Juniors battling for ASP World Championships
America’s finest up-and-coming competitive standouts are gearing up to head to North Narrabeen, Australia to battle the world’s top Pro Junior competitors at the prestigious ASP World Junior Championships which takes place from January 9 through 17, 2009.
American representatives including 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), 19, Luke Davis (Capistrano Beach, CA), 16, 2008 ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), 20, and Brent Reilly (Carlsbad, CA), 19, will travel alongside Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), 17, and Sage Erickson (Ventura, CA), 19, to tackle international talents such as 2010 ASP World Tour rookie Owen Wright (AUS), 19, defending ASP World Junior Champion Kai Barger (HAW), 20, and defending ASP Women’s Pro Junior Champion Pauline Ado (FRA), 18 at this year’s elite level of ASP Pro Junior competition.
Young, who clinched the 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior Series title at the last event of the year, the ASP Grade-3 Oakley Pro Junior, in front of his home crowd in Santa Cruz, California, is heading to his second consecutive ASP World Junior Championships and is hoping that the experience gained at last year’s event coupled with his regional success in 2009 will help his cause against the world’s finest junior competitors.
“Since I have done this contest before I know what to expect,” Young said. “I have surfed the wave and have seen how good the competition is. Every heat is like a final and everyone in that contest is capable of doing well, otherwise they wouldn't be there. Since I have surfed there before I have got some boards that I think will work very good over there, plus, the priority system won't be new to me since I did this comp last year.”
Young was a double-qualifier for this year’s ASP World Junior Championships and despite being the top rated surfer on the 2009 ASP North America Pro Junior ratings, the explosive goofy-footer earned his berth to Australia as the top rated American on the ASP WQS for 2009. Young is also hoping that his sharpened competitive skills honed on the ASP WQS this season will help his cause at this year’s Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
“Even though the top guys in this contest were some of the top guys on the ‘QS, the last contests I did were the contests in Hawaii, and those have to be the hardest contests all year,” Young said. “To surf against the guys in those events and make some heats is a real confidence boost. Hopefully I can carry that confidence with me to Australia.”
Perillo, who led the ASP North America Pro Junior Series until the final event of the year, suffered a serious ankle injury while on a free surfing trip to Bali, but has made a full recovery and is prepared for the upcoming event in Narrabeen.
“Santa Cruz was the first time I could actually surf,” Perillo said. “After that event I tried surfing again but it didn't last. I had to take a three week break before I went to Hawaii and that’s where I started surfing again without a brace on. Now the ankle is way better, I've been surfing every day, all day and it hasn't been bothering me. It should be perfectly fine for the event.”
Despite establishing himself as a global standout, Perillo’s showing at this year’s Billabong ASP World Junior Championships will be his first and the talented Californian is hungry to claim a win over the world’s top talents.
“This is my first one but I'm kind of old so I want to do really well,” Perillo said. “More than half of the kids are younger than me. Placing first would be nice so I can get that seed.” (in to major ASP WQS events)
Arrambide, who was the 2008 ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion, will also be making his second journey to Australia in his quest for the coveted ASP World Junior Champion Title. The Ventura native is out to establish himself as a serious contender alongside the international field that is set to flock to Australia to compete in the contest and sees the event as the prelude to his future career.
“Surfing with the top juniors is great and I look forward to completing with those guys for the rest of my career,” Arrambide said. “I’ve really just been surfing my brains out at home to prepare and a bit of training. It should be a great event!”
Davis, who is the youngest American to represent the continental 48 states at the upcoming Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, is making his inaugural pilgrimage to the event and has been spending as much time in the water as possible to prepare for the contest while dialing in his equipment.
“I have just been trying to surf as much as possible and get all my boards figured out before I leave,” Davis said. “Qualifying for this contest is a big deal for me and it will help me with my confidence going into the 2010 season.”
Reilly earned his chance at the prestigious title of ASP World Junior Champion as the second top seed from America of Junior age on the ASP WQS.
Conlogue and Erickson, who have both been top representatives of America on the global front over the last few years, both gained priceless experience at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships last year and will be out to bring home the ASP World Junior title for America in 2010.