GOLD COAST SURFER LUKE MUNRO BREAKS THRU FOR A BIRTHDAY WIN
Gold Coast junior surfer Luke Munro celebrated his 19th birthday in winningfashion by taking out the Brothers Neilsen Pro Junior in perfect two metrepeeling point waves that wrapped around the Gold Coast headland all day. The sensationally talented surfer has hit his long touted form over the2002 ASP Australasian Junior Circuit, claiming his inaugural pro juniorvictory in his third final of the season.
Capping off the sensational event in brilliant fashion, the four finalistswent barrel for barrel but it was the ‘down-the-line’ speed and the sheerbrilliance of Munro’s surfing that saw him emerge as the early leader aftera near perfect 9 point score on his second wave. Backing up quickly withanother two high scoring rides Munro forged ahead of his three rivals toadd his name to a prestigious list of past champions including fellow GoldCoasters Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning.
“I left my good heat to last,” said an elated Munro who won by over 4points. “I had to struggle through a couple of heats to get to the finalbut I had no problems getting the waves then. I grew up on the Gold Coastand I just love surfing the point waves of Kirra especially when they havesome size so it’s a great place to have my first pro junior win”
“I am more relaxed this year and it’s working for me.”
Tournaments standout Bede Durbidge (Nth Stradbroke, Is, Qld) failed to findhis earlier form and was forced to settle for second place. Durbidgepersonified style and positioning in the Kirra line-up throughout the finaltwo days of competition, top scoring for round 4, round 5, thequarter-finals and the semi-finals. The Gold Coasts Cory Ziems finishedthird in his third consecutive final showcasing his professionalconsistency and lone goofy footer Jock Barnes finished fourth.
Final Scores out of a possible 30 – Munro – 24.25, Durbidge 20.00, Ziems16.40 and Barnes 11.90.
Munro has now jumped into second place on the ASP Australasian rankingsbehind top seed Shaun Cansdell (Mullaway) who was eliminated in round fiveof competition.
High performance tube riding was showcased in the clean but smallerconditions on offer for the final day of competition. Long barrels peeledoff the newly carved out Kirra Point sand bank with amazing consistency,after dropping from yesterday’s more radical conditions.
Durbidge,dominated the first semi-final from start to finish, leaving leftall three of his opponents in need of a two wave scoring combination on thesiren. Barnes who progressed in 2nd place easily outpointed Steve Noble(Cape Paterson) by a clear five point eliminating the Victorian surfer. Made Sudana (Pacific Palms, NSW) finished fourth. The second semi sawZiems advance easily advance in first with Munro following suite in 2nd.Nick Muscroft (Jan Juc, Victoria) was eliminated in 3rd requiring a 6 pointride. Clint Kimmins (Gold Coast) suffered a wave-starved semi and wasforced to settle for fourth.
Unseeded 16-year-old Shaun Harrington (Kirra) was eliminated in round fiveon the final day of competition after a sensational run throughout the fourday tournament to finish in equal 17th place out of 160 starters in hisfirst-ever junior contest. Twin brother Dean was also a standout placingequal 33rd, eliminated by top seed Shaun Cansdell in round four despitescoring a perfect ten-point Kirra barrel.
The 7th annual Brothers Neilsen Pro Junior enjoyed the best wave conditionsin the history of the tournament with Burleigh Heads providing solid 1.5metre waves on the opening day of the four-day event. An increase in swellon the Gold Coast then saw the tournament enjoy three epic days of Kirrabarrels.
The next event on the ASP Australasian Junior Circuit is the BillabongJunior Series at Burleigh Heads February 14th – 18th.