Running concurrently with the ASP 6-Star Prime O’Neill Cold Water Classic, Northern California’s premiere professional surfing event since 1987, many strong young surfers will have the chance to compete in both events at the same time, a few of which have just returned from the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Final in Bali earlier this month.
High on that list of contenders is 2007 Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships Champion and 2008 O’Neill Cold Water Classic Champion Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA) who just finished equal ninth at the Global Challenge after losing a man-on-man battle against Global Challenge Champion Sam Wrench in their Round 3 heat. In addition to being considered a favorite for his hometown knowledge of the break, Young is also on the hunt for ratings points as he currently sits in third in the ASP North America Pro Junior ranks.
2008 World Junior Champion and 2009 Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge USA Qualifier winner Kai Barger (HAW), who just finished third in the Global Challenge Final, will be looking to snag another major win and secure a spot into the 2009 ASP World Junior Championships to defend his title for the last time before aging out of the category next year.
Alejo Muniz (BRA), Granger Larsen (HAW) and current ASP North America Pro Junior points leader Dillon Perillo (Malibu, CA), who all also competed in Bali with an equal third, equal fifth and equal 17th place finish respectively, will add to the mix of dynamic young talent ready to conquer the tricky point break, along with other ASP North America Pro Junior top 10ers Cory Arrambide (Ventura, CA), Andrew Doheny (Newport Beach, CA), Evan Thompson (Jacksonville, FLA), Philip Goold (Virginia Beach, VA), Cody Thompson (Jacksonville, FLA) and Kolohe Andino (HAW).
The Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships will take place during the O’Neill Cold Water Classic’s holding period of Nov. 2-8 at Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, California and will have a $15,000 prize purse. As the last ASP Grade-3 Pro Junior event of the season, the results can have a major impact on the final standings of North American juniors looking to earn enough points to go to the ASP World Junior Championships.
As the final event of the season and the first year that the ASP North America and ASP Hawaii have combined regional ratings for the Pro Junior division, the competition is likely to get heated.
Past champions of the Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships include: Mason Ho (HAW) in 2008, Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA) in 2007 and Dion Atkinson (AUS) in 2006. Ho and Atkinson will both compete in the O’Neill Cold Water Classic this year and Young will compete in both.
For more information, visit oakleyprojunior.com .
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