The Billabong World Junior Championships on Australia's Gold Coast has got off to a great start as reigning ASP World Junior Champion, 19-year-old Jack Freestone, comfortably wins his Round 1 heat...
In clean 1.5 metre waves at the iconic point break of Burleigh Heads, Freestone dominated his clash against international rivals, Vasco Ribeiro from Brazil and Nathan Carvalho from Hawaii. Freestone unleashed a smooth repertoire of flashy manoeuvres to advance directly to Round 3 with a total two wave combined heat score of 15.57 points out of 20.
However, it wasn't all about Freestone on the opening day as another Jack managed to steal some of the limelight. At just 14 years of age, Australia's Jack Robinson is easily the youngest competitor in the Under-21 tournament but he showed nerves of steel and super-sonic talent to leap from third to first in the final 60 seconds of his heat.
Robinson pulled off an incredible full-rotation ‘alley-oop’ aerial manoeuvre to lock in an excellent score and secure his progression in the world’s most prestigious junior tournament ahead of number five (and much older) seed, Dale Staples and number-21 seed Caue Wood.
Current international ratings leader Ciao Ibelli was less fortunate with the Brazilian front-runner bundled into Round 2 by last-minute injury wild card replacement Matt Hewitt.
Hewitt received his place in the tournament following the late withdrawal of number-1 seed Davey Cathels with just 24 hours' notice.
Freestone, Ibelli’s fellow countryman Marco Fernandez and fourth-ranked Aussie Garrett Parkes are all in hot title contention and progressed with heat wins.
The Gold Coast Billabong World Junior Championships (which comes with a winner's prize value of $125,000) decides the men’s and women’s ASP World Junior Championship titles and stars the world’s top 45 male surfers and top 17 female surfers, plus event wildcards.
Check out some of the action from over the years in the video below...
Results Round 1 – Men’s
Heat 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.00, Chase Wilson (USA) 9.34, Deivid Silva (BRA) 8.66
Heat 2: Soli Bailey (AUS) 12.67, Arashi Kato (JPN) 8.93, Ryan Callinan (AUS) N/S
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.84, Evan Thompson (USA) 7.97, William Aliotti (FRA) 7.60
Heat 4: Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.90, Mateia Hiquily (PYF) 11.64, David Van Zyl (ZAF) 7.17
Heat 5: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 16.33, Mitchell Parkinson (AUS) 14.43, Kalani David (HAW) N/S
Heat 6: Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.33, Dale Staples (ZAF) 11.97, Caue Wood (BRA) 8.73
Heat 7: Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.57, Nathan Carvalho (HAW) 11.93, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 8.90
Heat 8: Matt-Lewis Hewitt (NZ) 13.24, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.16, Eli Steele (AUS) 9.94
Heat 9: Garrett Parkes (AUS) 15.27, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.83, Creed McTaggart (AUS) 8.74
Heat 10: Marco Fernandez (BRA) 12.83, Tim Macdonald (AUS) 8.27, Kaito Ohashi (JPN) 8.20
Heat 11: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 9.56, Kan Watanabe (JPN) 9.50, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 6.63
Heat 12: Beyrick De Vries (ZAF) 13.77, Lucas Silveira (BRA) 9.57, Dylan Lightfoot (ZAF) 8.16
Heat 13: Jake Halstead (HAW) 16.17, Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.84, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 9.77
Heat 14: Matt Banting (AUS) 15.50, Andrew Doheny (USA) 10.30, Dean Bowen (AUS) 9.63
Heat 15: Medi Veminardi (REU) 11.33, Keala Naihe (Haw) 8.87, Kaishu Tanaka (JAP) 7.74
Heat 16 Thomas Wood (AUS) 1st, Michael February (ZAF) 2nd Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 12.83