Jake Sylvester (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) is the 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Champion. Pic ASP/Will H-S
COFFS HARBOUR, NSW/Australia (Friday, July 12, 2013) – Jake Sylvester (Newcastle, NSW/AUS) has taken out the prestigious ASP Australasia Pro Junior Championship today at the last event on this year’s series, the Be The Influence Surf Pro. The event got underway in pristine three foot (1.5 meter) surf at Parks Beach, Coffs Harbour this morning with the first Round and a half of the men’s draw and first round of the women’s being completed. The field of over 110 surfers including Australians, New Zealanders, a few Tahitians and one Italian went to work in the fun surf, fighting for vital points, prize-money and the inaugural Be The Influence Surf Pro title.
Sylvester set up massive lead by winning the opening two events on this year’s ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series and before this event started he could only be overtaken by No. 2 ranked Mitch Parkinson (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS). Parkinson put his entry into the event late and lost his seeding and was thus matched up in the same heat as Sylvester this afternoon, finished third and was eliminated.
“Mitch (Parkinson) has been surfing so well that I thought this would come down to the wire,” Sylvester said. “Then he posted a good score and I thought the race would continue into tomorrow, but Pama Davies (AUS) overtook him right at the end. Next thing I know the hooter goes and people are coming up to me telling me I was the 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Champion.”
Sylvester claimed the title with style, sealing the heat win with the day’s highest single wave score 9.35 (out of a possible 10), thanks to his sharp precise turns and carves. Sylvester joins a prestigious list of former winners including current ASP World Championship Tour campaigners Owen Wright (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Taj Burrow (AUS) and reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS).
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Sylvester said. “This is my last year surfing in the Pro Junior events and my goal was to make the top 4, and be a contender for the top spot. Now here I am and I can’t believe it. It feels amazing, this is massive for me and my career and will give me loads of confidence when I go to compete in the US and Europe later in the year.”
Stephanie Single (Lennox Head, NSW/AUS), current ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series No. 1 ranked women’s surfer easily won her opening heat at the Be The Influence Surf Pro today. Single suffered a slow start to her heat and was sitting in last position with 10 minutes remaining, she was able to pull herself together and post a couple of solid scores to advance into the Round of 16.
“I was so nervous in that one, I’m glad that first heat is out of the way,” Single said. “I couldn’t find any waves, or do any turns, but then I got a 7-point-ride and it all came together for me. I got sick in Nicaragua, so it was tough to prepare for this event, but I’ve been surfing and training as much as possible and I’m feeling good now. I love the Be The Influence event and campaign, we have Owen Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons as ambassadors and they do a great job of spreading the message.”
Ellie-Jean Coffey (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS) kept her 2013 ASP Australasia Pro Junior Championship campaign alive after claiming a heat win at the Be The Influence Surf Pro this morning. Coffey won the opening event at Newcastle and finished runner-up at the last event in Tahiti and is close behind rating’s leader Stephanie Single (AUS). The next two days will be an interesting battle between these two form surfers on the 2013 Series.
“That heat was close so I’m happy to win it and get the opening round nerves out of the way,” Coffey said. “I’m sitting second on the ratings but I haven’t been thinking about it. I’m here to surf and have fun and if I win the event or ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Championship then that’s good too. I’m glad to have an event sponsored by Be The Influence, I hope it helps young people take notice of the message, I’ve stopped drinking for the last three months and I’m feeling great!”
Nikki Van Dijk (Phillip Island, VIC/AUS), who took out the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series Championship last year, posted a dominant heat win at the Be The Influence Surf Pro today. Van Dijk finishing runner-up at the season opening event, but skipped the last ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series event to take a wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.
“I only decided to enter this event a day and a half ago,” Van Dijk said. “I was at home getting ready for some ASP 6-Star competitions in the US and Europe and I thought I’d come here for a warm up because I haven’t surfed a heat since the Rip Curl Pro Bells. My Dad asked me what was going on with all the ratings and I didn’t really know, but it could be interesting to get in there and shake things up. I’ll see how it goes, I just want to surf some heats. It’s worked out well to help get rid of some nerves. It’s good to see the Be The Influence campaign getting behind the event, it’s important for this age group to hear those messages and I’m glad to be a part of this event.”
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.
The Be the Influence – Tackling Binge Drinking sponsorship is managed through the Australian National Preventive Health Agency. The Be the Influence Surf Pro is proudly supported by Be the Influence – Tackle Binge Drinking, Coffs Harbour City Council, Surfing Australia, ASP Australasia and Surfing NSW.