Nat Young will be looking to add another victory this weekend. Photo courtesy ASP Morris/Covered Images
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Wednesday, August 27, 2008) – With just four of 10 Association Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Pro Junior Series events left on the 2008 calendar, the Oakley Pro Junior pres. by Heritage Surf and Sport is one of the few remaining opportunities North America's Under 21 surfers have to better their chances at being crowned the 2008 ASP World Junior Champion.
Held in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior will run from August 29-30, 2008 and offer valuable ratings points towards qualification for the 2008 Billabong ASP World Junior Championships held in Narrabeen, Australia. There the top five rated North America Pro Junior males will vie for the much-coveted 2008 ASP World Junior Title.
Blake Jones (Melbourne Beach, FL), 20, is currently sitting in the No. 5 position on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series and was a finalist at last year's Sea Isle City Oakley Pro Junior event. Jones' versatility in all conditions makes him a threat to the competition.
"Finishing in the final last year definitely makes me want to go back and do better," Jones said. "I thought that wave was kind of fun and I think most of the waves on the East Coast are similar."
At No. 5, Jones is in the last position for North American qualifiers for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships and will be out to better his chances to compete in Australia.
"Sitting in No. 5 is nice right now but everything is all so close still," Jones said. "I'm not counting on anything and I know I still have to get some good results this year. Anyone can get a good result and jump up into the top five."
Travis Beckmann (Vero Beach, FL), 20, current ASP North America Pro Junior Series No. 2, will look to close the gap on current ratings leader Cory Arrambide's (Ventura, CA) at this event. The explosive Floridian finished equal 5th at the Sea Isle City Oakley Pro Junior last year and his familiarity with the New Jersey surf could play to his advantage over the field.
"Jersey is usually a good place for me because I lived in New York for a couple of years," Beckmann said. "I had to go down to Jersey almost every weekend to compete in amateur contests and Jersey is definitely similar to Florida because it has a bunch of beach breaks that are usually small and don't have a lot of power to the waves."
Ratings leader Arrambide, 19, who is the defending Sea Isle City Oakley Pro Junior Champion will be back to defend his title and attempt to secure his third victory of the season. Arrambide claimed the Billabong Sebastian Inlet Pro Junior and Arnette Pro Junior earlier this year.
Other ASP North America Pro Junior standouts including current No. 4 Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), who is fresh off of a Final appearance at the O'Neill U.S. Open Pro Junior, No. 7 Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), No. 8 Brent Reilly (Carlsbad, CA), No. 9 Cody Thompson (Jacksonville Beach, FL) and No. 10 Austin Smith-Ford (Santa Cruz, CA) will look to better their standings on the ASP North America Pro Junior series as well.
The Oakley Pro Junior held in Sea Isle City, New Jersey will begin on Friday, August 29, 2008 at 8am local time. Competition should be completed by roughly 3 p.m. on Saturday August 30, 2008.