HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (Monday, January 11, 2009) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) kicked off its campaign towards crowing 2009 ASP World Junior Champions when the main event of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships saw the world's finest up-and-coming lady competitors take to the water before diving into the opening round of Men's competition. Americans Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), 17, and Sage Erickson (Ventura, CA), 19, started strong in their Round 1 bouts, winning their heats to earn direct advancement into Round 3.
Conlogue, who finished third in 2008 and is the defending Hurley U.S. Open Champion, battled through the tough conditions to put her international competition including Felicity Palmateer (AUS), and Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) on the ropes with a solid 13.33 out of 20 heat total to advance directly through to Round 3.
Erickson also looked hungry to turn heads at the elite ASP Pro Junior event with a strong opening single-wave score of a 7.17 out of 10 in her heat against French talent Alizee Arnaud (FRA) and Brazilian Susa Leal (BRA) with several impressive backside hacks on a wedgy lefthander.
"I feel pretty comfortable in these conditions," Erickson said. "There are some waves by my home in California that are similar to Narrabeen, so I'm feeling good and am happy to have won my first heat."
2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Champion Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, also achieved early round success in his quest for an ASP World Junior Title. The explosive goofy-footer advanced directly through to Round 3 in his opening heat when he finished second behind Australian standout Davey Cathels (AUS), 18.
Americans Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, Luke Davis (Capistrano Beach, CA), 16, and 2008 ASP North American Pro Junior Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 20, will surf their opening round heats when competition resumes.
San Diego's Brent Reilly (Carlsbad, CA), 18, will continue his campaign in Round 2 after finishing third in his opening round heat.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships has a waiting period from January 9 through 17, 2010 and will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org.