Defending Champion Joel Centeio Takes His Third Billabong Junior Pro Title

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
2003 Junior Championship Tour (JCT)
Defending Champion Joel Centeio takes his third Billabong Junior Pro Title
Kewalo Basin, Oahu Hawaii (Tuesday, May 27, 2003) Joel Centeio has successfully defended his Ronnie Burns Memorial event title, defeating top ranked USA mainland junior pro Eric Taylor three times en route to victory. Using a computerized scoring system, the ASP judging panel also awarded the only perfect 10 point wave of the event to Centeio in a final that saw all four contestants ride excellent waves.
[IMAGE 1]In the most prestigious junior professional event Hawaii has to offer future ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) campaigners, top seed Centeio focused on the longer, faster and higher scoring right breaking waves, while Taylor chose to surf the lefts on his backhand. Using the same tactics as in his 2002 victory, Centeio blasted his way down the reef on one of the longest waves of the event. He linked a series of full speed power bottom turns, interspersed with radical off the top directional changes, to take the lead that he never relinquished 10 minutes from the end of the 30 minute heat.
“I’d like to dedicate this event to Jason Bogle, a very good friend of ours and a great surfer from Kailua who has severe cancer, and is receiving treatment on the mainland right now, said Centeio in his short victory speech. Centeio’s victory in the 2000 Billabong T Street Junior Pro and competitive record in the Ronnie Burns Memorial event establishes him as the top junior pro surfer in America.
Eric ‘ET’ Taylor, the top junior pro competitor on the United States mainland, arrived in Hawaii a week before the competition ran, and stayed on the North Shore with good friend and 2001 event winner Sean Moody. Although Taylor was only 8th seed in the event, his competitive junior pro record is now two wins, two second places and a ninth in the five Billabong Junior Pro Series events he has entered since 2000.
Nathan Carroll from Sunset Beach secured 9.6 points on one wave in the final, but could not manage more than 6 points as his second scoring ride, and had to settle for third place. His high contest performance was reflected in two of the top ten wave scores, and three of the top ten heat scores.
Hansens Pro champion Pipe charger Jamie O’Brien rode just four waves in the final, as did Centeio and Carroll. Despite being awarded the highest heat score, and having two of the top ten wave scores of the 178 waves ridden in the contest, the second seed for this event finished in fourth place.
As usual, an Expression Session was held just before the finals, where $100 prize was awarded for each category of Highest Air, Futuristic Move and Most vertical. In the 2001 Expression Session, O’Brien won all three categories with a single move. This year, the only surfer to beat Centeio in the event was TJ Barron, who took the Most Vertical award, with Hank Gaskell flying the highest, and CJ Kanuha getting the Futuristic Move.
The top 6 juniors on the ASP Hawaii Junior Pro ratings are invited to compete in the Billabong Junior World Championships to be held at Narrabeen Australia in January 2004. 48 contestants will compete in the three day event, and selection is determined by the top six rated competitors from each of the seven ASP Regional Tours, plus six wildcard invitees.
The seven ASP regions are Australasia, South America, Hawaii, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. Championship titles have gone to Andy Irons of Kauai in 1998 at Maile Point, Westside Oahu; Joel Parkinson of Coolangatta Australia in 1999 at Honolua Bay on Maui, and in 2001 at Phillip Island, Victoria Australia; and to Pedro Henrique of Brazil at Makaha Westside Oahu in 2000. Irons is current ASP World Champion and Parkinson was runner up to the title in 2002.
The 2003 Ronnie Burns Memorial Junior Proo event pro continues a long standing tradition that Billabong has established in the world of junior professional surfing. Many of the current top professionals who compete on the ASP World Championship Tour cut their teeth in the ultra competitive junior pro contests that Billabong sponsors around the world. The surfing of Ronnie Burns was documented in the Billabong surf video “Pump, and this junior pro event was held in memory of the master of huge waves at Pipeline, a great role model and inspiration to young local surfers in the islands who died in tragic circumstances while off-road biking in 1990.
Official Results of the Billabong Ronnie Burns Memorial Junior Pro
1 Joel Centeio (20, Makakilo, West Side Oahu) : $2,500
2 Eric Taylor (18, Vero Beach, Florida) : $1,000
3 Nathan Carroll (18, Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii) : $800
4 Jamie O’Brien (19, Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii) : $700
5 Daniel Jones (19, Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii) : $600
5 Kekoa Bacalso (19, Mililani, Oahu, Hawaii) : $600
7 Sean Moody (20, Waialua, Oahu, Hawaii) : $500
7 Ola Eleogram (17, Hana, Maui, Hawaii) : $500
 ASP Hawaii Team selected for the Billabong Junior World Championships
1 Joel Centeio
 2  Nathan Carroll
3 Jamie O’Brien
4 Daniel Jones
5 Kekoa Bacalso
6 Sean Moody