Billabong ASP World Junior Championships

12 Jan 2010 0 Share

NORTH NARRABEEN, New South Wales/Australia (Monday, January 11, 2010) – Defending event champion Pauline Ado (FRA) has suffered a surprise last place finish in her opening heat at the Billabong ASP World Junior surfing Championships which began today with Women’s Round 1 heats in peaky head-high waves at Sydney’s North Narrabeen beach.

The form which took Ado to the winner’s podium in 2009 clearly eluded her, as she struggled to find the better waves against fellow French surfer Joanne Defay (FRA) and Hawaiian Alessa Cuizon (HAW).

Ado finished with a combined two-wave heat score of just 8.57 points, well short of Cuizon in second place on 11.20 points and Defay in first on 12.66 pts.

Defay and Cuizon now advance directly to Round 3, while Ado will now have to contest the do-or-die elimination Round 2 when competition resumes in order to keep alive her chances of back-to-back titles.

Wildcard entrant and 2009 runner-up Bethany Hamilton (Kauai, HAW) had no such trouble however, as the Hawaiian completely dominated her heat against Gabriela Leite (BRZ) and Sarah Baum (ZAF). Since arriving in Australia just days ago, the 19 year-old has had to juggle practice sessions with unrelenting media requests. But Hamilton showed no signs of pressure as she worked over the Narrabeen waves, locking in the second highest heat score of the day for a comfortable win.

Local Australian surfers also ripped it up in familiar waters, with guns Laura Enever (Narrabeen, NSW, AUS), Tyler Wright (Lennox Head, NSW, AUS) and Felicity Palmateer (WA, AUS) all advancing comfortably to Round 3. With local knowledge on their side and friends and family supporting from shore, anticipation is high as the young Aussie girls look to bring the world’s most prestigious Junior title back ‘Down Under’.

Following women's Round 1, the men’s main event Round 1 got underway with local hope Davey Cathels (Narrabeen, NSW, AUS) an early winner to advance to Round

Competition organisers will assess conditions again at 7am tomorrow morning when the surfing action is expected to continue.

The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fuelled by Monster Energy mirrors the competition format of the ASP World Tour and is considered the sport’s “crystal ball” for aspiring champions. In addition, a Final’s placing in the tournament affords the successful surfers an unrivalled seeding on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) that serves as a springboard to the ASP World Tour.

The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fuelled by Monster Energy – watch every heat LIVE! via the webcast at www.billabongpro.com

For more information, log onto http://www.aspworldtour.com/2009/

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