NORTH NARRABEEN, New South Wales/Australia (Thursday, January 7, 2010) – The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy are one day away from commencing and the world’s best juniors surfers are assembling in North Narrabeen as the prepare to hunt down the most prestigious crown in junior surfing, the ASP World Junior Title.
Contesting in their respective regional ASP Pro Junior Series throughout the 2009 season, qualifiers for the prestigious Billabong ASP World Junior Championships include 48 men and 18 women from the seven ASP regions: Africa, Australasia, Europe, Japan, North America and South America.
Pauline Ado (FRA), 18, reigning ASP World Junior Champion, failed to qualify via the 2009 ASP European Pro Junior Series (finishing 15th), but will be back to defend her crown courtesy of an ASP wildcard into the event. Last year saw the diminutive natural-footer blitz the field to become the first non-Australian ASP Women’s World Junior Champion.
Ado will face Joanne Defay (FRA) and Alessa Cuizon (HAW) in Round 1 of competition.
Bethany Hamilton (HAW), 19, last year’s ASP World Junior Runner-Up, put in an inspirational performance throughout the 2009 season. After the loss of her arm (the result of a ferocious shark attack on her home island of Kauai in 2003), the tenacious goofy-footer has been an inspiration to thousands, nearly qualifying for the prestigious ASP Women’s World Tour this season (finishing 14th on the ASP World Qualifying Series in 2009).
Hamilton will take on Sarah Baum (ZAF) and Gabriela Leite (BRA) in the opening round of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
Ado and Hamilton will have their work cut out for them as they’ll take on the likes of Tyler Wright (AUS), 16, Laura Enever (AUS), 18, and Courtney Conlogue (USA), 17, to name a few.
In addition to 18 of the world’s best up-and-coming female surfers, North Narrabeen will see a cadre of the world’s best male juniors as the contest for their respective, highly coveted ASP World Junior Title.
The 16-man VZ Trials will kick things off for the men tomorrow, with 1st and 2nd place as well as the highest-placing Billabong surfer all receiving a spot into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy.
A special appearance by Joel Parkinson (Gold Coast, Qld), 2009 ASP World Runner-Up and 2001 ASP World Junior Champion (the last Aussie to claim the prestigious crown), will take place at Narrabeen on Saturday, at 9:30am. Parkinson, winner of last season’s Vans Triple Crown, has just returned from Hawaii and will be joined by explosive Billabong stable-mate and aerial whiz Wade Goodall (Sunshine Coast, Qld). The pair will surf at Narrabeen and be available for autographs and media opportunities.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships mirrors the competition format of the ASP World Tour and is considered the sport’s “crystal ball” for aspiring champions. In addition, a Final’s placing in the tournament affords the successful surfers an unrivalled seeding on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) that serves as a springboard to the ASP World Tour.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
PAST ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONS:
2008: Kai Barger (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)
2007: Pablo Paulino (BRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
2006: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Nicola Atherton (AUS)
2005: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
2004: Pablo Paulino (BRA)
2003: Adriano de Souza (BRA)
2001: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2000: Pedro Henrique (BRA)
1999: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
1998: Andy Irons (HAW)
BILLABONG ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS (Men):
Finalized following VZ Trials
BILLABONG ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS (Women):
Heat 1: Sayuri Hashimoto (JPN), Malia Manuel (HAW), Tyler Wright (AUS)
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS), Leila Hurst (HAW), Nao Ohmura (JPN)
Heat 3: Sage Erickson (USA). Alizee Arnaud (FRA), Susa Leal (BRA)
Heat 4: Bethany Hamilton (HAW), Sarah Baum (ZAF), Gabriela Leite (BRA)
Heat 5: Pauline Ado (FRA), Joanne Defay (FRA), Alessa Cuizon (HAW)
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Felicity Palmateer (AUS)
Heat 1: Cody Thompson (USA), Teale Vanner (AUS), David Vlug (AUS), James Woods (AUS)
Heat 2: Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Ica Pereira-Ryan (AUS), Ryan Callinan (AUS), David Tereva (TAH)
Heat 3: Alex Ribeiro (BRA), Noah Lane (AUS), Chris Salisbury (AUS), Cooper Chapman (AUS)
Heat 4: Perth Standlick (AUS), Brett Burcher (AUS), Brent Savage (AUS), Sam Wrench (AUS)