Enever Leads Field to Semifinals of Billabong ASP Women's World Junior Championships
NORTH NARRABEEN, New South Wales/Australia (Sunday, January 9, 2011) – The Billabong ASP Women’s World Junior Championships saw the globe’s finest under-21 female talent tear through three rounds of competition today with defending event champion and North Narrabeen local Laura Enever (AUS), 19, leading the field into the Semifinals by earning the event’s top scores.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships marks the final stop on the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour, with the first event unfolding at the Oakley ASP World Pro Junior in Bail.
Enever went on an absolute blitzkrieg in her Quarterfinals heat against progressive young American Lakey Peterson (USA), 16, crushing the highest single-wave score of Billabong ASP World Junior Championships competition, a near-perfect 9.10 out of 10, with four powerful backside blasts on a crisp lefthander while posting the day’s highest heat-total of 15.77 (out of 20), to leave Peterson in a combination situation to advance into the Semifinals.
“It’s a bit windier today and bigger,” Enever said. “There are some alley rights and lefts coming through on the inside. I think its fun. We’ve kind of scored without it being perfect because the conditions are the best we’ve had in awhile. I’m sure the locals are jealous. I had a really good time and I’m excited for the next round.”
Enever, current No. 5 on the ASP Women’s World Junior Tour, is also still in contention for the 2011 ASP Women’s World Junior Title, but is remaining guarded regarding her quest for this year’s crown and is enjoying the support that comes along with competing in front of her hometown crowd.
“I don’t really want to think too much about it,” Enever said. "I’m just taking it heat by heat. I got a 5th in Bali, but Alizee (Arnaud) got a 2nd. I don’t want to think about it right now, I just want to enjoy Narrabeen with one other girl out. I just love all of the support from everybody, it’s really cool to be here at home.”
Alizee Arnaud (FRA), 20, current ASP Women’s World Junior No. 2, advanced through to the Semifinals by tearing into several of North Narrabeen’s alley rights on her forehand, making her the frontrunner for the 2011 ASP Women’s World Junior Title after Tyler Wright (AUS), 16, fell in Round 3. Although the French surfer knows the possibility of an ASP crown is potentially around the corner, she remains focused on her upcoming Semifinals matchup and is proud to be flying her nation’s flag in Australia alongside fellow French Semifinalist, Justine Dupont (FRA), 19.
“I’m a little nervous now, but I’m not thinking about the World Title, I’m thinking about the next heat,” Arnaud said. “Surfing used to be so much about Australians and Americans, so it’s great to see two Frenchies in the Semifinals.”
Dupont tore through three heats today after being relegated to Round 2 yesterday, eventually eliminating dangerous Hawaiian Malia Manuel (HAW), 17, in the Quarterfinals by blasting one of the day’s highest heat totals, 15.10 out of 20, with a polished backhand attack on select lefthanders to earn her position in the Semifinals.
“I’m a bit tired,” Dupont said. “That last heat was really difficult with Malia (Manuel). I started in Round 2 today, so I’ had to surf an extra heat and I’m happy to have made it through to the Semifinals.”
Dupont, who is currently without a sponsor, found the punchy North Narrabeen beachbreak similar to the training grounds of her home in Lacanau, France and the talented natural-footer is hungry to prove herself on the international stage.
“I’m glad to be in the contest,” Dupont said. “It’s important to me because I don’t’ have a sponsor. The waves are similar to Lacanau because it’s a beachbreak like my home spot and it’s good to be here.”
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), 17, rounded out the international field of talent moving into Semifinals competition and the South African dark-horse tore into both Narrabeen’s lefts and alley rights to top event standout Felcity Palmateer (AUS) in their Quarterfinals matchup.
“It’s really fun with some right and left walls so what else could you ask for,” Buitendag said. “You’ve kind of got to suss out what waves will give you the best scoring potential and it’s mostly the rights today, but there are a few lefts that run all the way to the beach as well. I’m not feeling any pressure because dark-horses aren’t meant to have pressure. I’m still quite young and I have a few more years in this event and I’m having fun.”
Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS), 16, who was a Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Wildcard, was responsible for the upset of the event, eliminating current ASP Women’s World Junior Tour rankings leader Tyler Wright (AUS), 16, from competition in their Round 3 bout.
“I just went out and had heaps of fun,” Coffey said. “The waves were really fun and there were a couple of rights. I just felt that there was no pressure because I’m a wildcard and I just went out and surfed. It’s really easy to get nervous about it (surfing against top seeds), but Tyler’s (Wright) on the World Tour now, so I just wanted to have fun. It’s probably the biggest heat win of my career.”
Coffey eventually fell to Arnaud in the Quarterfinals.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am local time for a possible 7:30am start.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships holds a waiting period from January 8 through 16, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE via http://www.billabongpro.com.