QUEENSLANDER’S DOMINATE DAY THREE OF THE 2010 OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR!
AFTER flying under the radar for opening two-days of the 2010 Oakley Pro Junior, Queensland surfers have exploded into the spotlight after a group of the host state’s competitors dominated day-three of the Grade – 5 AUD $30,000 professional junior surfing competition.
Held in punchy 1m conditions at Main Beach on Queensland’s North Stradbroke Island, three of the Gold Coasts’ up-and-comers, Blake Ainsworth, Ice Pereira-Ryan and Mitch Crews lead a host of Queenslander’s who cemented their status as potential event champions come the conclusion of competition on Saturday.
Ainsworth, Pereira-Ryan and Crews all convincingly won their respective heats today, with Ainsworth scoring a combined two-wave of 15.00 (out of a possible 20) eliminating Victorian Tom Allan and fellow southern Gold Coaster Harry Wheeler.
Ice Pereira-Ryan became the second Coolangatta surfer of the day to advance to the Round of 48 scoring a combined heat total of 11.20 (out of a possible 20) to progress alongside fellow Gold Coaster Dan Pryor (Tugun) as they eliminated local surfer Murray Antonieff (North Stradbroke Island) and Moroccan Ramzi Boukhiam.
Not far behind was the Sunshine Coast’s Chris Friend (Alex Headland), who on the back of two consecutive finals appearance on the Australasia Junior Men’s Pro Junior series continued his run of good from scoring a combined two-wave of 16.00 (out of a possible 20) to set up a stellar next round matchup against highly touted West Australian Creed McTaggert, Sam Wrench (South Coast, NSW) and New Zealander Matt Lewis-Hewitt.
One of the few stumbles for the Queensland contingent was local star and reigning Australian U/18 Boys Champion Tim Macdonald (North Stradbroke Island, Qld) who was eliminated by good friend and rival Jack Freestone (Coolangatta, Qld).
Both surfers finished second and third respectively behind Duncan McNicol (Caves Beach, NSW), however, Freestone sneaked past Macdonald into second position of their third-round encounter, scoring a 5.85 ride (out of a possible 10) in the dying seconds of the heat, edging out Macdonald by less than half a point with a combined heat total of 12.50 to Macdonald’s 12.10.
Another highlight of the day was the Xbox 360 Expression session, with a whopping AUD$3,000 on the line for the competitor who executed the best aerial move in a 20-man, 20-minute free-for-all.
As competitors launched for the sky, in the end, the shootout was won by American Brent Reilly who landed a huge grab-rail, air-reverse walking away the cash for just one big move.
“Xbox 360 and Oakley are sick for putting this expression session on, all the guys were just going for it and for me to walk away with three-grand is just unreal,” said Reilly.
Running from February 9-13, this week’s Australasia Oakley Pro Junior will spearhead 2010’s international series which includes competitions in South Africa, USA, Brazil, Japan, and Europe – culminating in Bali with the Oakley ASP World Junior Event, which has just been confirmed as part of the brand new ASP World Junior Tour (WJT).
The Australasian Oakley Pro Junior is one of the richest and most prestigious professional junior surfing events in the world and the event’s lineup reflects that.
Top competitors from this week’s event will qualify for the October’s Oakley ASP World Junior Event (Bali), where they will compete for their share in the world’s richest junior surfing prize-pool of USD$75,000.
The Oakley Pro Junior is proudly supported by Xbox 360, ASP Australasia, Surfing Queensland, Waves Magazine, Red Bull, Stradbroke Ferries, Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel, Stradbroke Island Holidays, Redland City Council, surfermag.com, Surfing Magazine and wavewatch.com
Visit www.oakleyprojunior.com for news, photos and updates relating to the 2010 Oakley Pro Junior.
The Oakley Pro Junior will commence February 9 and conclude on February 13, 2010.
About The Oakley Pro Junior Series
The Oakley Pro Junior series has arrived as the premier forum to showcase the abilities and hone the competitive aptitude of the world’s best junior surfers. The idea for the Oakley Pro Junior series came to fruition four years ago and has since expanded to now include events in South Africa, Brazil, France, and Australia, among others.