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Stuart Kennedy flares at the Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior


Stuart Kennedy : photo Jake White


Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior

ASP Grade 2 Mens Pro Junior
Burleigh Heads, Queensland Australia
22 - 28 January 2007

Live Coverage  |  Results/Photos/Videos etc

Top Seed Stuart Kennedy Flares At Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 January, 2008 : - - All eyes were on Burleigh Heads today with the world’s hottest 20-years and under surfers strutting their stuff in round two and three of the Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior on the Gold Coast. The ‘new class’ of Pro Juniors relished the 1-metre point break waves, showcasing a new brand of performance surfing in the favourable conditions.

The day’s proceeding saw the remaining 8 heats of round two completed, along with the first 16 heats of the top seeded third round finished. No. 1 seed Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head) led today’s charge, blasting his way through to round four of competition after crushing Coolangatta’s Jack Freestone, Burleigh Head’s Hamish Willem and Thirroul‘s Tim Bilmon in his round three heat.

“I felt really relaxed out there,” said Kennedy. “I’ve had a great start to year and I’m feeling good… It’s actually the first heat I’ve ever progressed through at Burleigh.” The 18-year-old kicked off his campaign quickly, snaring a set wave in the first few seconds of the heat before unloading a flurry of powerful maneovures to net an excellent scoring 8.00 out of a possible 10.

Looking in good touch, Kennedy put his opponents out of their misery netting a heat high 8.67 ride, which included a high-flying aerial maneovure, to finish with the morning’s highest heat score, a scintillating 16.67 (out of a possible 20). Final Scores: Kennedy 16.67, Freestone 12.93, Willem 6.94 and Bilmon 5.7.

Kennedy, who honed his surfing skills on Lennox Head’s point break peelers, was right at home in Burleigh’s reeling waves and will be looking to extend his ratings lead with a strong result at this week’s event.

He’ll now face Eli Jacobs (Bilinga), Maxime Huscenot (France) and Ty Watson (Currarong) in round four, whilst Freestone, who finished in second, will match up against Brett Burcher (Mollymook), Lincoln Taylor (North Stradbroke) and Matt Wilkinson (Copacabana). Another notable performance came from local Gold Coast surfer Eli Jacobs, who defied tide-affected conditions to defeat Burcher, Jasper Endersby (Peregian Beach) and Jesse Adam (Newcastle).

Jacobs, who squeezed through to today’s round via a second place in the first round, waited to the final seconds to wrap-up the heat with one of the scores of the day. Jacobs accrued a 9.00 on his heat winning ride and backed it up with a 5.17 to book himself a spot in round four. Final Scores: Jacobs 14.17, Burcher 11.33, Endersby 8.63 and Adam 7.53.

Internationals were also well represented on day two of the $25,000 tournament with Tahiti’s Tamaroa McComb, Japan's Osawa Noubuyuki, New Zealand’s Billy Stairmand and Brazil’s Peterson Cresanto emerging as the morning's frontrunners. The international contingent upped the ante in their round two heats, unleashing some explosive ‘new school’ maneovures to outclass their Australian foes.

McComb, who has recently moved to the Gold Coast to further his surfing career, utilised his progressive repertoire to full effect today, lighting up the water to send his opponents; Storm Hosking (Burleigh Heads), Jerome Forrest (WA) and Haig Riddle (Coolangatta) packing. “I just went out there and had fun,” said McComb. “I love right-hand waves, especially this one. It's such a great wave to show off your maneouvres.”

The Tahitian whiz kid has moved into a new pad at Coolangatta, just down the road from the Superbank and Kirra, with shaper and renowned big wave surfer Dylan Longbottom. He now plans to live between the Gold Coast and his home on the French Polynesian island of Huahine, in between an extensive international competition schedule.

However, McComb won’t be able to rest on his laurels with a forthcoming showdown against no.2 seed Julian Wilson (Coolum) and Culburra ripper Owen Wright in the next round. Other Australian winners today included Lincoln Taylor (Nth Stradbroke Island), Matt Wilkinson(Copacabana), Craig Anderson (Newcastle) and Josh Johnson-Baxter (Victoria).

Contest organisers are expected to hold round four heats tomorrow with a southeasterly swell set to continue throughout the rest of the week. Bolstering to the unparalleled competition format is the Hurley 'Burleigh Battle' presented by Nike 6.0, which will be staged on Australia Day. The 'Burleigh Battle' will bring surfers from different territories together in an entertaining team-style format to determine which is the strongest in pro surfing.

Six teams of two surfers will compete over three, 30-minute heats. Teams will be from Australian states (QLD, NSW, VIC, WA, SA) along with a sole international team.

Team members will be judged on their highest scoring ride, plus a “shared” wave, where surfers from the same team have to ride a wave together. The concept was created to encourage teams to work together, and judging was set up to favour teams that have both surfers on the same wave-face, surfing in the same direction at the same time.

The action doesn’t stop there with teams slugging it out across a Ping-Pong tournament as well as a Pie Eating contest in the multidisciplinary battle. The team with the highest amount of points at the end of the battle will walk away with a pair of limited edition Nike 6.0 shoes plus $1000. Too easy! 

The Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior is the 3rd of 12 stops on the 2008 ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series and offers a seven-day surfing window, from Tuesday 22nd January to Monday 28th January, 2008, for only five days of competition surfing. The main event site will be at Burleigh Heads, however the tournament has the option of going to the best surf from Southport Spit to Duranbah.

The Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior is proudly supported by Nike 6.0, Electric, Redbull, Brothers Neilsen, Australian Surfing life, Surfing Queensland and ASP Australasia.

Previous reports:
# 1 : The Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior ready to rock Gold Coast
# 2 : Hurley Burleigh Pro Jr Day 1 scores big Burleigh barrels
# 3 :
Coming soon
# 4 :
Coming soon

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Jake White

Contests - Surfersvillage


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