NORTH NARRABEEN, Australia - The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, the most prestigious junior event in the world and decider of the undisputed ASP World Junior Champions, is set to run from January 3 – 10, 2008 at Sydney’s North Narrabeen beach in New South Wales, Australia.
The event marks the culmination of the 2008 ASP Pro Junior Series where competitors from each of the seven ASP regions compete on their domestic tours for a chance at qualifying for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships. A minimum of 13 countries will represent the seven ASP regions this January at North Narrabeen’s world-class beach breaks.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships boasts one of the most impressive pedigrees of past champions the world has ever seen with the likes of three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW), 30, claiming the title in 1998, ASP Dream Tour stalwart Joel Parkinson (AUS), 27, stamping his mark on the event twice in 1999 and 2001, South African wunderkind Jordy Smith (ZAF), 20, taking the title in 2006, among others.
Equally, if not more, impressive is the fact that every female to ever take the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships has qualified for the elite ASP Women’s World Tour: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, in 2005, Nicola Atherton (AUS), 22, in 2006, and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 18, in 2007.
Tanner Gudauskas (USA), 20, who finished third at last season’s Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, will return as the highest ASP North America junior finisher on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) in 2008 and is keen to better last year’s finish in his final crack at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
Heath Joske (AUS), 20, is one surfer who will be looking to reclaim the Billabong ASP World Junior Title for Australia – Parkinson was the last national to win the event in 1999.
The men’s field will be rounded out by the top two finishers of Von Zipper Trials, taking place just prior to the start of Round 1. Notable trialists fighting it out in the 16-man Von Zipper Trials include Julian Wilson (AUS), 20, Torrey Meister (HAW), 20, Kolohe Andino (USA), 14 (15 Jan. 1, 2009), among others.
The women’s field will host 18 of the most talented up-and-coming female surfers in the world including 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour campaigners Coco Ho (HAW), 17, and Paige Hareb (NZL), 18.