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03.01.05 - LONE AUSSIE LEFT STANDING AS INTERNATIONAL FIELD DOMINATES
From Sarge, Billabong World Junior Championships, Monday January 3rd 2005.
STORMING performances from surfers around the globe knocked Australian surfing pride sideways today as five of the host country's six surfers were unceremoniously eliminated from the third round heats before lunch in the Billabong World Junior Championships at North Narrabeen.

Adriano de Souza
Adriano de Souza

As Australia's fancied names and reputation tumbled at the hands of international rivals, the young chargers from Brazil, in particular, made an unequivocal statement that they are taking their skill and determination to dizzy new heights. The gap has closed on Australia's formerly assumed surfing heritage and prowess in no uncertain terms.
The most stunning exchange of the day came mid-draw as trials wildcard Josh Kerr from Coolangatta, and defending Billabong World Junior Champion Adriano de Souza from Sao Paulo in Brasil went head to head in their highly anticipated clash. Throwing performance into formula one circles, swapping eight and nine point score lines wave after wave, throwing their tails and boards through radical trajectories, the incredibly talented duo had peers and spectator’s agape with ungauged expectation of what was possible next.
The entire heat was fought on cross/onshore 3-4' right hander’s, the young Brazilian opening on turbo and getting four waves at frantic pace to open up a 16 point margin before Josh locked in a 9.57 opener for linking rail down the line and then boosting a huge aerial move. That narrowed Kerr's need to 6.93, but then five minutes later the Brazilian pushed commitment beyond the comprehendible, busting his board out on every move and climaxing with a massive aerial reverse to add a 9.9 score to his already banked 8.83.

Adam Melling
Adam Melling

There was some controversy towards the end of the heat when Adriano pushed his priority rights somewhat shadily, to Kerr’s frustration. Though he was holding priority at the time, and therefore had the right to any wave he desired, Adriano dummied uninterested in a wave which Kerr then turned to take, but then Adriano switched to take the wave despite Kerr being in a much better position to take it. It was pure and legal tactics, but Kerr was left bemused after then having to pull back.
“Yes, the surfing was good! He surfed well, and I thought I did too, but behind the scenes, with that priority situation, he pulled a full move on me and I thought it wasn’t really sportsman-like” said Kerr straight out of the water.
After such bewildering performances, Kerr was still left needing a very hefty 9.17 and the defending champion marched on, not just in this event, but seemingly towards a destiny as Brazil's greatest ever surfer. He seems capable of rattling and out-performing any contender.

Eric Taylor
Eric Taylor

“My emotions are very strong right now. I am so excited I cannot express myself” said a bubbling but softly spoken de Souza after his electric display.
The earlier heats on a falling tide this morning were considerably less thrilling. Mother ocean is always the ultimate decider in surfing, and she was at her unpredictable and variable best as round three of the Billabong World Junior Championships took to the water this morning. Organisers initially deliberated over the worthiness of the wobbly broken up swell at first light. Conditions changed all day from heat to heat, but the decision to go was vindicated with numerous high scores as the world's best juniors upped their standards to provide a great day of surfing.
The contest arena looked to be dealing almost exclusively left handers before the first heat paddled out, and the first combatants lined themselves up accordingly, strong Australian competitor Ben Dunn opening with a seven point left. His Brazilian opponent Pablo Paulino however, soon spied and snatched what was the first decent right-hander of the morning, and laid some critical vertical re-entries to claim an 8.17.

Josh Kerr
Josh Kerr

Then roving around inside Dunn who sat waiting with priority, the 17 year old from Rio de Janeiro quickly claimed another right and worked it exhaustively with his smart backhand act to gain 9.33, leaving a disillusioned Dunn hanging with his pre-heat strategy in need of a near perfect 9.83 ride that never eventuated. Beaming with stoke, but with no English, the young Brazilian could only relay his joy with a huge grinning flash of his pearly whites.
Australia then suffered another loss when Basque surfer Hodei Collazo from Spain surfed tenaciously, and used priority smartly, to extinguish the aspirations of Newcastle's Travis Lynch. As sets proved hard to find, the duo struggled to muster high scores. Needing a 4.16 to catch Lynch, the amiable Basque lad waited to finally milk a small left and bag a 6.93.
“I waited 15 minutes to get only a small four pointer, but I prefer to wait for a bigger wave wanted to be sure” said a relieved Hodei who got his score just four minutes from the hooter with a floater, two snaps and a strong cutback. “It was difficult out there because the good waves are rare, it’s very small and weak, and there’s also a strong side sweeping current, so you are paddling always”.
Brazilians continued their determined advance in the following two heats with first Diego Santos getting up over America’s stylish goofy Darryl Goodrum, and then Jean da Silva comfortably taking care of Capetown’s David Richards.
“We have very good surfers this year, said Jean da Silva. “I think Brazil is doing well because we have strong passion, It is in our blood! We now travel more out of Brazil and surf more of the world’s best waves, for more experience.”

