NORTH NARRABEEN, New South Wales/Australia – Maxime Huscenot (REU), 17, and Laura Enever (AUS), 18, have claimed their respective ASP World Junior Titles, dominating the punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves on offer at North Narrabeen for the final day of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships fueled by Monster Energy.
Huscenot, who received entry into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships as an ASP International wildcard, wowed spectators and surfers alike today, besting an in-form Jadson Andre (BRA), 19, in the hard-fought Final to claim the ASP World Junior Title.
“This is the biggest day of my life and it’s absolutely unbelievable,” Huscenot said. “It feels like I just won a heat, not the ASP World Title – it’s incredible. Jadson (Andre) is an amazing surfer and the whole Brazilian team rips so hard. I cannot believe it is my day. I am at a loss for words.”
A relative unknown at the international level prior to this year’s showdown at North Narrabeen, Huscenot bested a bevy of the world’s hottest up-and-coming surfers to take the prestigious title and emphatically announce himself as a force on the world surfing stage.
“I knew I was not a big name coming here,” Huscenot said. “Jadson was the best surfer, doing massive air reverses that I cannot even dream of doing. But I just surfed the best I could and I guess the judges appreciated it. I never dreamed I would be here. I was injured in October and couldn’t surf for a month. But I trained hard and got the wildcard here and once I made it past the fourth round, I knew it was going to be a good event for me. It feels amazing to be the first Frenchman to claim the ASP World Junior Title.”
Andre, 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and the No. 1 seed into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, was arguably one of the form surfers of the event, consistently uting mind-blowing aerials and posting excellent scores. However, the wiry goofy-footer was unable to match Huscenot’s panache in the Alley righthanders during their Final bout, finishing Runner-Up for the second year in a row.
“I’m disappointed to surf so well all week and fall short in the Final again,” Andre said. “The conditions were challenging and Maxime (Huscenot) was surfing very well. It’s okay though. I am happy with my performance here and am looking forward to my first year on the World Tour.”
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 16, the youngest competitor at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, was another Brazilian to wow in North Narrabeen. The young goofy-footer exhibited the form that garnered him praise the world over in 2009, but his electric aerial repertoire was not enough to best Andre in the Semifinals.
Alejo Muniz (BRA), 20, who nearly qualified for the 2010 ASP World Tour following a solid performance on the 2009 ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), and was a major standout in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships. Despite a juggernaut run through the back half of the draw, Muniz fell to eventual winner Huscenot, finishing Equal 3rd at the event.
While the men’s Final featured overseas powerhouses, the women’s Final had a girl directly from North Narrabeen.
Enever’s hometown victory came as no surprise to those who witnessed her progression through the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships. The explosive natural-footer consistently posted the highest scores each round, and with the help of some massive scores courtesy of a blistering forehand attack, Enever posted an insurmountable lead in the Final against Alessa Quizon (HAW), 16.
“I just wanted to go out and have fun and that’s what I did,” Enever said. “This is my home and I’m so stoked to be here with all my friends and family giving me so much support. This is the best day of my life. It’s been my dream forever to win here at home and now that I’ve done it, I’m at a loss for words.”
Joining such renowned past ASP World Junior Champions like Pauline Ado (FRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Nicola Atherton (AUS) and Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Enever now boasts the most prestigious accolade in junior surfing, and will hope to follow in their footsteps en route to the elite ASP Women’s World Tour.
“It’s been my goal to win the World Juniors since I can remember and now that I have I just want to enjoy it,” Enever said. “I just want to have fun this season. I’ll be doing the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series and start getting into the WQS events. The goal to qualify for the Dream Tour, but I just want to have fun this year.”
Despite surfing in her first event at North Narrabeen, Cuizon’s performance at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships was nothing short of impressive. A powerful forehand and backhand approach proved to be Cuizon’s signature offering amongst the world’s best, but the young Hawaiian was unable to find a rhythm in the Final.
“I’m happy with my performance and just want to thank my mom and dad and Coach Rainos (Hayes) for all the support – I couldn’t have done it without them,” Cuizon said. “It was really difficult out there this afternoon. I had a hard time in the conditions, but tried my best and I’m happy with how I went.”
Pauline Ado (FRA), 18, last year’s ASP World Junior Champion, failed to fins her stride at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships and went down to eventual Runner-Up Quizon, finishing Equal 3rd.
Joanne Defay (REU), 15, relative unknown on the international stage before the event, was a surprise dark horse in North Narrabeen, taking several high-profile scalps en route to and Equal 3rd place finish.
For making the final in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, Huscenot, Andre, Enever and Cuizon will be awarded preferred seeding on this season’s ASP WQS, given spots into the second-to-last seeded round of all ASP WQS events.
BILLABONG ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL RESULTS (Men):
1 – Maxime Huscenot (REU) 14.17
2 – Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.60
BILLABONG ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL RESULTS (Women):
1 – Laura Enever (AUS) 18.33
2 – Alessa Cuizon (HAW) 11.10