Brett Burcher 

Twenty-year old Brett Burcher (Ulladulla, NSW) went home with the richest takings on the Pro Junior surfing circuit today, earning a massive $10 000 after defeating Tahitian born Tamaroa McComb (Burleigh Heads) during the Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Final presented by Mick Fanning at Cronulla.

In what couldn’t have been a more equally matched final, Burcher and McComb who advanced into the main event through the qualifying trials on Friday and went on to net the highest single wave scores throughout the two-day event, went toe to toe in a dramatic final that saw Burcher edge out McComb by the narrowest of margins. Burcher defeated McComb with a 15.65 heat total (out of 20.00) to McComb’s 15.25.

“I am so happy right now, this win is just huge for me,” Burcher said. “Tamaroa is an amazing surfer and he almost had me in that heat but I just kept my head and was lucky that I caught that set wave at the end.”

While Burcher took an early lead, a priority error around the halfway mark saw him slip into second place behind McComb who stormed ahead with an 8.50 (out of ten). It wasn’t until the final three minutes that Burcher stroked into one of the better looking waves of the afternoon - a long open-faced left hander - that allowed him four massive backhand snaps to earn an amazing 8.90 (out of 10.00)  to become the 2009 Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Champion.

“To win that much money for one competition is just amazing and to do it in front of Mick Fanning is event better,” Burcher said. “I have a lot of debts to pay off so I really needed this win today.”

The 2007 ASP Men’s World Champion Mick Fanning (Tweed Heads, NSW) was on hand to witness Burcher’s feat.

“That’s what the whole event is about, someone coming through from behind and taking it out and I’m really stoked that the underdogs came though and went mad in the final,” Fanning said. “The final was epic, it was seesaw back and forth and Brett just nailed it on that last wave so I’m stoked for him.”

Presenting the winners cheques of $10 000 to Burcher for first place and $ 6000 to McComb for runner-up, Fanning enjoyed every moment of being ‘in the thick’ of pro junior competition once again.
 
“I think it’s epic that our junior surfers have the opportunity to earn so much cash in one contest,” Fanning said. “Red Bull are an amazing company to work for, they like to do things big and I’m sure Brett’s stoked with his cheque today as would be Tamaroa.  I saw such great surfing through the whole weekend and I’m just stoked to be a part of it.”

Reaching the semi-finals today were qualifiers Noah Lane (Rainbow Beach, QLD) who was defeated by McComb in Semi-final Heat 1 and Ellis Ericson (Suffolk Park, NSW) who was defeated by Burcher in Heat 2.

The highest placed non-qualifiers (surfers personally selected by Mick Fanning and seeded directly into the main event) were Dean Bowen (Gerroa, NSW), Brent Savage (Cabarita, NSW) and Jesse Adam (Merewether, NSW) who finished equal fourth when they were eliminated in the Quarterfinals.

 Joining them were qualifiers Dane Atcheson (Copacabana, NSW) and Perth Standlick (Bondi, NSW) who also earned equal fourth place finishes.

The surf turned on for the final day of competition with clean one-meter waves fanned by a fresh offshore breeze on offer all day.

The Red Bull Junior Surf Masters Final presented by Mick Fanning included a prize money purse of $ 45, 000. For more information log on to www.redbulljuniorsurfmasters.com.au .


SOURCE: Surfing Australia