NORTH NARRABEEN, New South Wales/Australia (Wednesday, January 12, 2011) – Round 4 of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships was completed in two-to-four foot surf at North Narrabeen today and the day's highlights saw French powerhouse Marc Lacomare (FRA), 20, post the highest single-wave score of the event while fellow European representative Charles Martin (GLP) , 20, issued the upset of the day by eliminating No. 1 seed Jack Freestone (AUS), 18.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships marks the last of two stops on the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour, with the first event unfolding in Bali at the Oakley ASP World Pro Junior. The ASP World Junior Tour hosts the planet's finest under-21 surfers as they battle for the prestigious title of ASP World Junior Champion.
Lacomare put on an impressive Round 4 showing to snag a come-from-behind victory over Dean Bowen (AUS), 19. The powerful goofy-footer was in need of a solid 7-point ride in the remaining minutes of the heat and rose to the occasion by crushing the event's highest single-wave score, 8.83 out of 10, by lofting a big frontside air only to follow up with two committed hacks while earning the day's highest heat total as well (14.66 out of 20).
"I knew I needed a 7 something and knew I needed to go big," Lacomare said. "I did that air and then a couple of turns and I guess the judges liked it. I figured the judges weren't scoring for small turns and I'm kind of tall and try and put some power into my turns."
Charles Martin got the best of a low-scoring heat over Jack Freestone, issuing the current ASP World Junior Tour ratings leader a 9th place finish. Although Martin admitted his relief in advancing over Freestone, he was quick to add that he felt there were several other top talents who fell today.
"I'm happy to have made that heat against Jack (Freestone)," Martin said. "I didn't think beating him was the biggest upset of the event though. Jack is a really good surfer and he was ripping in Bali, but he's still young. This is his first time to Narrabeen and there are so many other good guys in this event like Granger (Larsen), but I just got lucky in that heat."
Martin will now face fellow European competitor, Lacomare, in their Quarterfinals matchup and is looking forward to their bout in his final ASP Pro Junior event.
"Marc has been looking really good, he's got the highest score of the day and it's going to be really fun surfing against him in our last event as juniors," Martin said. "Marc made the last heat and now I'm surfing against him in the next round. I've been surfing against him my whole life and there won't be any hassling, we'll just each get our best waves and that's it."
Dale Staples (ZAF), 20, current ASP World Junior No. 2, clinched his Round 4 heat win over young Hawaiian Alex Smith (HAW), 16, keeping his chances of an ASP World Junior Title alive and although the South African competitor knows the pressure is on to perform, Staples is using the added stress as motivation to improve his game.
"The World Title is putting a little more pressure on me, but I think pressure is good actually," Staples said. "It makes you work harder."
Staples, who chaired fellow countrymen Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), 17, up the beach following her Billabong ASP Women's World Junior Championships victory, is using Buitendag's win as additional motivation to sweep the event for his nation.
" I watch the guys that I think are going to make my heat, but I just play my own game out there," Staples said. "I want to match Bianca's (Buitendag) result and take two wins to South Africa."
Staples will face Nat Young (USA), 19, in Quarterfinals No 3 when competition resumes.
Mitch Crews (AUS), 20, put in an exciting performance against progressive young American Kolohe Andino (USA), 16, by unleashing a lethal backhand attack on a lefthander to the tune of an 8.33 out of 10 to advance into the Quarterfinals and the fiery Australian is motivated to take out the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships as the last Australian remaining in the event.
"I'm kind of tripping because all of the boys went down this morning like Jackie (Freestone)," Crews said. "Deano (Dean Bowen) went down by Marc (Lacomare) who had a blinder of a heat, so I'm just stoked to get through and give the Aussies a shot at the title. Yesterday, I don't know what was wrong with me. It's a lot harder than it looks out there and luckily I got that one. It's such a bag of tricks out there, you've got to just catch a bunch of waves and hope you get a good one."
Nat Young was amidst a losing battle against Brazilian upstart Krystian Kymerson (BRA), who had posted some of the day's top scores in the heat, but the American advanced through to the Quarterfinals after Kymerson earned an interference due to a priority mistake to turn the heat win over to Young.
"It was a bummer and not a way I would like to win a heat," Young said. "He (Kymerson) should have won. I had priority and a good wave came though. It might have been hard for him to hear. I heard them say that I had priority and was going on that wave and he paddled behind me and got an interference. That interference cost him the heat. He's been ripping and it's a bummer, but he rips and I'm sure he's going to have a good future."
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am local time for a possible 7:30am start.
The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships holds a waiting period from January 8 through 16, 2011 and is webcast LIVE via http://www.billabongpro.com.
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The Billabong ASP World junior Championships fuelled by Monster Energy is made possible with the support of Sony, Volkswagon, VonZipper, Nixon, Australia's Surfing Life Magazine, Warringah Council and NSW Sport and Recreation.
Billabong Asp World Junior Championships Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 10.84 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 8.67
Heat 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 11.50 def. Dean Bowen (AUS) 12.33
Heat 3: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.66 def. Dean Bowen (AUS) 12.33
Heat 4: Charles Martin (GLP) 9.44 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 9.00
Heat 5: Dale Staples (ZAF) 12.00 def. Alex Smith (HAW) 6.23
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA) 11.84 def. Krystian Kymerson (BRA) 8.33
Heat 7: Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.73 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.67
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.44 def. Chad Du Toit (ZAF) 6.57
Upcoming Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Match Ups:
Heat 1: Kiron Jabour (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) vs. Charles Martin (GLP)
Heat 3: Dale Staples (ZAF) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 4: Mitch Crews (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
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