The ASP Grade-3 Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour was run and won today in epic conditions, as Owen Wright (Lennox Head, NSW) claimed his third straight event on the 2009 ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series.
As conditions rapidly increased overnight with the arrival of a fresh 3-4m swell, competitors were greeted with solid, rugged, storm-like peaks as they battled at Coffs Harbour Jetty.
However, as the swell, rainsqualls and wind abated, what was left was near-perfect four-to-five foot (1.5 metre) waves which were welcomed with open arms by competitors and officials alike.
None moreso than Wright, who dominated the Final defeating, Garrett Parkes(Lennox Head, NSW), Perth Standlick (Bondi, NSW) and Davey Cathels (North Narrabeen, NSW), who finished second, third and fourth respectively.
Wright, who now holds a massive lead on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior ratings after three straight victories, was in super-human form once again, accruing a combined heat total of 17.00 (out of a possible 20).
“It feels great,” Wright said. “To win again is a dream. I’ve just got some really good momentum at the moment and hopefully it can continue onwards.”
High scores dominated the day’s competition as the finest junior surfers in Australasia pushed the boundaries of competitive surfing.
Wright locked in a virtually perfect 9.90 (out of a possible 10) in his Semifinal, Standlick followed suit with a 9-point ride, whilst Dean Bowen (Gerroa, NSW) added an 8.00 (out of a possible 10) only to be eliminated.
While the second Semifinal saw event standout Parkes awarded the highest accolade in surfing a perfect 10 after combining a mind-blowing barrel with a radical combination of turns. Only to be followed up by a 8.65 (out of a possible 10) to Cathels a mere two minutes later.
“The standard of surfing was so high throughout the Final and the Semis, all the guys were ripping,” Wright said. “To beat guys like Davey, Perth and Garrett is awesome. Having grown-up with these guys, to finally get a result over them is a good feeling.”
As the third stop on the prestigious 2009 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, the ASP Grade-3 rated Boys event saw a whopping $20,000 up for grabs, with Wright taking home $4,000 for his troubles.
Having started the year better than any other junior competitor in history, Wright has had a dream start, something which he was looking for before entering 2009.
“I had a really good season in Hawaii where I trained really hard and just had fun,” Wright said. “I wanted to start really well and I am over the moon with my results.”
Throughout the entire Billabong Pro Junior Coffs Harbour, Billabong, Surfing NSW, competitors and Coffs Harbour residents alike, all rallied together to raise much needed funds for the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal.
In a show of mateship, compassion and generosity over $1200 was raised, including a $200 donation from champion, Owen Wright, with a minute silence observed before the Final.