Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Sunday 17th February, 2013.
MEREWETHER’S Jake Sylvester has convincingly won the 2-star Burton Toyota Pro Junior at Surfest, Newcastle Australia.
In his last appearance in a Pro Junior in Australia, the 20-year-old defeated 15-year-old Kanoa Igarashi from Huntington Beach in the USA to claim the crown for the second time in half-to-one metre waves at Merewether beach.
Sylvester won this same event in 2011.
Today, the natural-footer saved his best for last, racking up the entire event’s highest heat score with the 18.5 tallied in the final.
Coming into the event sitting in fifth place in the ASP Australasia junior men’s rankings, Sylvester also went into today’s final with the event’s highest individual wave score of 9.90, secured in yesterday’s round of 32.
His first wave score in the final inked a 9.00 on the judges’ score sheet and he followed that up later with a 9.50.
“It’s awesome. I feel amazing. Kicking off with that nine and then backing it up with another one was huge,” Sylvester said.
“I felt really comfortable towards the end with those two scores. It’s so good to win at home in front of friends and family,” he said.
Sylvester pockets $2500 for his win.
Eighteen-year-old Ellie-Jean Coffey from Cowes in Victoria went one better than she did in this event in 2011 when she scored her maiden Pro Junior win today when she defeated ASP junior women’s world champion Nikki Van Dijk.
“It feels really good to win here this year after getting second last year,” she said
“Having the priority system is really good because you can pick your waves wisely,” she said
“I was able to use it well today. I was pretty nervous when she had priority but I was able to use it smartly and keep in front,” Coffey said.
Both Sylvester and Coffey will be in the line-up at Merewether beach again this week, with the 6-star Burton Toyota Pro getting underway at 7.30am tomorrow.
In the Sanbah Cadet Cup, Avoca Beach’s Sandon Whittaker won the U/14 division, Margaret River’s Jacob Willcox took the U/16 final and Caringbah’s Paris Whittaker won the girl’s division.
Attached pic of Jake Sylvester courtesy of RedMonkey.
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; follow us on Facebook or Twitter and download the BOXT app from the App Store or Google Play (four digit code SURF).