(Friday 23rd January, 2009): The Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior continued to fire on today, with top seeds entering the water in building 3ft (1m) point break waves at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.
Aussie pro junior ripper David Vlug. Photo: Surfing Australia.com
After the completion of the remaining four, round two heats this morning, a new wave of the world's hottest junior surfers aged 20-years and under tore the legendary surf break to pieces in the race for all-important round four berths.
Reigning ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series champion Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head) narrowly escaped elimination in round three of the 4 star rated, $25,000 tournament, progressing through to the next round thanks to a last-minute wave.
"I couldn't buy a wave out there," said Kennedy.
"I was freaking out a little. Luckily that wave through at the end and I was able to get the score I needed."
Under the pump for the majority of the tight, 20-minute heat, Kennedy had to call on his extensive competition repertoire to advance behind Brazil's Miguel Popo.
Sitting in third and requiring a 4.75 to progress, Kennedy unloaded a mix of progressive moves to score an 8.25 in the dying stages of the heat.
Kennedy finishing in second with a two-wave combined total of 13.00 to Pupo's 13.75-winning total.
Japan's Dai Wako (9.25) and Burleigh Heads local Hamish Willem finishing in third and fourth respectively.
Not even patchy rain squalls could dampen Kennedy's spirits, saying that a slow start wouldn't harm his title chances.
"I've got nothing to prove," he said.
"I had some big results last year, so there's no reason why I can't do it again."
Pupo, who is in Australia competing in the opening two events of the Australasian junior series, used the pulse in swell to his advantage, backhand blasting his way to an impressive victory.
International surfers continued to send shock waves through the Australian junior series with Marc Lacomare (France), Magno Pacheo (Brazil) and Chad Du Toit (South Africa) joining Pupo in round four with impressive round three wins.
Muniz, the reigning ISA U/18 world junior champion, looked sharp in his early morning heat, blasting through to round three courtesy of an excellent scoring 8.5 ride.
Muniz, went mental in the reeling conditions, posting the morning's highest total (15.85) en route to beating Todd Rosewell (Jan Juc), Raditya Rhondi (Bali) and Tyson Kozuscek (Mudjimba).
But the Aussies hit back with Narrabeen's David Vlug making a successful comeback from injury in his round three heat.
Vlug, who lacerated his kidney while surfing his home break of North Narrabeen in December, powered to victory with a 15.75 two-wave total (out of a possible 20).
The exciting goofy foot showed no signs of the serious injury, taking to the sky with a variety of new-school, aerial moves to defeat Charles Martin (Guadolope), Daniel Karren (Seaforth) and Wylie Moyes (Randwich).
Other Australians to post big wins included Owen Wright (Culburra), Davey Cathels (North Narrabeen), Chris Friend (Alexandra Headlands).
Wright, the tournament's third seed, revelled in the afternoon heats, bagging a near-perfect 19.30 total (9.8 and 9.3) to storm into round four.
Defending Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior champion Tamaroa McComb (Tahiti) will kick off his campaign tomorrow morning when round three heats resume.
Contest organisers are expected to commence competition at Burleigh Heads, with the first heat hitting the water at 8am.
The Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior is the opening stop on the 2009 ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series and offers a five-day surfing window, from Thursday 22nd January to Monday 26th January, 2009.
The Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior is proudly supported by, Nike 6.0, Electric Sunglasses, Surf Dive 'n' Ski, Australia's Surfing Life Magazine, ASP Australasia and Surfing Queensland.
For event location please call the Surfing Queensland event hotline on (07) 3030 6388.
Checkout all Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior happenings at www.surfingaustralia.com
The Essence of Hurley is based on our love of the ocean and its constant state of change. With deep roots in beach culture, we are all about inclusion and positivity. Our brand was started with the idea of facilitating the dreams of the youth. Music and art are the common threads that bring us all together. We are passionate about freedom of expression and the individual voice. We place a premium on smiles. Welcome to our world – imagine the possibilities.
The history of Hurley traces its roots back to the surf industry in Southern California in the late 1970’s. Hurley Surfboards was established in Costa Mesa in 1979. Well into the early 1980’s, Hurley Surfboards was excelling as a company and Bob was shaping surfboards for many of the best surfers in the world. In 1982, Bob and his business manager, Joe K., began pursuing a hot Australian clothing brand, Billabong. Bob was attracted to the company because of their super long, punk rock boardshort styles. With the help of friends and family, Billabong USA was established as a separate entity and licensee for Billabong.
By the mid-1980’s, Billabong USA was doing really well. Bob and his team were committed to thinking and doing things differently. The team took full responsibility for design, sourcing, marketing and financing.
Around 1995, the Billabong USA team began noticing a shift in the collective consciousness of the consumer. Bob and his group realized that the modern surfer also loved fashion, skate, snow, music and art. The Internet and digital technology put more power in the hands of the consumers. The team began to re-think what it meant to be a “surf” brand. By early 1998, the internal Billabong USA team was formulating a new idea for the future.
By the end of 1998, it was clear that the team had it’s own vision for the future that did not necessarily serve the interests of Billabong globally. Coincidentally, the license agreement between Hurley and Billabong was also up for renewal. With much gratitude, Bob and his team gave back the Billabong license and decided to launch Hurley.
USA sales at that time were at 70 million dollars. The management team was both confident and dynamic. Things were very good. Planning the first year of Hurley business was very exciting. There were 150 employees with families, house payments, car payments, and etc. that trusted the management team to future success. Miraculously, the first year of Hurley resulted in a major achievement. Not only were the sales excellent, but also the company was profitable and no jobs had to be cut.
The loyalty and support of friends, retailers, athletes, and families was amazing during this transition year. Bob and his team are forever grateful and humbled for their belief in the vision of the brand.
THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN.