(Coffs Harbour, NSW Sunday, 15 February 2009): Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour was run and won today in epic conditions, as Owen Wright (Lennox Head, NSW) won his third straight event.
As conditions rapidly increased overnight, with the arrival of a fresh 3-4m swell, competitors were greeted with solid, rugged storm-like peaks as they arrived at Coffs Harbour Jetty.
However, as the swell, rainsqualls and wind abated, what was left was near-perfect four-to-five feet waves which was welcomed with open arms by competitors and officials alike. None more so than Wright, who dominated the final defeating Garrett Parks (Lennox Head, NSW), Perth Standlick (Bondi, NSW), and Davey Cathels (North Narrabeen, NSW), who finished second, third and fourth respectively.
Wright, who now holds a massive lead on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior ratings after three straight victories, was in super-human form once again, accruing a combined heat total of 17.00 (out of a possible 20).
"It feels great," Wright said after accepting the check and trophy for his third consecutive event. "To win again is a dream, I've just got some really good momentum at the moment and hopefully it can continue onwards."
High scores dominated the day¹s competition as the finest junior surfers in Australasia pushed the boundaries of competitive surfing.
Wright locked in a virtually perfect 9.90 (out of a possible 10) in his semi-final, Standlick followed suit with a nine-point ride, whilst Dean Bowen (Gerroa, NSW) added an 8.00 (out of a possible 10) only to be eliminated.
Whilst the second semi-final saw event standout Parkes awarded the highest accolade in surfing a perfect ten after combining a mind-blowing barrel with a radical combination of turns. Only to be followed up by a 8.65 (out of a possible 10) to Cathels a mere two minutes later.
"The standard of surfing was so high throughout the final and the semi¹s, all the guys were ripping," Wright continued. "To beat guys like Davey, Perth and Garrett is awesome," he continued. "Having grown-up with these guys, to finally get a result over them is a good feeling."
As the third stop on the prestigious 2009 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Circuit, the Grade 3 ASP Rated Boys event saw a whopping $20,000 up for grabs, with Wright taking home $4000 for his troubles.
Having started the year better than any other junior competitor in history, Wright has had a dream start, something which he was looking for before entering 2009.
"I had a really good season in Hawaii where I trained really hard and just had fun," he said. "I wanted to start really well and I am over the moon with my results."
Throughout the entire Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour, Billabong, Surfing NSW, competitors and Coffs Harbour residents alike, all rallied together to raise much needed funds for the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
In a show of mateship, compassion and generosity over $1200 was raised, including a $200 donation from champion, Owen Wright, with a minute silence observed before the final.
On behalf of Billabong and Surfing NSW we would like to thank all individuals who gave generously and ask that others visit www.redcross.org.au and assist in any way that you can.
The Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour is proudly supported by Sony, Virgin
Blue, VonZipper, Kustom, Coopers Surf Australia, ASP Australasia and Surfing Australia