2.7 The Billabong Junior Series

The Billabong Junior Series
Hits Its First Stop In Half Moon Bay

If it weren’t for Mavericks, a majority of the surfing world would have no idea where Half Moon Bay was. Situated between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is an isolated little town not really known for anything but its annual pumpkin festival and one of the heaviest waves in the world.

When it comes to contests, Half Moon Bay has also been isolated from bullhorns and scaffoldings. It’s not like the waves are bad or the water’s too cold, the waves can actually get pretty darn good in the summertime.

Thanks to Billabong, the town was host to the first event of the four-stop Billabong Junior Series on July 8, 2000. The company has an extremely strong junior series in Australia, and started the U.S. tour to mirror its success.

“It falls into place with the ASP North America Junior program where there are events in Santa Cruz, Trestles, and Huntington Beach,” says Marketing Director Graham Stapelberg. “We then back that up with one here Half Moon Bay, the Outer Banks on the East Coast in August, T Street in San Clemente in September, as well as Kewalos in Hawai’i.”

For guys like seventeen-year-old Ryan Augenstein from Santa Cruz, the series gives him a chance to compete in some familiar waters: “I’m super stoked because it’s cool to have a contest in your home area. It’s cool seeing contests in Santa Cruz instead of L.A. They’re down there all the time. It’s nice to have some bigger, cold-water waves.”As for the competition itself, the knee- to waist-high waves weren’t what guys like Augenstein were hoping for, however, they were good enough for Carlsbad High School junior Dane Johnson. Surfing super consistently, Johnson won, surprising an extremely smooth and fast Shaun Burrell who took second, followed by Austin Ware in third, and Brian Conley in fourth.

The following are the results:

1.Dane Johnson $1,500
2.Shaun Burrell $1,000
3.Austin Ware $700
4.Brian Conley $500
5. (tie) Bud Freitas, Ryan Augenstein $350
7. (tie) Zach Plopper, Hamish Campbell $300