May18, 2008 : – – The final day of the SunSmart Pro junior wrapped up at Trigg Beach WA today, with current ASP Australasia Pro Junior ratings leader Stuart Kennedy, (Lennox Head, NSW) showing why he is now regarded as one of the country’s top juniors with an dominate performance that saw him defeat Jayke Sharp (Coffs Harbour, NSW) in today’s final.
Kennedy, who made his first trip to Western Australia to compete in this event, won every heat he surfed on route to securing the $6000 winners check. This was Kennedy’s second win for the year and has him sitting a comfortable 4000 points ahead of his nearest rival Lincoln Taylor (QLD) with today’s runner up Jayke Sharp following closely in third position.
In the girls division fourteen year old Tyler Wright (Culburra, NSW) claimed her maiden ASP Pro Junior victory and in doing so created history by becoming the youngest ever victor. Wright defeated defending ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series champion Airini Mason (New Zealand) in the final and will now look to the upcoming Quiksilver ISA World Junior Titles as her next chance to make a mark on the surfing world.
The final saw of the SunSmart Pro junior was fought out in testing conditions at Trigg Beach with clean 1.0 – 1.5m waves offering some high scoring potential to those who were lucky enough to catch the better waves. With the forecast for Sunday looking grim, event officials decided to push through and complete the remaining heats while the waves were still pulsing through.
The 30 minute men’s final provided spectators with a great display of high performance surfing with Kennedy and Sharp trading blows with each wave caught. Kennedy started the final with his typical approach locking away a 6.25 point ride within the opening five minutes of the heat and built from there, using his priority and superior wave selection to pip Sharp with a total of 13.50 point from a possible twenty.
“I’m over the moon, I’ve never been to WA before and I was a bit bummed when I arrived and saw the waves, but my old man just told me to stick it out and that’s what I did,” said Kennedy.
Jayke Sharp was an early stand out at this event and can walk away happy with his second place result. “The waves were way better today, but with so many talented surfers left in this morning’s heat you knew it would be hard to win, especially coming up against Stwey,” said Sharp who will look to build on a few solid results this year to secure his place in the ASP World Junior Championships later this year.
Tyler Wright stepped it up in the girls division, eliminating Laura Enever (NSW) in the semi finals and kept the momentum going through to the final beating her more fancied opponent Airini Mason, (NZL) showing that she will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years. Wright’s top to bottom surf With this win Wright has moved to number three on the ratings behind Enever, and Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa, NSW).
Fitzgibbons’ semi final result was enough to secure her back to back ASP Australasia Pro Junior Titles. With only three events remaining this year Fitzgibbons has amassed enough points to now give her the chance to defend her ASP World Junior Crown at the end of the year.
The newly introduced SunSmart Pro Junior has been seen as a huge success and will be definitely be a returning to the ASP junior calendar in 2009. The SunSmart Pro Junior is proudly supported by SunSmart, Healthway, the city of Stirling, ASP Australasia, and Surfing Western Australia.