2006 Billabong World Junior Championships: Round 1

The world's top 48 junior surfers were in scintillating form on day one of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships as Sydney hit boiling point with 40 degree (Celsius) temperatures and scorching off-shore, north-west winds that created excellent 1.5 metre waves at North Narrabeen.

Top seeded internationals dominated the opening round of the world's premier junior contest with outstanding performances coming from South Africa's Jordy Smith along with talented Brazilian pair Jean da Silva and reigning world junior champion Pablo Paulino. All three advancing directly through to round 3 of competition with opening heat wins.

A disappointing day for the Australian contenders with NSW Central Coast teenager Matt Wilkinson (Copcabana) the only Aussie through to round three with a opening heat win – see par at page end. All other seven Australians were relegated into the sudden death round two heats with opening heat losses.

17 year-old Smith set the pace in his 30 minute heat despite suffering a neck-wrenching, free-surfing accident in yesterday's afternoon smaller conditions at North Narrabeen. The long touted Durban surfer who shares the same birthday as 7 times world champion Kelly Slater dominated from his opening ride – an 8.33 – and then shut the gate with another high scoring 8.17 wave score. His two opponents, fellow South African Brandon Jackson and Australia's Rhys Bombaci (Kiama Downs, NSW) were left requiring a two wave scoring combination and relegated into the sudden death round two heats.

Da Silva once again served notice that the Brazilians will be the surfers to beat, using smart tactics and fluid small wave surfing skills to post one of the days top heat scores of 16.67 out of a possible 20. The 20 year-old who finished fifth in the 2004 Billabong World Junior Championships is hopeful of making it three in a row for Brazil.

Current world junior champion and no.1 seed Pablo Paulino of Brazil signaled his intentions of back to back title wins with a strong victory over South Africa's Keegan Nel and VZ wildcard surfer Jean Esteinne of France. 18 year-old Paulino overcame a slow start to finish a clear four points ahead of his nearest rival, Nel and secure his round three berth in the

Sensational teenage surfer Matt Wilkinson (Copacabana, Central Coast, NSW) caused a meltdown in the Aussie ranks when he relegated Australia's top seeded surfer Ben Dunn (Old Bar, NSW) and fellow ASP World Junior title hopeful Mitch Coleborn (Sunshine Coast ) into the sudden-death round two heats. In the tough All-Aussie round one, match-up the 17 year-old dominated his older opponents to earn a direct berth through to round three with a stunning performance.

Australians relegated into the sudden death round two heats with opening round losses were the Gold Coasts Dion Agius (Age-e-uss), Blake Thornton (Maroubra), Beau Walker (Gold Coast), Rhys Bombaci (Kiama Downs, NSW) and Wade Goodall (Sunshine Coast).

Contest Director Luke Egan will access conditions at North Narrabeen tomorrow morning at 7.30am (AEDT). There is a possibility that the inaugural Billabong Girls ASP World Junior Championships will commence competition on Monday morning.

The Billabong World Junior Championships at Narrabeen are supported by Panasonic, Vodafone, Coca-Cola, Clearasil, UV Triplegard, Kustom, Von Zipper, Waves, 2Day FM, Warringah Shire Council and the Association of Surfing Professionals.

ROUND 1 RESULTS:Heat # 1: 1 – Kekoa Bacalso, 2 – Dion Agius, 3 – Romain Lauhle
Heat # 2: 1 – Matt Wilkenson, 2 – Ben Dunn, 3 – Mitchell Coleborn
Heat # 3: 1 – Kai Barger, 2 – Damien Fahrenfort, 3 – {{{Sterling}}} Spencer
Heat # 4: 1 – Jordy Smith, 2 – Brandon Jackson, 3 – Rhys Bombaci
Heat # 5: 1 – Jean de Silva, 2 – Gonzalo Zubizareta, 3 – Giancarlo Zampieri
Heat # 6: 1 – Alex Gray, 2 – Hermes Tomas, 3 – TJ Barron
Heat # 7: 1 – Aritz Aranburu, 2 – Bobby Hansen, 3 – Brian Toth
Heat # 8: 1 – Pablo Paulino, 2 – Keegan Nel, 3 – Jean Esteinne
Heat # 9: 1 – Dustin Cuizon, 2 – Blake Thornton, 3 – Brandon Roberts
Heat #10: 1 – Shaun Payne, 2 – Beau Walker, 3 – Taumata Puhetini
Heat #11: 1 – Michel Bourez, 2 – Joan Duru, 3 – Wade Goodall
Heat #12: 1 – Eduardo Rolins, 2 – Granger Larson, 3 – Hideyoshi Tanaka
Heat #13: 1 – Tiago Camarao, 2 – Masato Nakano, 3 – Tatsuya Fukugawa
Heat #14: 1 – Laurie Towner, 2 – Leandro Bastos, 3 – Yujiro Tsuji
Heat #15: 1 – Jeremy Flores, 2 – Josh Redman, 3 – Hidetoshi Kirizume
Heat #16: 1 – Hank Gaskell, 2 – Tanner Gudauskas, 3 – Eric Geiselman