HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Friday, May 8, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Pro Junior Series has now completed two of the 10 events tentatively scheduled for the 2009 season and each surfer is striving towards a spot in the coveted ASP World Junior Championships held in Narrabeen, Australia each January in an attempt to take the title of ASP World Junior Champion.
The 2009 season will now host a slightly different format in qualifying for the coveted event. Since the North American team finished fifth overall at last year's ASP World Junior Championships, the region is allotted five spaces to represent the nation. In previous years, ASP North America would send their top four surfers from the ASP North America Pro Junior series, plus the top seed on the ASP WQS.
ASP International has changed the weight of the ASP WQS on junior surfers' qualification campaigns. As of this year, ASP North America will now send its top three representatives from its regional tour, plus its top two qualifiers on the ASP WQS of junior age, taking one additional spot from the ASP North America Pro Junior Series and allowing the second-best finisher of junior age via the ASP WQS to represent their nation at the ASP World Junior Championships.
"Basically we found that the best juniors were doing the WQS and were not around to do their regional junior events to qualify," ASP WQS Manager Al Hunt said. "So, we moved one slot to the WQS rated juniors to compensate for it."
Since, several top-tier surfers of junior age do focus most of their time on qualification for the ASP World Tour, the moving of one space for each region has the potential to increase the talent pool at the ASP World Junior Championships.
"The ASP is hoping that the change in qualification criteria will increase the talent pool to the highest level," ASP North America Executive Manager Meg Bernardo said. "Our top junior competitors are already familiar with international competition and this allows them to further showcase their talent alongside the rest of the world's best junior surfers."
The new change in technicality of qualification for the ASP WJC's does not affect the new ratings merge between North America and Hawaii; each respective region will still send its own representatives to Narrabeen in January despite the change.
With two events down and eight potential events to go, Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 18, is out to an early lead on the regional series with a win at the Ezekiel Pro Junior pres. by Jack's Surfboards in Huntington Beach and a third place finish at the Oakley Pro Junior at Lower Trestles.
The next event will be the upcoming ASP Grade-3 Arnett Pro Junior held in Newport Beach, California from June 6-7, 2009
ASP North America Pro Junior Series Top 10:
1. Dillon Perillo (USA) 2595 Points
2. Andrew Doheny (USA) 2123
3. Luke Davis (USA) 1770
4. Spencer Regan (USA) 1755
5. Dege O'Connell (HAW) 1590
6. Brent Reilly (USA) 1515
7. Kai Barger (HAW) 1500
8. Michael Dunphy (USA) 1373
9. Gabe Garcia (USA) 1290
10. Cory Arrambide (USA) 1290