Matt Banting (AUS) remains one of the event’s major threats, taking down some big names on the way to his Quarterfinal berth. The Port Macquarie local will now face Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) of Mauritius when competition resumes tomorrow.
“It was a bit tricky out there today,” Banting said. “I watched the heats and was thinking the lefts were the best, but when I got out there, I ended up surfing the rights. You have to make your decisions according to the conditions.”
Jordin Watson (AUS), currently sitting in 9th position of the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series ratings, is the only other Australian left in the men’s draw after the internationals took the rest out in an exciting day of competition today. Watson progressed to the Quarterfinals by eliminating some of the events top performers Brazilian Filipe Toledo (BRA) and South African Michael February (ZAF).
“The Brazilians sat on top of each other a bit and I was keeping clear of that,” Watson said. “The lefts looked like better scorers and that was the way it unfolded – it was a bit unlucky for (Filipe) Toledo now he’s out of the comp. The move he made in the earlier heat was probably the best thing I have ever seen in surfing.”
Toledo had the crowd, his fellow competitors and the judges in awe earlier in the day after launching two massive backhand air-reverses on the same wave – earning the third perfect 10-point-ride of the 2012 CHIKO Pro Junior. Toledo followed that wave up with a 9.1 to record the event’s top heat score of 19.1 (out of a possible 20). Although he’s been eliminated you can expect to see Toledo back next week to compete in the ASP 6-Star Burton Toyota Pro.
The Australian contingent is better represented in the CHIKO Pro Junior Women’s event, where six of the eight surfers are from the hosting nation.
Philippa Anderson (AUS) is the only local surfer left in contention, and will meet Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) from Crescent Head in tomorrow’s Quarterfinals. Anderson is currently ranked 2nd on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series and is the 2011 series Champion.
“We haven’t had good waves around here for a while so it’s great to score some for the CHIKO Pro Junior!” Anderson said. “To show the world that the waves here at home are great is special. It feels great to be into the Quarterfinals, I want to do well on the Pro Junior Series again this year, and a good result here is also a big confidence boost for next weeks ASP 6-Star Hunter Ports Women’s Classic.”
Newcastle’s Surfest will run from 8 – 18 March 2012. More info http://www.surfest.com
UPCOMING MEN’S CHIKO PRO JUNIOR QUARTERFINALS:
QF 1: Matt Banting (AUS) vs. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
QF 2: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) vs. Johnny Hicks (NZL)
QF 3: Ian Gouveia (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
QF 4: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) vs. Jordin Watson (AUS)
UPCOMING WOMEN’S CHIKO PRO JUNIOR QUARTERFINALS:
QF 1: Naomi Stevic (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
QF 2: Joanne Defay (FRA) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
QF 3: Kirsten Ogden (AUS) vs. Audrey Styman-Lane (AUS)
QF 4: Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) vs. Philippa Anderson (AUS)
About the 2012 Surfest Newcastle Australia
The 2012 Surfest Newcastle Australia features the Burton Toyota Pro (Men’s ASP 6-Star) and the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic (Women’s ASP 6-Star), along with eight supporting events. The event is made possible with the support of Burton Toyota, the Hunter Sports Group and the NSW Government through Destination NSW. Surfest Newcastle Australia is conducted over 12 days from March 7-18 at Merewether beach, a recognised Australian National Surfing Reserve. Merewether is home to festival patron and Australia’s most accomplished men’s world professional surfing champion, four-time world champion Mark Richards (1979-82) who presents the winner a trophy in his likeness. 2012 marks the festival’s 27th year and with over 800 national and international competitors, Surfest Newcastle Australia is the largest festival of surfing in the southern hemisphere. Get up-to-the minute updates, photos and interviews, as well as the program of events at surfest.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.