to legalise day-time swimming in 1904.
Destination NSW, along with major event partners Hurley and Billabong, expect the Australian Open of Surfing to inject more than $6 million into the local community.
The Australian Open of Surfing is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Destination NSW, Events NSW, Manly Council, Sony, Blackberry, Monster Energy, Fuel TV, Channel [V], The Manly Daily, Surfing World, Reef, Skullcandy, ASP Australasia and Surfing NSW.