MEREWETHER, Newcastle, NSW/Australia (Friday, February 15, 2013)
Day two of the Burton Toyota Pro Junior at Surfest, Newcastle, Australia saw the event’s top seeds enter the draw and stamp their authority on the event. Four to five foot (1.8 meter) fun, but tricky conditions allowed a crop of the world’s best surfers under 21-year-old to light up the surf at Merewether today.
Jake Sylvester (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) and Jame McMoreland (Newcastle, NSW/AUS), local surfers remain in contention for the 2013 Burton Toyota Pro event title after the completion of the round of 64 today. Sylvester, who finished fifth in the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series rankings last year, is determined to do better than his first heat exit at Burleigh Heads earlier this month.
“I’d love to be able to take out this event again,” Sylvester said. “Last time I won here, two years ago it was awesome in front of the home crowd and it really helped my rating during the year. If I could do that again it would be a massive boost to making the top five in the juniors and going on to represent Australia at the ASP World Junior Championships.”
Connor O’Leary (NSW/Australia) is another surfer in his last year on the junior ranks. The Cronulla goofy-footer is always impressive on his backhand and today O’Leary was one of the standout surfers in the right-handers on offer at Merewether beach.
“I surfed okay today,” O’Leary said. “There’s some waves around so I’m not complaining. You have to cope with any conditions you get. I really want to make it to the Semis or the Final at this event to start my last year in the Pro Juniors with a bang.”
Kanoa Igarashi (USA) continues his red hot run through the Burton Toyota Pro. His 16.75 in yesterday’s opening round of 112 is still yet to be topped and today he racked up a more modest score of 12.00 in the seventh heat in the round of 64 – but that was enough to secure a victory.
“It’s even more like home today cause we have a lot of onshore winds back home,”Igarashi said. “I like how there is a lot more punch in the waves here. It’s definitely one of my goals for this year to win this contest.”
Japan’s Arashi Kato (JPN) posted the day’s highest two-wave heat-total with an impressive 15.25 out of a possible 20. The day’s other standout surfers were Haril Anwar (IND), Cooper Chapman (AUS), Kai Hing (AUS) and Noa Deane (AUS).
More than 200 junior men and women surfers from 12 countries including Australia, Brazil, USA, Tahiti, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Guadalupe Island, France, Italy,France, Italy, Indonesia and Peru are taking part in the Burton Toyota Pro Junior.
About the 2013 Surfest Newcastle Australia
The 2013 Surfest Newcastle Australia features the Burton Toyota Pro (Men’s ASP 6-Star) and the Hunter Ports Women’s Classic (Women’s ASP 6-Star), along with eight supporting events. The event is made possible with the support of Burton Toyota, the Hunter Sports Sports Group, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government through Destination NSW. Surfest Newcastle Australia is conducted over 12 days from February 13-24 at Merewether beach, a recognised Australian National Surfing Reserve. Merewether is home to festival patron and Australia’s most accomplished men’s world professional surfing champion, four-time world champion Mark Richards (1979-82) and presents the winner a trophy in his likeness. 2013 marks the festival’s 28th year and with over 800 national and international competitors, Surfest Newcastle Australia is the largest festival of surfing in the southern hemisphere. Get up-to-the minute updates, photos and interviews, as well as the program of events at surfest.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.