Surfers hit the waves of the 2010 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship

January 21, 2010 | Surfing

Ben Poulter

It was lights, camera and action for the world’s greatest junior event for under 18 year old surfers, with the 2010 edition of the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship getting underway in New Zealand.

After a moving opening ceremony full of traditional New Zealand culture in Auckland’s Mission Bay yesterday, contest organizers opted to run the opening rounds of the Under 18 (Podium 2) and Under 16 (Podium 1) boy’s heats in rising 4 ft (1-1.2m) beach break conditions.

The day’s action representing the first time that teams from Indonesia, Vanuatu and Fiji competed in the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.

Indonesia Team Coach and Manager Tipi Jabrick said he was proud to be leading Team Indonesia into their maiden ISA junior event. “We’re really excited, especially for the kids,” said Jabrick. “It’s a really good experience for them, but it’s not easy for us to travel here. Hopefully we can continue competing in the juniors and the other ISA events.”

Jabrick had reason to smile with Jeren Kiring progressing in second place behind the USA’s Jake Halstead in heat six of the U/16 boy’s division. He trumped local surfer Elliot Paerata-Reid causing one of today’s biggest upset.

“We’re really happy because one of our surfers made it,” said Jabrick. “Hopefully that’s going to encourage the other boys to do well. Because if one kid makes it, the other boys want to.”

Jabrick added that Fiji and Vanuatu’s inclusion into the prestigious tournament spurred the Indonesian team to compete.

“If they could do it, why couldn’t Indonesia do it,” he said. It’s going to make a better future for the ISA Junior events with lesser known surfing countries taking part.”

Host team New Zealand couldn’t have a asked for a better start in the Under 16 boys with Raglan upstart Ben Poulter (Ragland, NZL) taking line honors in heat four.

“It was a bit messy out there,” said Poulter. “Three feet, but that suits us Kiwis as we’ve been training here for the event. It’s quite an honor to be competing for New Zealand for the second time.”

Australian Matt Banting (Port Macquarie, NSW, Aus) kicked off his country’s team title defense in style on the main podium. He netted one of the highest two-wave combined heat total, 14.75 (out of a possible 20) to easily defeat the Portugal pairing of Vasco Ribeiro and Miguel Blanco in heat two of the Under 16 boys.

The talented natural foot looked in total control from the opening siren, bagging a 6.75 and an 8.00 to breeze through to qualifying round two.

“Just to get the win was good for my confidence,” said Banting. “There’s a lot of pride surfing for Australia as we’ve won for the past four years. There’s a bit if pressure as well, but Australia is the team to watch. I’m stoked to be in it.”

Other Australians who progressed in round two today included Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen), Creed McTaggart (Margaret River) and Jake Scott (Malabar) in the Under 16 boys, as well as Tim MacDonald (North Stradbroke Island), Thomas Woods (Coolangatta) and Jordi Watson (Currarong).

Another standout performance was from lone Italian surfer Leo Fioravanti, who bested South Africa’s Steven Sawyer, France’s Andy Criere and Mexico’s Jimel Corzo in his round one Under 16 boys heat.

The Under 18 Boys kicked off their campaigns on podium two today, with several high-scoring heat wins from a who’s who of the world’s top juniors including newly crowned ASP World Pro Junior champion Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, 2009 ISA Junior World champion Keanu Asing from Hawaii, and the USA’s Conner Coffin.

Competition is expected to continue tomorrow with a rising swell expected to lash Piha over the coming days.

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