International field descends upon ASP World Juniors

With the New Year upon us, the countdown has begun to the commencement of the ASP World Junior Championships, deciding event of the undisputed ASP World Junior Champions.

Travis Beckmann.  Copyright: HillemanThe world’s top junior surfers compete all year long on their respective domestic ASP Pro Junior Series for a chance at qualifying for the ASP World Junior Championships and a shot at the ASP World Junior Title. Competitors from the seven respective ASP regions (North America, South America, Africa, Japan, Australasia, Europe and Hawaii) will join wildcards from ASP International as well as Billabong this week as they battle for junior supremacy.

Maxime Huscenot (REU), 16, 2008 ASP European Pro Junior Champion, will lead a strong contingent from France, Reunion Island and the Basque Territory at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships in an effort to prove themselves against the best junior surfers in the world.

"I have always wanted to surf in the event and show what I could do against the world’s best," Huscenot said. "I know it is going to be very tough but I believe I can do something. Very few of the guys know me so I will go there and show my surf and we will see what happens. Being the youngest surfer there will help as well because I will have nothing to lose and less pressure."

Huscenot will join fellow ASP Europe qualifiers Marc Lacomare (FRA), 18, Medi Veminardi (REU), 18, Jatyr Berasaluce (EUK), 19, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA), 17, and Jules Thomet (FRA) in North Narrabeen this week.

Travis Beckmann (USA), 20, No. 4 finisher on the 2008 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, will be competing in his final eligible year at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships, and a first-time combatant at the prestigious event, the hard-working natural-footer will be looking to establish himself on the international stage at North Narrabeen.

“Qualifying for ASP World Juniors is important because you’re up against the kids that have a good chance to make a push for the ASP World Tour,” Beckmann said. “To show what you can do on that kind of stage is a great way to put yourself on the map.”

Beckmann will join fellow ASP North America qualifiers Cory Arrambide (USA), 19, Nat Young (USA), 17, Andrew Doheny (USA), 16, Blake Jones (USA), 20, and Tanner Gudauskas (USA), 20, at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships this week.

With top juniors from each of the ASP regions as well as wildcards from ASP International and Billabong locked in, the final two spots into the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships will be awarded to the top two finishers in the Von Zipper Trials which features a swath of impressive talents all hungry for a shot at the ASP World Junior Title.

In addition to the stacked men’s field, the ASP World Junior Championships will also host a swarm of the world’s most talented junior female surfers, and with every former Billabong ASP World Junior Champion qualifying for the prestigious ASP Women’s World Tour, the hunt for the title is sure to impress.

Pauline Ado (FRA), 17, two-time former ASP European Pro Junior Champion, finished third in 2008, but will attend the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships as a replacement for Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 19.

"I really aim at winning but I know the competition is tough," Ado said. "I am not really thinking about it at the moment because I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. I am going to take it heat by heat and see what happens. I am going to go there a few days before the event to get used to the waves and get ready."

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