Billabong Pro Junior Series
ASP Australasian Junior Series
Bells Beach, Victoria
2 - 6 October 2007
Sally Fitzgibbons Crowned ASP Australasian Junior Champion: Jr Men Continue to Battle in Building Bells
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 4 October, 2007 : - - Bells Beach, Victoria -- Teenage sensation Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa, NSW) added the nations most prestigious U/20 surfing title to her already impressive collection of crowns today by claiming the 2007 ASP Australasian Junior title. The pocket-rocket however was forced to settle for second place in the season-ending Billabong Pro Junior Series final after losing to emerging super-star LAURA ENEVER (North Narrabeen, Sydney).
Both light-weight surfers used big carving manoeuvres and vertical snaps on the 1.5 2 metre waves as they battled gale-force, off-shore winds at Bells Beach in the 30 minute final. The long-walling wave providing the perfect arena for the pair of 16 year-old wonders to utilise their full repertoire of manoeuvres in spite of the renowned Bells chill factor.
It was U/16s national champion ENEVERs competitive savvy and more critical snaps that gave her the edge on the day over current U/18s national champion FITZGIBBONS. ENEVER opened strongly on a set wave for a 6.83 the highest wave score of the final to never be headed. My plan was to go out and have fun, catch the sets and surf my best and that paid off catching those sets, said Enever.
This is my first year on the junior tour and I have had three wins, so Im happy to finish it off like this, its just awesome. We havent had that many good waves this year so to have Bells pumping with no-one out is just a cool thing to happen for me, added Enever.
Laura Enever : photo Steve Robertson
FITZGIBBONS clinched the Australasian crown earlier in the day with her semi-final victory over her lone remaining title rival, no.2 ranked AIRINI MASON (NZ). FITZGIBBONS opened the encounter quickly with a 5.83 to leave her opponent to play catch-up for the entire semi-final. Both surfers posted two wins a piece on the 2007 junior tour but the more consistent FITZGIBBONS had a strong edge heading into the deciding event.
Im just stoked to get the series win, said Fitzgibbons after the final. It was great but tough conditions out there with those off-shore winds. Laura had a great final. It would have been nice to cap off the year with a win but it wasnt to be. I was just stoked to make the final and get through that semi against Airini, added Fitzgibbons.
MASON finished second on the ASP Australasian rankings and along with FITZGIBBONS qualified for the two coveted berths in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championship at North Narrabeen in January. MASON also won back to back Billabong Pro Junior Series Title which comprises of six of the ten events on the 2007 ASP Australian junior tour.
All three junior surfers will re-meet in Sydney next week when they compete for the lone wildcard into the NAB Beachley Classic at Manly on Monday 8th October.
Ratings leader MITCH COLEBORN (Sunshine Coast) continued his winning ways to convincingly advance into round three of the deciding event. While the Sunshine Coast surfer has wrapped up the ASP Australasian Junior Series title he is still aiming to cap his season off with a win at the Billabong Pro Junior Series Bells Beach.
Parrish Byrne : photo Steve Robertson
Another four surfers will also seal their chance for a shot at glory via the deciding event with the event winner and the top three surfers behind COLEBORN on the end of year rankings also in contention for the ASP world junior title.
Current no.2 HEATH JOSKE (Numbucca Heads, NSW) used a change of strategy to advance with the tournaments highest heat score of 17.64 out of a possible 20. The 18 year-old was trailing as his three opponents picked off set wave after set wave before he relocated his take-off position over to Rincon at the Bells cliff face.
JOSKE then picked off the wave of the day, an exceptionally long ride that he surfed well beyond the famed Bells Bowl section by executing a series of hard-hitting top to bottom manoeuvres for the events highest wave score so far of 9.57 (out of a possible 10). "I got two bowls at the start but I was just a little bit too deep on them. I knew I had to get something solid and then that bomb came through and it walled up all the way for me, said Joske. Im so stoked.
We have had some waves this year, but not as good as we would have hoped so to get really good waves, in this competition is just unreal, added Joske.
