Davey Cathels (AUS) on his way to a win at the Oakley World Pro Junior Bali last year. Pic ASP/Robertson.
COOLANGATTA, QLD/Australia (Wednesday, March 28, 2012) ? North Narrabeen’s Davey Cathels (AUS) has been awarded a sponsor’s wildcard into next week’s Rip Curl Pro Bells. This is Cathels’ first appearance at an ASP World Championship Tour event and it won’t be an easy one, with wildcards matched-up against the events top seeds, there’s a very high chance Cathels will draw 11 x ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA). Cathels’ preparation for Bells hasn’t been ideal after injuring his ankle in Janurary, he’s only just getting back in the water to train for his highly anticipated elite level debut. The injury also forced Cathels to withdraw from the third and final event on the ASP World Junior Tour, ruling him out of the ASP World Junior Title race, of which he was a front-runner and a favourite to take out.
ASP caught up with Cathels to find out how his ankle is and how his training is progressing.
How?s the ankle?
It?s feeling pretty good. I’ve almost got it back to full strength, but there?s still some pain in it when I put it in certain places in the water. I’m surfing with it all taped up as well.
Was the time out of the water frustrating?
Yeah, it was really frustrating. Having to the watch the ASP World Junior Title be decided without me and then missing out on the entire Aussie leg of the ASP Star and Prime events was tough. It was difficult sitting on the couch seeing everyone I usually compete against getting good results and on top of that, not being able to just go for a surf and forget about everything was so hard.
Tell us how you felt missing the final ASP World Junior event.
It was disappointing. Towards the end of last year and the start of the new year it was always in the forefront of my mind. It was all I thought about. Then to miss it, I was pretty down for a few weeks.
You did some of your best surfing at the event you won in Bali, how far away from that form are you right now?
At the moment my surfing is no where near that. I’ve only surfed about five times. I’m getting there, you just can’t come back and expect to be right back to where you left off. I’ve got to get my ankle used to what I was doing slowly and get my confidence back as well.
How does it feel to have a wildcard into Bells?
It is amazing! I’m honoured that Rip Curl has given me this chance. It?s my first ASP World Championship Tour event. I?d like to be surfing better than I am at the moment. I’m pretty confident that in 10 days time I?ll be surfing much better and between now and Bells if I get as much time in the water as I can I’ll be able to give it a good go.
You will probably surf against Kelly Slater, how does that make you feel?
To get the chance to surf against Slater would be really special. Even if he smashes me I know I?ll still leave a better surfer. I just want to put on a good performance regardless of the result.
What are your plans for the rest of 2012?
I?ll be focusing on the remaining ASP Primes and 6-Stars, making the ASP World Championship Tour is my main goal. I want to change a few things that I did last year with my travelling and preparation, which I think, will help me get there. On top of that I’m just looking forward to all the epic places we get to go to and hopefully score some good waves along the way.