Surfing Australia saw the need for more ASP Australasia Pro Junior events in Australia and responded by hosting the final event of the 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series. Surfing Australia recently partnered with Be The Influence, an Australian Government initiative to tackle binge drinking and will be using this year’s Be The Influence Surf Pro as the launch platform for their historic partnership.
Jake Sylvester (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) is the current ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series No. 1 ranked surfer after claiming wins at two out of the three events earlier this season. This is Sylvester’s last year surfing as a junior and he’s looking to make the most of it by finishing off the year with a solid result, that could see his name be added to the prestigious list of former ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Champions.
“I just finished my first semester at Uni, I’m studying primary school teaching so I’ve been busy,” Sylvester said. “I’m a little bit nervous about the Be The Influence Surf Pro, it’s a bit easier to catch up to the leader, rather than keeping the lead. I know Mitch (Parkinson) will be keen to take over the lead and he’s been surfing really well lately. I’ve surfed at Coffs a bunch of times, and it’s similar to where I live so I’m feeling good about that. After the event I fly to California because I’m doing the Pro Junior at the US Open of Surfing. Then I might do some Star events in Europe and hopefully the ASP World Junior Championships.”
Mitch Parkinson (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) is having a breakthrough year competitively, after finishing ranked in the thirties last year, Parkinson is currently ranked No.2 after a 5th, 2nd and 3rd place finishes so far this year.
“I started the year of with a pretty bad ankle injury and it turns out it’s one of the best things that could have happened to me,” Parkinson said. “I’ve had a really good year, getting some good results and I’m feeling great. I haven’t surfed Coffs too much, but when I have we have had good waves so I’m looking forward to getting down there. One of my goals this year was to win an ASP Pro Junior event and this is the last one so that’s what I’m focusing on.”
Stephanie Single (Lennox Head, NSW/AUS) and Ellie-Jean Coffey (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) are sitting at No. 1 and 2 respectively on the women’s rankings and are in a close race for top honours. Both surfers have claimed event wins this season and are the clear front-runners to take the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Championship and are only separated by 78 points with Single on 891 to Coffey on 813.
“The ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series has been really fun this year,” said Coffey. “Having an event in Tahiti was amazing and the level of surfing has been high. I’m really looking forward to going to Coffs Harbour, I’ve spent a lot of time there and even won some events in the past so hopefully I can do it again this weekend.”
Jacob Wilcox (Margaret River, WA/AUS), who recently won the U16 gold medal at the ISA World Junior Surfing Games in Panama has been awarded an event wildcard and will be able to test himself against Australasia’s best surfers under the age of 21 this weekend.
“I’m feeling really good right now, I’ve got good boards and I feel like I’m surfing well,” Wilcox said. “I’m looking forward to some good competition and surfing against some older surfers because it pushes you and the level is high. It’s been a big year for me so far with some big opportunities from Rip Curl and Surfing WA, it’s been good to go into some major events that have given me experience and confidence coming into this event. I’ve only been to Coffs Harbour once before for the Australian Titles a few years ago and I finished second, hopefully I can do well again this time around.”
The event will run from 12 – 14 July with live scores, news and images available via – www.betheinfluencesurfpro.com
The event is backed by the Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking initiative, which is an Australian Federal Government campaign addressing youth binge drinking and the influence of alcohol promotion on young Australians by promoting anti-binge drinking messaging through sport sponsorships.
Information on Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking can be found at www.tacklingbingedrinking.gov.au
The Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking sponsorship is managed through the Australian National Preventive Health Agency. The Be the Influence Surf Pro is proudly supported by Be the Influence – Tackle Binge Drinking, Coffs Harbour City Council, Surfing Australia, ASP Australasia and Surfing NSW.
For more information log on to www.aspaustralasia.com & www.surfingaustralia.com