New Zealand Home Loans Surf Festival
ASP 6-Star Women's QS
ASP Australasia Junior Qualifying Series
Fitzroy Beach, Taranaki
29 April - 4 May 2014
New Zealand Home Loans Surf Festival launches with ASP JQS
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 April, 2014 - Taranaki, New Zealand - The New Zealand Home Loans Surf Festival got off to a flying start today with Round 1 and four heats of Round 2 of the men's Chain Resources Pro Junior, while the women's Pro Junior and ASP 6-Star Qualifying Series were off for the day. The ASP Australasia Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) competitors were put to the test in two metre pumping conditions at Fitzroy Beach, Taranaki.
Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW/AUS) surfed through serious injury and won his opening heat at the Chain Resources Pro Junior. Bailey cut his foot after kicking a knife and received six stitches on an ANZAC Day fishing trip, but the current No. 1 on the ASP Australasia JQS was determined to surf through to try and seal the ASP Australasia Junior Championship.
"I just arrived here this morning and didn't know if I would surf today, but it worked out," Bailey said. "It was just bad luck, of all the angles I could have kicked the knife, I did it on the one that worked out the worst. It's not too bad though I have six stitches and I can still surf, it hurts more to walk than surf. I've got to make a few heats here so that's what I'm focussed on."
Jackson Baker (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) advanced through his opening heat in 1st position with Quinn Bruce (AUS) also advancing in 2nd position, while Fitzroy Beach local brothers Daniel and Joshua Farr (NZL) were eliminated in 3rd and 4th.
"It's good to get through Round 1 and get the confidence up," Baker said. "There's a lot of bigger waves out there but they can be hard to get scores on and the smaller ones are good but you can't always get excellent scores on them. You just have to take what comes and hope for the best."
Joe Van Dijk (Phillip Island, VIC/AUS), younger brother of Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) surfer Nikki Van Dijk put together an imposing two wave heat total of 15.55 out of a possible 20. Van Dijk looked right at home in the surf at Fitzroy Beach, picking off good waves and tagging excellent turns all the way down the line.
"The waves in that heat were super fun, there were a couple of closeouts, but if you dodged them you could find some really fun waves," Van Dijk said. "It's good to warm up in your first heat and get it out of the way. It's a good experience for me to be here and surf against the older guys, I've also got my sisters here as a support crew so it's been really fun so far."
Kai Hing (Sunshine Coast, QLD/AUS), current No. 5 on the ASP Australasia JQS rankings opening his account in NZ with style, throwing down stylish whips and carves in the difficult low tide conditions. Hing advanced into Round 3 where he'll face Nathan Specht (AUS), O'Neill Massin (PYF) and Jacob Wilcox (AUS) when competition resumes.
"It was hard for us out there, we couldn't hear scores and we had to play our own game and not worry about what the rest were doing," Hing said. "There's snow on the mountain, it's such a beautiful place and there's fun waves around so I'm loving it here. It's a good change from the last event in Tahiti. Sometimes I love to put on a wetsuit and get into colder water."
The blue ribbon division of the NZ Home Loans Taranaki Surf Festival is the women's ASP 6-Star Port Taranaki Pro and will feature NZ's Top 17 ASP WCT surfer and Taranaki local Paige Hareb and reigning ASP Women's World Junior Champion Ella Williams from Whangamata. Bethany Hamilton from Hawaii is in this event along with numerous international surfers.