Mitch Parkinson has had a stellar year already in the surf. Photo ASP Kirstin Scholtz
The final event on the men’s and women’s 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series, the Be The Influence Surf Pro will get underway today in Coffs Harbour, and will see two of Australia’s up-and-coming surf stars crowned ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Champions.
Surfing Australia saw the need for more ASP Australasia Pro Junior events in Australia and responded by hosting the final event of the 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series. Surfing Australia recently partnered with Be The Influence, an Australian government initiative to tackle binge drinking, and will be using this year’s Be The Influence Surf Pro as the launch platform for their historic partnership.
Jake Sylvester from Newcastle is the currently ranked ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series No 1 surfer after claiming wins at two out of the three events earlier this season. This is Sylvester’s last year surfing as a junior and he’s looking to make the most of it by finishing off the year with a solid result that could see his name being added to the prestigious list of former ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Champions.
‘I just finished my first semester at uni. I’m studying primary school teaching so I’ve been busy,’ said Sylvester. ‘I’m a little bit nervous about the Be The Influence Surf Pro. It’s a bit easier to catch up to the leader, rather than keeping the lead. I know Mitch (Parkinson) will be keen to take over the lead and he’s been surfing really well lately. I’ve surfed at Coffs a bunch of times, and it’s similar to where I live so I’m feeling good about that. After the event I fly to California because I’m doing the Pro Junior at the US Open of Surfing. Then I might do some Star events in Europe and hopefully the ASP World Junior Championships.’
Mitch Parkinson from the Gold Coast is having a breakthrough year competitively, after finishing ranked in the thirties last year, Parkinson is currently ranked No 2 after a fifth-, second- and third-place finishes so far this year.
‘I started the year of with a pretty bad ankle injury and it turns out it’s one of the best things that could have happened to me,’ said Parkinson. ‘I’ve had a really good year, getting some good results and I’m feeling great. I haven’t surfed Coffs too much, but when I have we have had good waves so I’m looking forward to getting down there. One of my goals this year is to win an ASP Pro Junior event and this is the last one so that’s what I’m focusing on.’
Stephanie Single from Lennox Head and Ellie-Jean Coffey from the Gold Coast are sitting at No 1 and No 2 respectively on the women’s rankings and are in a close race for top honours. Both surfers have claimed event wins this season and are the clear frontrunners to take the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Championship and are only separated by 78 points with Single on 891 to Coffey on 813.
The event runs from today until Sunday with live scores, news and images available via www.betheinfluencesurfpro.com.
The event is backed by the Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking initiative, which is an Australian federal government campaign addressing youth binge drinking and the influence of alcohol promotion on young Australians by promoting anti-binge drinking messaging through sport sponsorships.
Information on Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking can be found at www.tacklingbingedrinking.gov.au.