Photos – Surfing Australia/Nikon
THE 2012 Soundwave Australian Junior Surfing Titles roared to life yesterday, with more than 200 of Australia’s hottest under-18 surfers converging on Roaring Beach on the Tasman Peninsula.
In a building southwesterly swell, the country’s top junior surfers braved the chilly conditions en route to unleashing some high-octane, progressive surfing on the opening day of competition.
The day’s proceedings saw the under-16 girls’ division hit the water first before the Schools Allstars Round 1 heats were completed. This was followed by the opening heats of the under-18 boys and girls with the Schools MR Round 1 heats finishing off the day.
In the pinnacle under-18 boys’ division, Jordan Lawler (Nth Beaches Sydney, NSW) put this title campaign on the right track, netting a 11.40 two-wave total to beat Gerome Bramich (TAS), Matt King (NSW) and Harry McPherson (WA).
The Sydney surfer is looking to go one better in the division, following a runner-up finish in the division at last year’s Australian titles.
Fellow New South Wales surfer Tommy Boucaut from Byron Bay upped the ante in the under-18 boys division, accruing a 16.25 total to easily progress into Round 2. Pama Davies (NSW) notched the division’s highest individual wave score, a 9.25, for combining an impressive carving turn, air reverse and layback snap.
The under-16 boys Allstars division didn’t disappoint with Victorian surfer Cody Robinson (Jan Juc) joining Joe van Dijk, the younger brother of recently crowned ASP Girls’ Pro Junior Champion Nikki van Dijk, to beat the NSW pairing of James Young and Jared Hickel.
Six states will be represented in the battle for the prestigious national titles, while school surfing will also make up a significant part of the event with competitors also chasing the Australian School Surfing Association Titles.
The event is backed by Australia’s premier music festival Soundwave, which tours Australia’s capital cities in February and March next year.
A win at the national level is regarded as a major step in a surfer’s competitive career with the list of past winners featuring some of the greatest names in world surfing including two-time ASP Men’s World Champion Mick Fanning and fellow Gold Coast surfers Joel Parkinson, Dean Morrison and Bede Durbidge, plus former world champions Mark Richards, Tom Carroll and Damian Hardman. Five-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, former World Champion Chelsea Hedges, World No 2 Sally Fitzgibbons and 2011 World Tour Rookie of the Year Tyler Wright are also included on the prestigious honour roll.