Matt Banting

Only four surfers remain in the running to be crowned champion of the prestigious 2010 Oakley Pro Junior with the event’s semi-finals and final to be held tomorrow on North Stradbroke Island (Queensland, Australia).

Number-one seed Mitch Crews (Currumbin, Qld), Matt Banting (Port Macquarie, NSW), Davey Cathels (Narrabeen, NSW) and Jodi Watson (South Coast, NSW) are the final four surfers left in the draw, which began earlier this week with a field of 140 of the world’s best international junior surfers.

It was action aplenty today as the Grade – 5 AUD $30,000 event entered the pointy end of competition with Main Beach (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) serving up a contestable 0.5m swell for the round-of-16 and quarter finals.

In a close affair, Coolangatta (Qld) surfer Jack Freestone was narrowly eliminated in the quarter finals by good friend and fellow Gold Coaster Mitch Crews (Currumbin, Qld).

Freestone was edged out by just over one point with Crews scoring a combined two wave total of 12.50 (out of a possible 20) to Freestone’s 11.10.

Crews who is the current ratings leader, continues his absolutely stellar run during this year’s Australasian Junior Men’s series and advances through to the semi-finals where he will now meet Port Macquarie’s (NSW) Matt Banting for a place in the final.

“Wow, it’s a bit of mixed emotions winning that heat,” said a relieved Crews.

“Jack (Freestone) is a really good friend of mine and with the waves being a little slow today, some tactics had to come into play and its never fun knocking out your mates,” he said.

Meanwhile, Davey Cathels (Narrabeen, NSW) eliminated fellow Northern Beaches competitor Chris Salisbury (Newport, NSW) during the quarter finals.

In the closest heat of the day, Cathels registered a combined two-wave total of 14.50 (out of a possible 20) to Salisbury’s 14.15, with both surfers trading blows until the final siren before Cathels sealed the win with a 7.75 ride (out of a possible 10).

Cathels will now meet Jodi Watson (South Coast, NSW), who eliminated the last international competitor, Hawaiian surfer Alex smith.

Concluding tomorrow, the 2010 Oakley Pro Junior is the first stop of Oakley’s international junior surfing series, which has grown to become one of the most notable in the world.

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.


SOURCE: Surfing Queensland