May 13, 2008: – – The SunSmart Pro Junior is a new addition to the coveted ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series. After 5 years of WA not having a recognized under 21 event, the SunSmart Pro Junior is a huge opportunity for WA surfers to impress on home turf.
The inaugural 8 star SunSmart Pro Junior begins this Thursday and is offering a $35,000 prize pool, making the event one of the most exciting to hit WA shores in some time.
The beach breaks from Scarborough through to Trigg will provide an ideal setting for some of Australia’s best junior competitors to do battle for all important ratings points. The event is boasting contestants from most states in Australia, as well as international entrants from as far away as New Zealand and Europe. All of whom will be vying for the Men’s $6000 winner’s check and Women’s $3000 winner’s check.
This new event is a bold step forward for junior development within Western Australia. With a number of WA surfers competing in the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, this is a huge opportunity to not only compete, but to impress in West Oz waters.
A stellar line-up of Australia’s hottest 20-years and under surfers who are eager to check out the west side include, 18 of the top 20 rated surfers of the 2008 Pro Junior series, as well as current series leader Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, NSW). 2007 Junior under 18’s National champion Owen Wright (Culburra, NSW) is touted as a huge threat after his spectacular aerial performance at the Boost Mobile Surf Show on the Gold Coast last month.
Wright walked away with $25 000 after beating the likes of Taj Burrow and Kelly Slater in an aerial shoot out. Wright, who will also compete as part of Team Australia in the upcoming ISA World Junior Titles in France later this month, will be certainly a surfer to keep your eyes on.
Meanwhile, local surfers who will be flying the flag for WA include Shaun Howe (Kalbarri), Jerome Forrest (Mandurah), Mitch Taylor (Trigg) and event wildcard Creed McTaggart (Margaret River).
In the women’s division current ISA World Junior and ASP Pro Junior champion Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa, NSW) will be the number one seed and major draw card for the event. Fitzgibbons is almost guaranteed a place on the elite WCT women’s tour next year and will be the favourite to take out the event, especially after her win at the Brother Neilson Pro Junior event two weekends ago on the Gold Coast.
The women’s division boasts another star studded line up including the likes of Laura Enever (Narrabeen, NSW), Drug Aware Pro winner Paige Hareb (New Zealand), and local surfers Jaala Baldock (Kalaroo), Felicity Palmateer (Hillarys) and the Macaulay sisters Laura and Bronte (Gracetown).
‘Trigg Point’ and the surrounding beach breaks share a long connection with West Australian surfing, providing one of the most consistent and contestable waves in the metro area. With the forecasts looking awesome for later in the week the standard of surfing should be great and provide WA with a true surfing spectacle.
SunSmart Pro Junior is the 9th of 15 stops on the 2008 ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series and offers a huge opportunity at the half way stage of the series to cement a good result and gain valuable ratings points.
The main event site will be at Trigg Point, however the tournament has the option of going mobile along many of the banks available between Trigg and Scarborough. The SunSmart Pro Junior is proudly supported by SunSmart, The City of Stirling, Healthway, Surfing Western Australia and ASP Australasia.