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Longboarders light up Be The Influence Avalon Cup in West Oz

Taylor Jensen (San Diego) © Woolacott/ASP Australia



Be The Influence Avalon Cup

ASP 2-Star LQS
Avalon, Mandurah, Australia
17 - 18 May, 2014

Semifinalists decided, Taylor Jensen impresses judges

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 May, 2014 - Mother Nature put on a show and Semifinalists were decided today at the inaugural Be the Influence Avalon Cup, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 2-star rated Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) event.

Clear stand-out performer, Taylor Jensen (San Diego/USA) secured the highest scores of the day in his Round 2 heat with an 8.0 and a 9.25 to amass a heat total of 17.25 (out of a possible 20). As he and his fellow competitors paddled out a stunning water spout funnelled up to the sky and a humpback whale breached just 50 metres away.

Jensen backed up his Round 2 performance in his Quarterfinal against Mark Matinsons (Cottesloe, WA/AUS) with a combined total of 16.40, securing a spot in tomorrow's Semifinals.

"I had a good day today," Jensen said. "It's small and shifty and rocky, but there are a couple of fun ones out there so if you get a set it runs and you can get a couple of nose rides and a couple of turns. I'm stoked to get the highest scores of the day, I'm doing something right I guess!"

"For tomorrow's semifinal I'll just see what the ocean does, if it's smaller it's going to be really tough, but hopefully it cleans up and stays this size or gets a little bigger, then it will be super fun. I do these events just to get on a roll and get some results going, it's a confidence thing more than anything, so I'm stoked with the results so far."

WA local favourite and current Australian Champion Georgia Young maintained form throughout the day posting a series of impressive scores, taking a clear win ahead of WA State Junior Champion Emi Campbell (Denmark, WA/AUS) with a combined total score of 14.90.

"The conditions were really good," Young said. "There's a few smooth little waves and I had lot of fun in that heat, it was awesome.  The points from this event are super important to me as I didn't have the best result at the first event in Kingscliff, so this event is vital for qualifying next year so I'm really happy with how I'm going so far and a bit of prize money on the side doesn't go astray either!"

Late entrant Michaela Ross (Denmark, WA/AUS) was convinced to go in the event just two days ago and effortlessly made it through the day and into a spot in tomorrow's Semifinals.

"I'm so excited to get into the Semifinals," Ross said. "It's the first competition I've done in about a year and a half and I'm so happy to make it this far. The conditions were really fun, there were a couple of nice little lefts coming through and it wasn't too windy so it was beautiful."

"For tomorrow I'm just going to try and have fun again I think, it's nice to jump in the water and be able to surf with the rest of the girls and see them shredding. I always wanted to do well on the tour, so now it's a bit more of a possibility for me."

In her first LQS event since 2011, Emma Webb (Jan Juc, VIC/AUS) looked comfortable in the conditions on offer, managing to find the better waves in her Quarterfinal against U18 Australian Champion Denver Young (Cottesloe, WA/AUS).

"The best thing about today was the whale and the water spout!" Webb said. "I've never surfed here before, it's a bit difficult but it's pretty fun and it's fantastic that WA have put on another LQS. I'm really stoked to make it through to the Semifinals, sometimes it's luck out there when there aren't many waves coming through so if you get the waves, you're very lucky."

"This is the first LQS I've done since 2011, I thought I would come back as I've had two kids, so for me it's just a bit of fun and I'll see how I go."

The men's Quarterfinals were a close affair with Nic Jones (Maroochydore, QLD/AUS) claiming a Semifinal spot, in one of the most entertaining heats of the day, ahead of Tim Fitzpatrick (Scarborough, WA/AUS) in improving conditions with a combined total of 15.25 over Fitzpatrick's 14.75.  

"It was definitely hard out there but there was still potential in the waves and a fun few came through," Jones said. "I'm definitely looking to requalify for the World Longboard Championships (WLC) again this year. This is a good spot to have one of the qualifying events as it's a lot like the wave in China for the WLC so it's good to get some practice in these waves."

"I'm feeling good leading into the Semifinals tomorrow, I have Jared Neal so it's going to be hard but hopefully I can put it together and get in the Final."

WA State Open Champion Justin Redman (Dunsborough, WA/AUS) kept his form throughout the day, posting a combined total of 15.25 against Jack Entwistle (Manly, NSW/AUS) with 13.75. Jared Neal (Coffs Harbour, NSW/AUS) combined traditional nose-riding with dynamic rail surfing to impress the judges in his Quarterfinal against Heith Norrish (Tweed Heads, NSW/AUS) earning himself a combined total of 14.30 which was enough to push Norrish out of the event.

"It was pretty tricky conditions all day, but I got through my heats so it's been good," Neal said. "I was just trying to turn over some waves and hopefully get a little something extra on one. It's great for us having another event on the LQS, any new event for longboarding is really good so hopefully we can keep building it and get more and more and get an actual tour going again."

"I'm trying to have a backup to requalify for the WLC again, which I'm already on this year but if I bomb out then hopefully I'll have enough points to get me on next year."

SF1: Taylor Jensen (San Diego, CA/USA) vs. Justin Redman (Dunsborough, WA/AUS)
SF2: Nic Jones (Maroochydore, QLD/AUS)  vs. Jared Neal (Coffs Harbour, NSW/AUS)

SF1: Michaela Ross (Denmark, WA/AUS) vs. Erin Dark (Gerringong, NSW/AUS)
SF2: Emma Webb (Jan Juc, VIC/AUS) vs. Georgia Young (Swanbourne, WA/AUS)

QF1: Taylor Jensen (San Diego, CA/USA) 16.40 def. Mark Matinsons (Cottelsoe, WA/AUS) 11.95
QF2: Justin Redman (Dunsborough, WA/AUS) 15.85 def. Jack Entwistle (Manly, NSW/AUS) 13.75
QF3: Nic Jones (Maroochydore, QLD/AUS) 15.25 def. Tim Fitzpatrick (Scarborough, WA/AUS) 14.75
QF4: Jared Neal (Coffs Harbour, NSW/AUS) 14.30 def. Heith Norrish (Tweed Heads, NSW/AUS) 13.15

QF1: Michaela Ross (Denmark, WA/AUS) 12.40  def. Rosie Locke (Noosa, QLD/AUS) 11.10
QF2: Erin Dark (Gerringong, NSW/AUS) 12.35 def. Claire Finucane (Melville, WA/AUS) 10.25
QF3: Emma Webb (Jan Juc, VIC/AUS) 11.50 def. Denver Young (Cottesloe, WA/AUS) 7.50
QF4: Georgia Young (Swanbourne, WA/AUS) 14.90 def. Emi Campbell (Denmark, WA/AUS) 9.50

Al Hunt

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