COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia (Monday, February 8, 2010) – With the completion of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy earlier this month (won by Maxime Huscenot (REU) and Laura Enever (AUS) respectively), ASP International has confirmed the activation of the ASP World Junior Tour (WJT).
"The WJT is a natural development for the ASP and serves as recognition for Billabong's vision and long-standing support for world junior surfing and for the sheer and immense surfing talent we now have coming through the ranks," Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, said. "The WJT provides additional opportunity for junior surfers to establish a career as a professional surfer and to really make a name for themselves as ASP World Junior Champion."
The Oakley ASP World Junior event will be the first stop on the 2010 ASP World Junior Tour, running at the high-performance wave of Keramas in Bali from October 2 – 13, 2010.
“As junior surfing expands globally, surfers are qualifying for the ASP Dream Tour while still competing in junior events," Ronny Nelson, Oakley Sports Marketing Manager said. "Pro junior surfing is bridging the gap for American surfers who have grown up competing in six-man and four-man heats. This new format creates an even playing field for the world's juniors as they start their careers at a young age. It all keeps the sport youthful and dynamic and everyone is excited to watch the action.”
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships has run for more than a decade and remains unchallenged as the benchmark for high-performance junior surfing and an accurate gauge on the future stars of the sport. The transition to a three-event ASP World Junior only heightens the importance of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, with momentum building throughout the season for the crowning of the undisputed ASP World Junior Champion.
“Billabong is excited that the ASP is expanding the World Junior Championship to three events," Andrew Flitton, from Billabong, said. "The opportunity for young aspiring male and female surfers to gain experience at different locations and extend their repertoire in varying conditions is critical to their development and future careers in professional surfing. We welcome the commitment of other brands in supporting the long term vision of the sport and look forward to a strong investment and promotion around junior surfing and the part it plays in the ongoing success of the sport.”
Similar to years past, athletes will compete on their respective regional ASP Pro Junior Series throughout the season to qualify for the ASP World Junior Tour. Qualification for the ASP WJT will be based off of regional results from January 1 through August 31, 2010.
The inaugural ASP World Junior Tour will see six representatives from ASP Australasia, ASP South America, ASP North America and ASP Europe, five representatives from ASP Africa, ASP Hawaii and ASP Japan, and additional wildcards to make up the 48-man field (based off the recently completed Billabong ASP World Junior Championship finishes). The ASP World Junior Tour events will also feature an 18-woman field, which will crown the undisputed ASP Women's World Junior Champion.
The undisputed ASP World Junior Champions will be the No. 1 ranked male and female surfer after the completion of the ASP World Junior Tour.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, former ASP World Junior Champion (2001) and 2009 ASP World Runner-Up, knows all to well the benefits of the ASP Pro Junior Series.
"The ASP Pro Junior Series and Billabong ASP World Juniors have been the indicator for future stars since their inception," Parkinson said. "It's the stepping stone onto the 'QS and gives surfers the experience they need to make it in this sport."
While the ASP World Junior Tour is presently at two events, organizers are looking to add one event in 2010 for a three-event tour.
"Having a multi-event tour for our junior surfers has been a long-standing goal for the ASP and we are pleased to broaden and support our existing tours for men, women and longboards, by adding this tour for our junior surfers," Carr said. " ASP will continue to explore every avenue to develop all our tours in the crowning of undisputed World Champions."
A full schedule and more information can be found on aspworldtour.com.
ASP WORLD JUNIOR TOUR SCHEDULE
Oakley ASP World Junior Event, Bali/Indonesia – October 2 – 13, 2010
Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, Australia – January 8 – 16, 2011
PAST ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONS:
2009: Maxime Huscenot (REU), Laura Enever (AUS)
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)