- 07 January 2009 | Surfing
Kai Barger (HAW), 19, has won the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, defeating fellow Finalist Jadson Andre (BRA), 20, to claim the ASP World Junior Title.
“I’m as high as Saturn’s kite baby!” Barger said. “Out of all the incredible surfers in this event, like Dusty (Payne) and Granger (Larsen) and Julian (Wilson), I probably had the least amount of confidence, but I guess this goes to show that every dog has his day and today’s mine!”
While Andre opened up the Final with two strong scores, Barger quickly rallied, grabbing a 6.67 before usurping the Brazilian with an explosive 8.67 for a series of forehand blasts on the Narrabeen lefthanders. The Hawaiian’s 15.34 out of a possible 20 would prove too much for Andre to overtake and would see Barger crowned the newest ASP World Junior Champion.
“To be honest, I can’t remember much of the Final with all the cameras and everything,” Barger said. “It’s a blur. I had so much fun. I’m tripping out right now. I never thought this would happen to me.”
Barger now joins one of the most prestigious clubs in professional surfing with his ASP World Junior Title. Past champions include Dream Tour stalwarts such as Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, Jordy Smith (ZAF), 20, Adriano de Souza (BRA), 21, and fellow Hawaiian’s Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 23, and three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 30.
“To be part of such a crazy group of surfers feels amazing,” Barger said. “I really don’t have the words to express how it feels. It’s crazy, and to be given the preferred seed on the ’QS is going to help so much.”
In addition to the prestigious ASP World Junior Title, Barger is also awarded preferred seeding into all ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) events in 2009 – a great advantage in the qualification quest for the elite ASP World Tour.
Andre, the No. 1 seed in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, put in an incredible performance at North Narrabeen today, including his acquisition of the event’s only perfect 10, but was unable to overtake Barger in the Final.
- 06 January 2009 | Surfing
Cherating Beach local Mamat climbed atop the podium this afternoon to accept his first place Men’s Open Division victory after a brilliant display of surfing under testing conditions in the closely contested final. He received the grand prize of a new Billabong surfboard, a Nixon watch, Billabong backpack, T-shirt, and boardshorts.
He was over the moon with excitement, exclaiming, “I’m so stoked to win today, especially in these conditions. I didn’t think I could do it…I thought one of the younger and lighter guys would win for sure, but somehow I did it!” He added, “I really want to thank Billabong and the government and all the sponsors for having this event here. It’s so great!”
The anticipated increase in swell didn’t materialize today, resulting in weakening 2 foot surf that was a challenge especially for the larger surfers. But local knowledge was the key, and Mamat found the right waves and blasted them apart to outscore his opponents and come home with the victory.
In the Grommets Division Yen, who also nabbed second place in the Men’s Open division, was the first place winner, showing his smooth style and wise wave selection.
In the Women’s Division, Noriko Kanno picked her way through the better set waves to rack up the most points for the win. Incredibly this was her first experience surfing at Cherating Beach.
Billabong’s Paul Anderson surfed his favorite blue bomber to victory in the Master’s Division. Paul has surfed Cherating a few times in the past year and knew exactly what kind of equipment would get the job done.
In the Bodyboard Division Jarul Aliff Zulkifli slid and spun his way into first place, a very challenging feat considering the size and power of the waves during the final.
In addition to their trophies, all the finalists received tons of Billabong, Nixon, Kustom, and Von Zipper goodies including boardshorts, T-shirts, caps, thongs, backpacks, and wallets.
- 06 January 2009 | Surfing
Pauline Ado (FRA), 17, has just made ASP history as the first non-Australian female to claim the undisputed ASP Junior World Title, defeating opponent Bethany Hamilton (HAW), 18, in a hard-fought Final at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
Clean three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves were on offer at Sydney’s legendary North Narrabeen beach today, and after completing Round 3 of the men’s division, the dramatic women’s action commenced with the Quarterfinals before culminating with the crowning of Ado as the newest ASP World Junior Champion.
“I’m speechless,” Ado said. “I am so stoked. This is a dream come true. I can’t believe that I won. When I woke up this morning, I never imagined that this would happen.”
While her opponent Hamilton exhibited patience throughout the day, Ado wasted no time in busying herself on both the lefts and rights in the Final, and although the lead flipped back-and-forth, it was the young Frenchwoman who sealed the deal with a solid 13.43 out of a possible 20.
“I didn’t watch Bethany on her last wave, but I could hear the crowd and the commentators in the background,” Ado said. “I thought she had won, but luckily for me, it wasn’t the case.”
Ado now joins the prestigious ranks of past ASP World Junior Champions Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, Nicola Atherton (AUS), 22, and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 18 – all three past champions qualifying for the prestigious ASP Women’s World Tour within one season of claiming the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
“I have so much confidence now going into 2009,” Ado said. “I really want to do well in the ASP WQS and hopefully qualify for the ASP Women’s World Tour, but for now, I’m just stoked to be ASP World Junior Champion.”
In addition to being crowned ASP World Junior Champion, Ado will also receive a guaranteed seed into the second-to-last seeded round of all ASP WQS events in 2009, giving the young natural-footer a great advantage as she vies for a position on the elite ASP Women’s World Tour in 2010.