Kennedy blasts Billabong Pro Junior Bells Beach
With a change of location to Jan Juc, due to a dissipating swell and strong off-shore winds, the best junior surfers in Australasia were out to cement spots in the prestigious Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.
2008 ASP Australasian Pro Junior champion Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, NSW) was a man on a mission this morning, posting the highest single wave and total heat score with an 8.25 (out of a possible 10) and 15.25 (out of a possible 20) respectively.
'It was really testing conditions today,' Kennedy admitted.
Granted two of the biggest and best waves of the day, Kennedy took his opportunity with both hands highlighting to all his amazing talent.
'I was lucky with the waves I was gifted today, it definitely about luck out there,' he said.
'I knew I had to make the most of the opportunity that presented itself.'
Having been the hottest property in the junior surfing sphere in 2008, Kennedy has struggled to adjust to life on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), but is back for the final event of his Pro Junior career.
'Last year the fire inside burnt so intensely and I wanted it so bad, but this year has been a learning curve on the WQS,' he said retrospectively
'I have had a lot of time to focus and work on my surfing, but it has been hard work.'
'This is my last event so I want to go out with a win, or at least a good performance to carry me into next year,' Kennedy continued.
Another competitor bowing out of the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series after this event is Josh Johnson-Baxter (Ocean Grove, VIC) who joined Kennedy in the winners list today at Jan Juc.
Getting through a tough heat with Billy Kean (Sawtell, NSW) this morning, Johnson-Baxter is looking forward to finishing off his Junior career in style.
'This is my last event on the Junior Series so I want to make as many heats as possible,' Johnson-Baxter said.
'Surfing at home is always a great motivator, so hopefully it will help me as much as possible.'
Perth Standlick (Bondi, NSW) again mastered the cold, tricky and blustery conditions.
Having been the first to take apart the -Bowl' at Bells Beach, Standlick chose to sit on the left-handed peak at Jan Juc today and reaped the rewards.
'I'm staying with a few of the local guys, so a bit of local knowledge paid off for me today,' Standlick said after accruing a total heat score of 12.95 (out of a possible 20).
'Things seemed to have worked well for me in the last two days,' he said with a smile.
'Today I knew my backhand would be the best option it was really soft out there.'
With Owen Wright (Lennox Head, NSW) holding the only guaranteed spot at the ASP Billabong World Junior Championships the race for the final four spots is coming down to the wire.
Seeing top-rated seeds Dean Bowen (Gerroa, NSW), Garrett Parkes (Byron Bay, NSW), Christopher Friend (Alexandra Headland, QLD) and Noah Lane (Rainbow Beach, QLD) all securing a place in the round of 32 today tension is mounting amongst the top ten as the competition flies into the business end.
For all scores, results, digital images and media please visit http://live.coastalwatch.com/08_default.aspx?eid=15897&qryL=english
The Billabong Pro Junior Bells Beach will take place from 29 September - 3 October 2009.
The Billabong Pro Junior Bells Beach is proudly presented by Billabong, Sony, Monster Energy, VW and VonZipper.
Billabong Pro Junior Bells Beach Event Contact
Ph: (03) 5264 7366 or (03) 5264 4766
Billabong Pro Junior Bells Beach Media Contact
Ph: (03) 5264 7366 or (03) 5264 4766
Attached image: 2008 ASP Australasian Pro Junior champion Stuart Kennedy (Lennox Head, NSW) was in stellar form this morning at Jan Juc posting the highest single wave and total heat score.
Photo credit: Michael Tyrpenou/ ASP Australasia