Day 1 Of The Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast

Davey Cathels' injury gave Matt Lewis-Hewitt the opportunity of a lifetime and he did not waste it. Day 1 of the Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast witnessed a major upset when Matt Lewis-Hewitt defeated Caio Ibelli and advanced to Round 3.

Jack Robinson.  Photo: ASP/DunbarThe opening day of the 2011 Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast was treated to 2 - 3 foot (1.5 meter) surf rolling through the Burleigh Heads rock break.

Connor Coffin opened the day with a solid heat win, showing the rest of the competitors the way the section of Burleigh known as 'rockies' should be surfed with his rail carves and snaps timed to perfection.

"It's really, really fun out there!" Coffin said. "I've never seen it break right along the rocks so clean and perfect like this before. Rincon is just like this, it's exactly like a shoulder high day at home, so I felt super comfortable out there. Right points are my favourite waves to surf - besides barrels, so I was loving it."

Matt Lewis-Hewitt only got a last minute call up into the Billabong World Junior Championships after the equal number 1 seed, Davey Cathels had to withdraw due to an ankle injury. Lewis-Hewitt didn't waste the opportunity, he went out and launched some big manoeuvres and caused a major upset by defeating Caio Ibelli, sending the current ASP World Junior ratings leader into Round 2, while Lewis-Hewitt advanced directly into Round 3.

"I was sitting on the inside waiting for them to read out the scores, I was pretty nervous," Lewis-Hewitt said. "Then they announced that I'd won, it felt great. Having a tough first heat and coming away with the win is a big confidence booster."

Filipe Toledo turned heads in his opening round encounter, the young Brazilian who's currently 7th on the ASP World Junior ratings mixed massive fin blasts with huge aerials to notch a huge heat total of 15.84 (out of a possible 20).

"I've been training hard at home in Brazil, so I've come over here feeling relaxed," Toledo said. "The wave here is so good, I've never surfed at Burleigh before and I love it. I'm glad to have won the heat because my surfboards never arrived from Brazil so I had to surf on a brand new DMS board, and it went great."

Jack Robinson, the youngest surfer in the Men's draw at a mere 14-years-old had the big crowd that lined Burleigh Point on their feet with his last minute heroics. Robinson was sitting in 3rd position with 45 seconds on the clock when he took off on a nice looking wave, did a couple of turns then launched into an alley oop aerial, scoring an 8.60 (out of a possible 10) and jumped into 1st position.

"I was feeling confident that I could get the score, I just knew I had to sit down the line on and catch a little runner," Robinson said. "I practice my airs a bit and it came in handy today. On that wave I knew this nice section was coming, so I did a check turn and then the air and landed, it felt pretty good."

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Matt Lewis-Hewitt.  Photo: Surfing WA/Woolacott
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Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast.  Photo: ASP
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