Billabong World Junior Championships – Pedro Henrique Wins

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Makaha, Hawaii (Tuesday, Nov 7, 2000). Brazilian Pedro Henrique today claimed his country’s first ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) crown when he won the Billabong Junior World Championship final at Makaha, on the west side of Oahu. The relatively unknown surfer overcame an extremely talented field of competitors throughout the tournament and eventually defeated Tiago Pires (Port), Jamie O’Brien (Haw), and James Noble (Aus), respectively, for ultimate victory.

[IMAGE 1] Henrique, 18, who hails from Saquarema (just outside of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil), used his low-centered stance to full effect during the 35-minute final. The goofy-foot attacked the notoriously bumpy waves of Makaha with total control, undisturbed as constant backwash plagued the 4-5 foot (1.5m) right-handers. Some of his opponents, on the other hand, struggled, and Noble even had to be carried out of the water as he sprained his ankle during the last minute trying to deal with the testing conditions.

The final was not completely one-sided, however. While both O’Brien and Noble failed to find winning rhythm, Pires, another Portuguese speaker, actually dominated the start and posted the highest single wave score of the clash – 8.0 out-of-a possible 10-points. The Brazilian never let up, though, and continued to earn high scores, finishing with his best ride of 7.25-points right at the end to leave Pires needing another 6.01-score.

[IMAGE 2] “I’m very happy to have beaten the best juniors in the world,” said Henrique, surrounded by Brazilian friends and fellow competitors on the shoreline. “It was a tough competition and my first time to Hawaii. I’m very, very happy.

“I started with three fast waves to put myself on the (score) board,” he explained. “Then I went to the outside and tried to improve my scores. I was tired from surfing all the other heats (three previous ones), but I found some energy and kept going ’til the end. This is the biggest contest I have ever won. I’m going to keep training hard so I can keep getting results and make it onto the WQS (World Qualifying Series) and qualify (for the WCT).”

Pires, 20, put on a very impressive performance throughout the final and was unlucky not to find more waves toward the end. Still, as a wildcard into the event thanks to sponsor Billabong, he was happy, nonetheless, with his result.

“I couldn’t find a wave at the end, or hear the scores, so I was a bit lost

during the final,” said Pires afterward. “I knew I needed a good score as I only had one good wave. The main thing was that I let the time go by.

“When you’re that close to winning you’re not so happy, but second is still a good result,” he reasoned. “I felt good in my surfing, so that’s OK. This is a good event with a lot of prestige, so it gives me confidence.”

O’Brien, 17, was the sole Hawaiian out-of-13 who contested the tournament to survive all rounds en-route to the final. His patented forehand snap was throwing spray all day long and took him one step closer to this year’s title. In 1999 he finished equal fifth in the championships on Maui, and with two years still left in the juniors, his time may be to come.

“I’m really stoked to have made the final,” said O’Brien. “This is one of the biggest contests I have ever made it to the final, so it’s a real good push for me and all the other guys who were in there. I started off slow and really couldn’t find anything to pull it all together. I ended up catching a couple of mid-range waves. It wasn’t what I wanted, but I’m stoked to have been in the final with everybody. Last year I made the semifinals and got equal fifth at Honolua Bay, so I’m stoked to be doing well in it now with some years ahead of me.”

Noble, 19, looked set for a great final after his exceptional showing during the semis, where he eliminated defending Billabong junior world champion Joel Parkinson (Aus). Once the grand finale started, however, he remained out-of-position for the most part, and when he did finally catch a good wave, made mistakes and fell. On his last ride he then tried an aerial as the oncoming backwash bounced the wave, resulting in a sprained ankle and further disappointment for the talented young surfer.

“During the final I was right out the back and no waves came,” said Noble, as he lay on his back with an ice pack strapped around his inflamed ankle. “One wave came that I just missed, and it would have been a good one. I waited out there a bit more and finally found one, but fell off on my second turn. I was pretty bummed and lost most of my confidence by that stage.

“On my last wave I did a few cutties (cutback maneuvers) and then thought I’d do an aerial off the backwash,” he went on to explain. “I launched and thought I could pull it off, but I landed on my board and my foot sort of fell forward and sprained my ankle. It really hurt a lot.

“I’ve had a good time surfing here though,” he added. “I had a really good heat in the semis, so I was really happy and stoked to just make the final.”

Parkinson, also 19, was the definite favorite leading into this year’s event once Billabong announced his wildcard position. Last year’s victory and his historic win as a wildcard in the Billabong/MSF Pro (SAfr) during 1999 preceding him. While his surfing was still in-form today, and most suspected a repeat result, he failed to find the right waves during the semifinals and had to settle for equal fifth.

