Garrett Parkes: inaugural pro junior winner

Garrett Parkes clinched the TNS Rangiroa Pro Junior, in French Polynesia. The 17-year-old surfer from Australia defeated Dean Bowen, former world junior champion, by 14.00 points to 11.64.

"I’m over the moon, it’s the biggest weight of my back," Parkes said after his victory. "I’ve been trying to win one of these for years and I was getting worried as there’s only a few events left and I wanted to win one before my junior career is over."

Parkes was focused and really wanted to leave French Polynesia with a tremendous win. Several front side re-entries in the critical sections confirmed his superiority over Bowen.

"My strategy was just to go out there and get a couple early and then just ‘build a house’ and try and keep bettering my scores." Parkes’s innovative top-to-bottom surfing and critical floater maneuver earned him a 7.25 to seal his inaugural pro junior victory.

"Dean rips, I’ve grown up surfing against him and we’ve had heats and finals against each other throughout our whole career so I couldn’t imagine anyone better to surf against out there," Parkes continued.

After this victory, Parkes moves one step closer to being in contention for this year’s ASP Australasia Pro Junior title. "Hopefully it will put me in a good position to qualify for the Worlds (World Junior Championships) and with the points remaining hopefully I can catch up on the whole series."

"Obviously it was disappointing not to go all the way today but I’m stoked for Garrett and I had fun surfing Avaturoa with only two guys out,” Bowen said.