Number one seed, Avoca’s Adrian “Ace” Buchan saved his best hand till lastto win the 2001 Hot Buttered/Ocean & Earth Pro Junior today at NorthNarrabeen Beach.
In one of the most exciting finishes in the event’s 25 year history, “Ace”went into the fifth and final round of the finals in third place. With thepressure highlighted by a new contest format entitled “Slalom Surfing,” thebrain wave of Terry Fitzgerald, (this innovation has all 16 finalistssurfing one by one in five minute slots for an acumulative pointscore overfive rounds) “Ace” pulled out a 9 point ride out of a possible 10 on hislast throw of the dice to overtake run away leader, Mullaway’s ShaunCansdell by a mere 0.25 of a point.
“At first I though I was just trying to hold on to third place.’ Says”Ace”.”Shaun had such a big lead, but then this wave poped up and I figured I hadnothing to lose so I just belted it. I still can’t believe I just got thescore,” continued “Ace”, still shaking from the excitement only momentsafter his 9 point ride. But it wasn’t over. Buchan then had to sit on thebeach and wait for Cansdell’s reply, the only sufer left that could beathim. A huge set wave came through, but it wasn’t to be. The shallow sandbank closed out the 17 year old’s grip on the prestigious HotButtered/Ocean& Earth trophy. Buchan pocketed $3000 and takes a series lead in the ASPAustralasian and World Junior Ratings for 2001.
“This is such a dream come true for me,” says “Ace”. “Ever since I startedsurfing I dreamed about winning this event, and to do it against these guysmakes it even more special.” Indeed it was a strong field. With the likesofUmina’s Glen Hall, Merewether’s Travis Lynch, Victoria’s Peter Hughes,Duranbah’s Mick Fanning and Lennox Head surfer Jock Barnes, who filled infifth to seventh place respectively, Australia’s surfing future looks ingood hands.
“These guys are incredible,” remarked twice World Champion and former twotime winner Tom Carroll. “Every year the standard just rises another level,particularly in the cadet division. I’m blown away.” In fact the cadetdivision just about stole the show. Hawaii’s Dustin Cuizon, the onlyblockade in the Australian whitewash took out the Surfing World Cadet Cupwith a whopping 27 out of a possible 30. Cuizon scored the only perfect tenpoint ride of the event to take out another rising star, Old Bar’s BenDunnn. Cooloangatta’s Luke Dorington came in third and Lennox Head’s AdamMelling fourth.
The newly formed Boys division also raised eyebrows with Copocabana’s MattWilkinson continuing the Central Coast’s strong display to claim honuors.The Gold Coast’s Reuben Levitt and Mitchell Colebum coming in second andthird. Daniel Asmus from Bilgola placed fourth.
The ASP Australasian junior series now heads south to Bells Beach for theJetty Surf Pro, Jan 11-14.