Makaha, Hawaii (Sunday, Nov 5, 2000). Defending ASP Billabong Junior worldchampion Joel Parkinson (Aus) today made his intentions of claimingback-to-back titles clear from the onset, advancing directly into roundthree with an opening heat win. In good 3-6 foot (1-2m) increasingconditions at Makaha, organizers were able to begin and complete the firsttwo rounds of competition, after already being on hold for five days due toan absence of swell.
Parkinson, 19, who was granted a wildcard position into this year’stournament since he hadn’t contested any regional qualifying events during2000, is far and away the favorite. Besides winning the crown in 1999, healso defeated the world’s best to take out the Billabong/MSF Pro (SAfr) as awildcard, and now looks set to qualify for the 2001 World Championship Tour(WCT) later this month. Despite a close decision with South African RobbieSchofield today, the Australian did what was required and secured the win onhis final ride.[IMAGE 1]”I’m glad to be back, but it doesn’t feel like a year ago since the finallast time,” said Parkinson afterward. “I had a bit of a wobbly start thenand don’t know if I was riding the right board or not, but I got through theheat. It’s our first week of surf (at Makaha), so we’re all just figuring itout. Things can only get better from here and I hope it does.
“For me, personally, I think last year was harder just because of some ofthe names I had to overcome,” the defending champ explained in reference tohis opponents. “It was a huge head defeat coming up against some of thenames on paper, let alone in the surfing. But the field is just as strong(this year), definitely.”
Current International Surfing Association (ISA) amateur junior champion JoelCenteio (Haw), who’s also dominated the US junior championships throughout2000, was another in the spotlight today. The 17-year-old continued hisrecent form, impressing judges and fellow competitors alike with a verypolished act against Matt Thompson (Aus), Brad Mommsen (SAfr), and KepaAcero (Spn).
“There wasn’t too many waves at the beginning so I just had to stay patientand pick waves that had a little bit of a wall to them,” explained Centeio.”Then I caught one at the end that opened up for me and let me do what I hadto.
“This one has a lot more money,” he joked, when asked to compare this eventto the ISA tournament he won earlier in the year. “The competition is prettymuch the same. It’s not harder, I don’t think, but I haven’t seen everyonesurf yet. Every contest is hard for me, though, so I just have to take itheat by heat and try to get there… get to the final.”
South African David Weare started his last event as a junior in fine form,posting the only win of four fellow countrymen competing. The 20-year-oldovercame Brazilian Pedro Henrique, Australian James Noble, and Japan’sMasato Watanabe in a wave-starved clash.[IMAGE 2]”That heat had the least amount of waves out of any today,” said Weare. “Forthe first 12-minutes I was the only guy who had a wave. Then when the wavescame they were all big wide sets and we got worked by them.
“This is my last contest as a pro-junior, so I’m very stoked to be here,” hecontinued. “It’s good to have it in Hawaii at the end of the year, as it’s anice place. I’ve seen a few heats today and the level has been very high.”
Posting the highest total heat score of the day was Portuguese wildcardentrant Tiago Pires, who was granted a position in the tournament fromsponsor Billabong. Up against Brazilian Marcio Farney, Hawaiian ShaneMagnusson and France’s Jean-Jacque Billard, Pires dominated the longright-handers to amass 19.75 out-of-a possible 30-points.
“It was a really fun heat as I like these kinds of waves, they’re like myhome break,” explained Pires. “I’m feeling good. The guys are all surfinggood, but it’s going to be a really fun competition.”
Another top junior to post a win in round one was Fred Patacchia (Haw).Despite only returning from Brazil just priior to his match starting today -after the heat had already been postponed to a later time – he showed nosigns of being tired and out-scored fellow Hawaiian Charlie Carrol, Japan’sKeisuke Imada, and North America’s Hamish Campbell.
On a losing note, however, all five Japanese contestants, as well as bothFrench and United Kingdom surfers who made their way to Hawaii for thechampionship were eliminated today.[IMAGE 3]More information is available on www.aspworldtour.com.
Official Results of the Billabong Junior World Championships
Round TwoHeat 1: Bruno Santos (Brz) 9.85; Daniel Hardman (Brz) 9.80; Keisuke Imada(Jpn) 2.00
2: Shane Magnusson (Haw) 12.50; Brad Mommsen (SAfr) 10.95; Hideyoshi Tanaka(Jpn) 6.45
3: James Noble (Aus) 18.25; Jock Barnes (Aus) 10.45; Tetta Mori (Jpn) 4.15
4: Brian Conley (USA) 13.65; Tim Reyes (USA) 10.45; Renato Galvao (Brz) 9.50
Round One (1st, 2nd to round three; 3rd to round two)
Heat 1: Daniel Jones (Haw) 18.10; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 17.80; Daniel Hardman(Brz) 10.50; Ian Walsh (Haw) 10.35
3: Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 17.15; Gabe Kling (USA) 15.75; Bruno Santos (Brz)14.35; Alan Stokes (UK) 14.00
4: Pablo Gutierrez (Spn) 19.25; Mike Losness (USA) 14.25; Hideyoshi Tanaka(Jpn) 9.95; Zen Yoshifuku (Jpn) 6.60
5: Tiago Pires (Port) 19.75; Marcio Farney (Brz) 16.90; Shane Magnusson(Haw) 13.90; Jean-Jacques Billard (Fra) 12.65
6: Joel Centeio (Haw) 18.60; Matt Thompson (Aus) 17.75; Brad Mommsen (SAfr)10.15; Kepa Acero (Spn) 8.25
7: Diego Rosa (Brz) 18.60; Craig Wilson (Haw) 14.65; Tetta Mori (Jpn) 13.30;Craig Parson (SAfr) 12.45
8: Micah Byrne (USA) 17.40; Jason Shibata (Haw) 16.70; Jock Barnes (Aus)13.10; Hironori Ichiraku (Jpn) 6.10
9: David Weare (SAfr) 12.00; Pedro Henrique (Brz) 11.75; James Noble (Aus)11.00; Masato Watanable (Jpn) 6.65
10: Dustin Cuizon (Haw) 15.40; Mitchell Ross (Aus) 14.15; Tim Reyes (USA)11.10; Nathan Phillips (UK) 8.55
11: Paul Evans (Aus) 15.35; Peter Nicholson (SAfr) 11.90; Brian Conley (USA)9.15; Tim Boal (Fra) 7.75
2: Fred Patacchia (Haw) 12.25; Charlie Carrol (Haw) 11.80; Keisuke Imada(Jpn) 8.00; Hamish Campbell (USA) 7.85
12: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 15.75; Robbie Schofield (SAfr) 15.45; Renato Galvao(Brz) 9.30; Francis Savea (Haw) 5.50