Dean Bowen 

Dean Bowen served notice today that he could well be the next emerging young  Australian surfing star with an incredible display of powered precision surfing as he demolished the field to win the Australian under 18 Junior Surfing Title.

Throughout the event Bowen was the surfer to beat and he left nothing to chance in the final opening with an excellent 8.65, backing it up immediately with another excellent 8.75 and then at the half way point of the final sealing the deal with an outstanding 9.5 ride!

“ I have absolutely loved the waves here all week at Margaret River and it’s just so great to win an Australian Junior Title – Past winners like Parko (Joel Parkinson) and Tom Carroll went on to become legends of the sport and to win this event is really special” said an ecstatic Bowen after his win.

“It gets me into the world junior titles in Ecuador next year and I’m so looking forward to that event – To represent Australia there will be great and already I’m confident we can win – Australia has the best surfers as far as I’m concerned and we’ll be going there to show that to the world!”

Bowen’s massive tally of 18.25 out of a possible 20 left all his rivals chasing a combination of scores to try and catch him with Queensland’s Tim McDonald coming in 2nd on 14.25 followed by fellow south coast NSW surfer Jordi Watson on 13.5 and South Australia’s Khai Adams in 4th place on 9.75.

Bowen also complimented his big win today by scoring the events only perfect 10 point ride in his semi final and most who witnessed his performance this week are in no doubt the powerful and likeable goofy foot surfer has a big and immediate future in the sport along with a resemblance in style and power to Australia’s most recent champion goofy footer (right foot forward) surfer Mark Occhilupo!

The girls under 18 final was a far closer battle today. The lead see sawed throughout between the three dominant NSW girls and in the end Paige Haggerston (Coal Point/NSW/Newcastle) and Sth Coast NSW surfer Kirby Wright finished tied in first place on 14.10 with Haggerston getting the result on a countback due to a highest scoring ride of 7.35 to Wright’s 7.25.

“ I can’t belive I’ve won such a close final!” said Haggerston “I was struggling in last place half way through the final but then found a really good wave and put myself in contention – I just searched hard for a decent ride in the final 5 minutes and when I got one I knew I had to get another good score to defeat Kirby and somehow I’ve made it – It’s the best feeling!”

Haggerston’s win today also will see her off to Ecuador next March representing Australia at the World under 18 surfing championships.

Cooper Chapman (Nth Narrabeen/Sydney) rounded off an amazing day for NSW by taking a big win in the under 16 Boys division. Chapman found form in the final 15 minutes of his final coming from last place to first with two excellent 8 point plus rides to take the title with a score of 16.75 to Central Coast NSW surfer Dylan Cummings in 2nd place on 14.5. Third in today’s under 16’s went Tasmania’s Hamish Renwick with Victoria’s Harrison Mann in 4th place.

The Australian Schools teams finals were also completed today and they enjoyed the absolute best of the pristine perfect surf to 2m at Margaret River today.

A number of epic duals went down with massive scores throughout. The School most likely to boast bragging rights as Australia’s number one school for surfing goes to Margaret River who took two massive schools titles (out of a possible 3 titles) today with wins to under 19 Boys Pair Matt Baldock and Jethro Hedstrom   and also a win in the under 16 Boys represented by Creed McTaggart and Shaun Greene. The girls from Margaret River also did the school proud with Laura and Bronte Macaulay placing 2nd in the under 19 Girls division behind Victorian pair from Newhaven Collage, Nikki Van Dijk and Jessica Laing.

Margaret River High schools boys in both the 19’s and 16’s defeated Queensland school Currumbin Palm Beach Secondary school and both finals were incredibly close!

With two wins and a second placing out of three schools finals nationally, Margaret River can definitely claim the mantle as the best surf school in the country!

Margaret River High School Surfing captain Matt Baldock said after surfing his under 19 team to a win “We have a surfing academy at the school and todays win by the 16’s and 19’s and 2nd place in the Girls 19’s confirms what a great program we have going – It’s special for us and for the school – we’re stoked and the teachers will be stoked too!”

The event overall has been one of the best Australian Junior Titles ever with a mixture of excellent large 3m plus surf through to today’s immaculate conditions which were complimented by sensational performances across the board.

Next year sees the event travel to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and with a new sponsor jumping onboard, this event will continue to nurture Australia’s best surfers. New sponsor to be announced by official release tomorrow!

Final Results – Australian Junior Surfing Titles 2008

Under 18 Boys: D. Bowen, T. McDonald, J. Watson, K. Adams

Under 18 Girls: P. Haggerston, K. Wright, P. Anderson, F. Palmeteer

Under 16 Boys: C. Chapman, D. Cummings, H. Renwick, H. Mann

Under 16 Girls: T. Wright, M. Greene, B. Doyle, N. Van Dijk

Teams Titles: NSW 1st!

Under 16 All Stars Boys: Victoria, NSW

Under 19 All Star Girls: NSW, Victoria

Under 19 All Star Boys: Victoria, NSW

Under 19 MR Boys: Margaret River High School, Currumbin/Palm Beach SHS

Under 19 MR Girls: Newhaven College Vic, Margaret River HS

Under 16 MR Boys: Margaret River HS, Currumbin Palm Beach SHS

Schools Teams Standings for 2008: shortly announced

 

SOURCE: Surfing Australia