September 9, 2008: – – Casuarina Beach – Lennox Head (NSW) surfer Stuart Kennedy has claimed overall victory on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, joining a list of who's who of professional surfing including current and former ASP World Tour surfers Jake Patterson, Beau Emerton, Taj Burrow, Trent Munro, Darren O'Rafferty, Joel Parkinson, Adrian Buchan, Luke Munro, and Dan Ross. The win caps off a remarkable year for the 19 year old and if history is anything to go by expect to see Kennedy's name in the ASP Top 45 in the years to come.
Kennedy started the year with an under-dog win in the Jetty Surf Pro Junior at Bells Beach and from then on was the man to beat. He has held the ratings lead since that first event and after a super consistent season which included two wins and a lowest result of fifth place from his counting eight events (Best 8 results from 13 events count) it is impossible for even the nearest competitor to overtake his lead with two events remaining.
Stu quoted today "I'm totally stoked to win the Junior Series, I've had a really good year on the Junior Tour and it is great to have met my goals. My sponsors Rip Curl, Emery Surfboards & Future Fins have backed me so well throughout the year. Right now, I am preparing for some WQS events in Europe as I want to gain a good seed position for the 2009 WQS. I'm really looking forward to the ASP World Junior Championships at Narrabeen in January" Kennedy said.
Kennedy's ratings win secures him a berth into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships. A win at this prestigious event, which is held at the famous North Narrabeen each January, will not only secure the prestigious ASP World Junior title but is also seen as a major stepping stone towards a successful professional surfing career.
Glenn Best, ASP Australasia Tour Manager, has closely followed Kennedy's progression and domination this season, noting that Kennedy now joins a prestigious list of winners and will, along with girls ratings winner Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa – NSW), lead one of the strongest ASP Australasian teams into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championship in January.
"Stu charged out of the blocks and put a stamp on the 2009 Pro Junior Series very early, posting solid results. His surfing has been explosive throughout the year and given that the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series is so competitive, it is extremely rare to see the series won before the last 2 events. Stuart's win is indicative of his dedication, commitment and awesome surfing skill."
Kennedy will now miss the remaining two events on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series in order to focus his energies on the ASP World Qualifying Series events in the Canary Islands in an effort to secure himself a top level seed going into the 2009 ASP World Qualifying Series.