Final 12 surfers decided at the Billabong Pro Junior Men’s at Bells Beach
Thursday October 2nd 2008: Winning is everything and young 14 year old NSW surfer Tyler Wright knows how to win when it really counts.
Only a win in the final event of the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series for 2008 would allow her to qualify for the all important ASP Billabong World Junior Championships which will run at Narrabeen Beach in Sydney next January and the super competitive and talented south coast NSW surfer was able to find the form to take it out comfortably defeating Kiwi Gold Coast based surfer Airini Mason in the final.
Wright won the final comfortably on 13.75 to Mason on 12.75. Wright’s 7.5 early ride in the final proving the decisive wave in her strong win in the excellent 1m waves at Bells Beach.
First and second placings on the season ratings qualified and Wright jumped from 4th to 2nd, overtaking her already strong rival Laura Enever (Narrabeen) along the way.
“I love it here at Bells and I figured I could win this event before I came down and it’s just worked out perfectly for me” said a very happy Wright after the final.
“There was pressure all the way knowing that only a win was good enough but I sort of just put that to the back of my mind, enjoyed the great waves and focused on winning every single heat – That worked!”
Being only 14 years of age and set to take on the world’s best 20 year and under Pro Junior Women next January is holding no fears for Wright at all.
“I’ll train hard between now and January and it’s super exciting to be taking on the best from around the world – I’ll be ready for sure!”
Tyler joins fellow Sth Coast girl Sally Fitzgibbons who won the series and will also go to the World Championships hoping to defend her ASP World Pro Junior Title.
The unlucky girl today was Narrabeen surfer Laura Enever who was defeated by Wright in a close semi final and then had to watch as Wright went on to take the win and that all important 2nd place on the ratings. Enever will be hoping to still qualify for the World’s either via the trials or possibly a wild card given she placed 3rd in last years World’s.
The Pro Junior Men’s round four also enjoyed excellent 1m surf on the high tide Rincon point break at Bells Beach.
Australia’s top 20 year and under Pro Junior men surfers put forth tremendous performances spurred on by the pressure situation most of these surfers are under also chasing qualification positions into the ASP Billabong World Pro Junior finals.
Current number four on the ASP Australasian ratings is Heath Joske and he stole the show early today posting two excellent waves of 8.75 in a big scoring heat win. His total score of 17.5 was the days highest in his win over Blake Ainsworth (Gold Coast).
“It’s sort of sad that this is the end of my pro junior career but with great waves and qualifying for the world pro championships on the line I really have to go hard here. I had a shocking heat yesterday and managed to squeak through, I can’t afford another heat like yesterdays and from here on in I need to be scoring like I did in that heat – fairly simple really!”
Positions 2, 3 and 4 from the ratings will qualify for the ASP World Junior Championships and such is the tightness in the ratings that Tahitian Tamaroa McComb, Queensland’s Lincoln Taylor and Coff’s Harbour area surfers Jayke Sharpe and heath Joske are all through to the final 12 surfers at this event and all of them are seriously in with a chance to qualify.
Jayke Sharpe (SandyBeach/Coffs Harbour) desperately found a good final scoring ride in the final minute of his heat today to go from 4th to 2nd place and advance behind Tamaroa McComb who continues to dominate.
“That was such a close call and thankfully I’m through – It’s so close here for the qualification that I think we’re all just focused on making the final and then we’ll know we’ve done well and qualified. Heath and myself are super close on the ratings, hopefully we both make it and represent Coff’s Harbour – even better would be if Madison Williams (Diggers Beach) wins and we all qualify!”
One surfer who could seriously upset any of the top surfers from interstate is local Bells Beach resident Cahill Bell-Warren who had a big scoring win today over Newcastles Craig Anderson (Merewether) who also progressed in 2nd place in a very high scoring heat. Both Bell-Warren and Anderson need to win this event which awards a wild card into the World’s and on todays performance both are surfing well enough to be right in contention.
“Bells is my wave, I surf it every day it breaks and I know I can do really well here” said a very focused Bell-Warren after his heat win today.
“No one intimidates me here and I don’t mind if we surf the finals day in big waves or small, as long as we’re at Bells I’m confident – I think it will get down to who gets the best waves on the finals day and I’m keen I can do it.”
Bell-Warren posted the days second highest scoring heat win with a wave tally of 16.50 for his top two scoring rides which were an 8.75 and a 7.75.
With two days remaining in the waiting period and only quarter finals to finals to run organizers will assess conditions over the coming two days and attempt to finish in the best waves possible, which could well be on Saturday with a good swell forecast.
The Billabong Pro Junior Series welcomes Virgin Blue as Billabong’s official airline partner and also acknowledges tremendous support from Panasonic, VZ, Kustom, and Surfing Victoria.