Matt Lewis-Hewitt: New Zealand surfing hero

For the first time in the history of New Zealand, a Kiwi surfer conquered an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event in Australia. The hero is Matt Lewis-Hewitt, a 19-year-old Mount Manganui surfer, who defeated Dean Bowen in the 0,5m waves of Jan Juc.

Lewis-Hewitt won the Championship Moves Pro Junior and kicks off 2011 in great shape. "It’s great to finally win one of these events. They are tough to win, all the surfers on this circuit are very experienced and talented athletes and coming into my last season, I was wondering if I’d ever really win one – now I have, I want more...my confidence is up and to win the opening event of the season is ideal – I’ll aim high from now on", Matt said.

Ironically, both finalists have overcome serious knee operations over the past six months and both were relieved to begin the season so well.

"Perfect preparation for the coming World Junior Championships in Sydney for me. I feel great and ready to fire in Sydney. Matt and myself are good friends and we’ve suffered the same injury together and to surf against him in today’s final was good for both of us. I would have liked to have won but I’m pleased for Matt so it’s all good", Bowen said.

Despite the small waves and strong winds, the two friends successfully completed the Championship Moves Pro Junior. The Australasian Pro Junior Series now heads to the Hurley Burleigh on the Gold Coast, in late January.