Local star TIM STEVENSON (Torquay) was the stand-out Surf Coast performer using a lucky last wave in the dying moments of his round two, heat to jump from third to first with a high scoring 7.23 ride. The twenty year-old who is competing in his final event as a junior defeated Billy Stairmand (NZ), the pair causing the elimination of Nick Riley (Manly) and Campbell Downey (Fairhaven, Vic).
Other surfers in the hunt to make the cut for Narrabeen are no.3 ranked junior JULIAN WILSON (Coolum, Sunshine Coast QLD), no.4 BEAU ATCHINSON (Copacabana, NSW), no.5 JAYKE SHAPRE (Sandy Beach, NSW), no.6 BRENDAN LECKIE (Palm Beach, QLD), no.7 PARRISH BYRNE (Wollongong, NSW), no.8 ASHLEY KING (Ulludulla, NSW), no.9 NICK RILEY (Fairlight, NSW), no.10 OWEN WRIGHT (Culburra, NSW), no.11 MADISON WILLIAMS (Coffs Harbour, NSW) and no.12 BLAKE WILSON (Sunshine Coast).
Tournament stand-outs included Brent Dorrington (Gold Coast), Nick Vasicek (Gold Coast) Cahill Bell-Warren (Bells Beach, Vic), Beau Atchinson (Copacabana, NSW), Josh Johnson-Baxter (Ocean Grove, Vic), Brendan Leckie (Gold Coast) and Tim Wrench (Ulludulla, NSW) all advancing into round three of the deciding event.
The junior mens event will finalise Saturday October 6th with excellent conditions forecast for Friday. Featuring $20,000 in prize money for the junior mens and $3,000 for the junior girls along with a field of 160 guys and 32 girls of Australia's and the worlds best under 20 aged surfers. The Billabong Pro Junior Series is supported by Coca Cola, Panasonic, UV Triplegard, Clearasil, Von Zipper, Kustom, MTV and Surfing Vcitoria.
Billabong Pro Junior Series Girls Results
Laura Enever 12.16 pts def Sally Fitzgibbons 10.63 pts.
Sally Fitzgibbons (NSW) 9.30 pts def Airini Mason (NZ) 7.33 pts.
Laura Enever (NSW) 9.73 pts def Paige Hareb (NZ) 8.66 pts
ASP Australasian End of Year Junior Girls Ratings
1 Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa, NSW) 10325
2 Airini Mason (NZ) 9850
3 Laura Enever (Narrabeen, NSW) 9100
4 Jessie Hickson (Boomerang Beach, NSW) 8263
5 Kirby Wright (Culburra, NSW) 8015
6 Rebecca Oakley (Sunshine Beach, Qld) 7868
7 Kirstie Jones (Uludulla, NSW) 7190
8 Paige Hareb (NZ) 7023
9 Brittani Nicholls (Cabarita, NSW) 6803
10 Angela Keighran (Mullaway, NSW) 6576
About The Billabong Pro Junior Series
Developed in the early 1990s as a platform for young surfers aiming to become professionals, the $75,000 Billabong Pro Junior Series is the countrys longest standing and richest domestic junior surfing circuit. The five event series is open to aspiring male and female surfers aged 20-years and under and will comprise half of the overall ASP Australasian circuit, which culminates in the crowning of the ASP World Junior Champion at North Narrabeen each year.
2007 Billabong Junior Series
$13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Sunshine Coast, February 6 to 11
$13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour, February 14 to 18
$13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Raglan, March 29 to 31
$13,000 Billabong Pro Junior Wollongong, September 13 to 16
$23,000 Billabong Pro Junior Bells, October 2nd to 6th.
# 1 : Final Billabong Pro Jr Series to decide world title surfers
# 2 : Bells Beach rings for Billabong Pro Jr Series' last event
# 3 : Billabong Pro Jr Series sees girls secure champ spots
# 4 : Coming soon
ASP Jr Contests - Surfersvillage