Michel Bourez
Michel Bourez

“Adriano and I both travel and all our juniors are traveling more and more,” he said. “We have two good circuits at home now, a national circuit and a super circuit for the top 60 surfers.”
“Our WCT surfers like Victor Ribas and Peterson Rosa, plus our champions like Flavio Padaratz and Fabio Gouveia come to compete and push our standards and ambitions.”
South African esteem gathered momentum when round two’s highest heat scorer from yesterday Shaun Payne, sent Hawaii’s Kekoa Bacalso packing. Wave conditions continued to be lean in the following heat 10, when Durban’s young freak Jordy Smith continued to put South Africa back on the rebound with a comfortable win over USA’s Tommy O’Brien. Until Adriano de Souza’s 9.9 today, sixteen year-old Jordy had lodged the highest wave score of the event, a 9.7 from round one.
“My thoughts are really focused for the rest of the competition, hopefully the swell will stay up and if it gets bigger my boards will get better,” said Smith. “Yesterdays score gave me heaps of confidence for my heat today, I think the rights were the call because the lefts were closing out a lot more, so I stuck to them.”
“My main competition right now is definitely Adriano simply because he is defending champion but until I meet him in a heat I won’t be thinking about him at all,” he said.
Floridian Eric Taylor also continued his charge toward the final day of competition with an outstanding result over Tahitian Michel Bourez. Opening with a 9.43 on a walling North Narrabeen left, Taylor backed up his first ride with a 8.23 early in the decider, ultimately leaving the Tahitian with a demanding task of scoring a near perfect ride of 9.73 to progress.

Adriano de Souza
Adriano de Souza

“After that last heat I feel great, it definitely feels good to get one of the highest heat scores of the event and it’s given me a lot of confidence going into the next round," said Taylor. "Most of Florida is like this with small beach breaks so it really helps because this is what I practice in all year."
Despite reaping a 9.17 ride from the very marginal waves in heat 11, the Gold Coast’s Luke Dorrington became Australia’s fifth casualty of the day, eliminated from further progression when he failed to get a second score over 4.40. His adversary, the loose and fluid Hawaiian TJ Barron took the match with two solid seven pointers.
Europe staked another claim, as German Marlon Lipke lanced three strong turns into a small left to stop the first of Japan’s five remaining contenders Shota Nakamura. Lipke’s parents moved to Algarve in the south of Portugal some 25 years ago, and there the big goofy footer has honed a solid act.
Japan lost several other exchanges early afternoon. In heat 12 Masato Nakano lost to Hawaii’s Raymond Reichle in marginally rising, but deteriorating conditions by a margin of just 0.01. Two heats later, America’s Sterling spencer took down Hideyoshi Tanaka. Spanish surfer Artiz Aranburu ended Japan’s run in the last heat of the round with a solid victory over Yukio Ogawa, laying moves that would have his Basque mates glowing with pride.
Despite round three loses today, Japan’s surfers have been impressive this week, their levels of performance and results comfortably surpassing very average results and early eliminations from last year’s Billabong World Junior Championships. No doubt they’ll be back bigger and better next year.
Australia’s sole saving grace from an otherwise humiliating day came in the second last heat of round three when Lennox Head shredder Adam Melling saved national pride by holding off a late determined push from Teppei Tajima needing just 6.17. The Japanese natural footer had some great top to bottom linkages in suckier sections off the takeoff, but lacked Melling’s flair further down the line on flatter snap sections.
“It’s a bummed they’ve all gone down obviously, but I’m going to do my best to take it out for the Aussie boys” declared Melling after the critical heat. “The standard for this contest has been really good, as you would expect for a field representing the best juniors in the world. I thought the Aussies would do a lot better than what they have, but I suppose that’s just the way it goes”.
With competition running through the first four heats of round four later this afternoon, contest director, Luke Egan expects the Billabong World Junior Championships to climax tomorrow. With a strong international field remaining, the run into the crowning final is sure to be a hard fought affair.
The Billabong World Junior Championships are supported by Panasonic, Vodafone, Coke, Garnier, Banana Boat, Von Zipper and Surfing Australia.
Tune in the www.billabongpro.com for all the live action available via Webcast.
ENDS
ROUND THREE RESULTS
H1: Pablo Paulino (Brz) 17.50 def. Ben Dunn (Aus) 14.90
H2: Hodei Collazo (ESP) 13.10 def. Travis Lynch (Aus) 10.33
H3: Diego Santos (Brs) 16.40 def. Darryl Goodrum (USA) 11.93
H4: Jean da Silva (Brz) 13.16 def. David Richards (Sth Af) 8.93
H5: Marlon Lipke (Deu) 13.27 def. Shota Nakamura (Jpn) 11.34
H6: Eric Taylor (USA) 17.66 def. Michel Bourez (Tah) 14.10
H7: Simon Marchand (Fra) 12.17 def. Leigh Sedley (Aus) 10.60
H8: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 18.73 def. Josh kerr (Aus) 18.20
H9: Shaun Payne (Sth Af) 11.17 def. Kekoa Bacalso 9.87
H10: Jordy Smith (Sth Af) 13.83 def. Tommy O’Brien (USA) 11.76
H11: TJ Barron (Haw) 14.73 def. Luke Dorrington (Aus)13.57
H12: Raymond Reichle (Haw) 12.10 def.Masato Nakano (Jpn) 12.00
H13: Dustin Cuizon (Haw) 15.43 def. Damien Fahrenfort (Sth Af) 15.33
H14: Sterling Spencer (USA) 11.24 def. Hideyoshi Tanaka (Jpn) 10.77
H15: Adam Melling (Aus) 14.24 def. Teppei Tajima (Jpn) 13.40
H16: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 16.50 def. Yukio Ogawa (Jpn) 11.94