- 29 July 2009 | Surfing
Stemming from the unparalleled success of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, ASP International will be instituting the world’s first ASP World Junior Tour, commencing in 2010.
The proposed, three-event ASP World Junior Tour will following January’s Billabong ASP World Junior Championship (which will crown the 2009 ASP World Junior Champions).
“The expansion of the ASP World Juniors is a direct result of the continuing global surge in ASP Pro Junior events,” Brodie Carr, ASP International CEO, said. “When we partnered with Billabong in 1998 on this concept, we had just 12 global junior events, and through our joint vision, it has grown to over 50 events as recently as 2008.”
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, two-time past ASP World Junior Champion (1999, 2001), knows all too well the benefits that development through the ASP Pro Junior tem can provide. The Australian is currently holding down a runaway lead on the ASP Dream Tour ratings and is en route to his inaugural ASP World Title.
"The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships has been a major stepping stone to the highest levels of surfing for over 10 years now,” Parkinson said. “It started me on my career path, and if you look at the guys who have won it from Andy (Irons) to Jordy (Smith) to Adriano (de Souza), they’ve all made major impacts on professional surfing."
Each event will host 48-man and 18-woman fields, running formats similar to those found on the ASP Dream Tour. The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships will retain the third and final slot on the tour (crowning the ASP World Junior Champions), however the remaining two slots for ASP World Junior Tour events are presently available with ASP International now taking bids.
In honor of the newly founded ASP World Junior Tour, each of the three events will increase the prize purses to US$75,000 for the men and US$20,000 for the women in 2010. ASP World Junior Tour events will also be encouraged to run in venues holding excellent surf, further preparing the athletes for competition at the highest levels of the sport.
“We will be taking the ASP World Junior Tour to the best waves in the world just like the ASP World Tour,” Carr said. “The winner will be the undisputed ASP World Junior Champion and with the added bonus of a boost up the ASP WQS rankings for the following year, will be en route to the ASP Dream Tour.”
In addition to being the most prestigious and richest junior tour on the planet, the winner of the men’s ASP World Junior Tour will receive a wildcard into the last seeded round any ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event he chooses to compete in. The men’s Runner-Up and Women’s ASP World Junior Champion will also be seeded into the second-to-last seeded round at any ASP WQS event they choose to compete in (similar to how it operates at present).
Qualification for the ASP World Junior Tour will remain the same as it is presently for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships. Surfers (aged 20 and under) will compete on their respective regional ASP Pro Junior Series for a chance at qualifying for the ASP World Junior Tour.
“These are the best kids in the world and with three events, the ASP World Junior Tour is the recognized career path that all the kids know they need to follow to reach the ASP Dream Tour,” Carr said.
PAST ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONS
2008: Kai Barger (HAW)
2007: Pablo Paulino (BRA)
2006: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
2005: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
2004: Pablo Paulino (BRA)
2003: Adriano de Souza (BRA)
2001: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2000: Pedro Henrique (BRA)
1999: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
1998: Andy Irons (HAW)
2008: Pauline Ado (FRA)
2007: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
2006: Nicola Atherton (AUS)
2005: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)