Billabong Pro Teen Series
ASP Australasian Junior Series
Manu Bay, Raglan, New Zealand
16 - 19 March 2006
First Day Of Contest Kicks Off In Fine Fashion
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 March, 2006 : - - Over 150 of Australia and New Zealands hottest junior surfers have descended on Manu Bay, Raglan for the second annual $13,000 Billabong Pro-Teen Series surf event.
The Billabong Pro Teen which is the fifth event on the ASP Australasian Junior Series is rated as one of the toughest domestic junior surfing circuits in the world and also features competitors from Hawaii, England, Japan and Reunion Island.
Competitors were treated to near perfect 3-5 foot (1-1.5m) winding walls on day one of the four day event, with local Kiwi surfers starting strongly over their highly rated international counterparts. It was a clear reminder of the surf conditions last year, where the long left hander of Manu Bay turned it epic conditions for the entire event period.
In this mornings biggest upset, local favourite Morehu Roberts was eliminated from the event in his opening heat by Australian Surfer Brent Power and fellow local surfer Billy Stairmand (Raglan).
Stairmand, who has been selected in the New Zealand national team to compete at the amateur world junior titles excelled on his backhand today, progressing through two heats to earn a spot in tomorrows third round.
Very selective in the tough heat, Stairmand locked in two mid range 6.0 rides to finish second behind the talented Power who held the heat high wave score of 7.00 and a combined total of 14.00.
Its hard, because I knew I had Morehu and he knows this wave better than anyone, said Stairmand. I just had to pick the best waves and luckily I got through. The little ones are quite good if you can find them. Last year, it was really flat and I got knocked out in the first round, so this is the best I have done in one of these contests.
East Coast surfer Dean Ames (Whangamata) was impressive in his second round heat today, defeating a quality group of Australian surfers to also earn a spot in the third round.
The natural footed surfer was sitting on two low scores before picking off one of the days best rides, performing three strong off the top moves on his backhand to score an 8.50 and win the heat. Moving through with Ames was Australian surfer and 2005 quarter finalist Luke Cheadle (Culburra, NSW).
I was lucky to get that good one. The other boys were sitting a bit far out and I snuck it in on the inside and managed to pull a couple of nice turns. All of the heats are pretty hard from here on in but hopefully I can keep it going and give all these Aussie boys a good run for their money.
Australian surfer Mitchell Coleborn (Sunshine Coast) moved through to the third round in this mornings competition despite falling victim to the long wait in between set waves. Locking in an 8.50 ride early in the 20-minute heat, Coleborn struggled to find a second high score, opting for a smaller inside wave with minutes remaining to give him a 4.0 and enough points to finish in second place and progress.
Currently rated fourth on the ASP Australasian ratings, Coleborn is favoured to perform well here at Raglan with the waves on offer well suited to his powerful forehand attack. Other Kiwis tipped to do well in the Billabong Pro-Teen for 2006 include wildcard Luke Hughes (Raglan), Richard Christie (Gisborne), Nathan Welch (Gisborne) and Pihas Ryan Hawker.
The Billabong Pro-Teen Series for 2006 is supported by Panasonic, Vodafone, Coca-Cola, UV Triplegard, Clearasil, Kustom, Von Zipper, Tracks and Palmers Surf.
Billabong Pro Teen Series Dates and Locations
Feb 7-12 Billabong Pro-Teen Series Gold Coast
Feb 15-19 Billabong Pro-Teen Series Wollongong
Mar 16-19 Billabong Pro-Teen Series Raglan NZ
Mar 29-Apr 2 Wild Surf Co/Billabong Pro-Teen Series Newcastle
Sep 27-Oct 1 Billabong Pro-teen Bells Beach
Simon Barratt - Billabong
Ben Kennings - Surfing NZ
Junior Contests - Surfersvillage