“Everything went wrong in that heat then,” explained the defending champ. “This morning was only my second time I’d surfed Makaha ever, during my heat, and I just went out there and hoped the waves would come. I didn’t know where to sit or anything. Then in that heat the other guys just seemed to be so much more amped than I was, and it paid off for them.

“I was just trying to have fun with this whole event,” he said. “I only heard I was going to be competing three weeks before I came, so I really hadn’t focused on it. I didn’t want to distract from my WQS focus, so I just had fun and am happy to get this far and surf Makaha. I would have liked to win, but it kind of felt weird being in it. This is my last year

as a junior, so I feel like I’m all grown up now (laughs).”

Hawaiian Fred Patacchia also placed equal fifth today. Having posted the highest tally of the event during his quarterfinal match this morning – 22.75 out-of-a possible 30-points – he appeared certain of a finals berth. Confusion over the start of his semifinal, however, with sound and visibility being a problem for surfers in the lineup, may have contributed to the poor start he suffered, and possibly even the earlier-than-expected loss.

[IMAGE 3] More information is available on www.aspworldtour.com.

Official Results of the Billabong Junior World Championships Final Day

1st Pedro Henrique (Brz) 21.00 – US$7,000
2nd Tiago Pires (Port) 19.65 – US$3,500
3rd Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 13.10 – US$2,500
4th James Noble (Aus) 10.25 – US$2,200

Semifinals (3rd=equal 5th=US$1,600; 4th=equal 7th=US$1,300)
SF1: Tiago Pires (Port) 18.05; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 17.75; Fred Patacchia (Haw) 16.65; Marcio Farney (Brz)

SF2: James Noble (Aus) 17.25; Pedro Henrique (Brz) 13.90; Joel Parkinson (Aus) 12.15; Tim Reyes (USA) 10.70

Quarterfinals (3rd=equal 9th=US$900; equal 4th=13th
QF1: Fred Patacchia (Haw) 22.75; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 18.55; Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 15.30; Charlie Carrol (Haw) 12.90

QF2: Tiago Pires (Port) 19.40; Marcio Farney (Brz) 15.35; Mike Losness (USA) 13.85; Joel Centeio (Haw) 13.35

QF3: James Noble (Aus) 16.05; Pedro Henrique (Brz) 15.25; Jason Shibata (Haw) 14.75; Craig Wilson (Haw) 10.60

QF4: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 15.50; Tim Reyes (USA) 13.00; Dustin Cuizon (Haw) 12.80; Brian Conley (USA) 12.10


Round 3 (3rd=equal 17th=US$700; 4th=equal 25th=$600)
Heat 1: Fred Patacchia (Haw) 16.40; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 10.40; Bruno Santos (Brz) 9.05; Daniel Jones (Haw) 7.50
2: Charlie Carrol (Haw) 18.15; Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 17.05; Gabe Kling (USA) 12.60; Daniel Hardman (Brz) 11.00
3: Mike Losness (USA) 19.25; Tiago Pires (Port) 19.00; Shane Magnusson (Haw) 13.40; Pabloo settle for equal fifth.

“Everything went wrong in that heat then,” explained the defending champ. “This morning was only my second time I’d surfed Makaha ever, during my heat, and I just went out there and hoped the waves would come. I didn’t know where to sit or anything. Then in that heat the other guys just seemed to be so much more amped than I was, and it paid off for them.

“I was just trying to have fun with this whole event,” he said. “I only heard I was going to be competing three weeks before I came, so I really hadn’t focused on it. I didn’t want to distract from my WQS focus, so I just had fun and am happy to get this far and surf Makaha. I would have liked to win, but it kind of felt weird being in it. This is my last year

as a junior, so I feel like I’m all grown up now (laughs).”

Hawaiian Fred Patacchia also placed equal fifth today. Having posted the highest tally of the event during his quarterfinal match this morning – 22.75 out-of-a possible 30-points – he appeared certain of a finals berth. Confusion over the start of his semifinal, however, with sound and visibility being a problem for surfers in the lineup, may have contributed to the poor start he suffered, and possibly even the earlier-than-expected loss.

[IMAGE 3] More information is available on www.aspworldtour.com.

Official Results of the Billabong Junior World Championships Final Day

1st Pedro Henrique (Brz) 21.00 – US$7,000
2nd Tiago Pires (Port) 19.65 – US$3,500
3rd Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 13.10 – US$2,500
4th James Noble (Aus) 10.25 – US$2,200

Semifinals (3rd=equal 5th=US$1,600; 4th=equal 7th=US$1,300)
SF1: Tiago Pires (Port) 18.05; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 17.75; Fred Patacchia (Haw) 16.65; Marcio Farney (Brz)

SF2: James Noble (Aus) 17.25; Pedro Henrique (Brz) 13.90; Joel Parkinson (Aus) 12.15; Tim Reyes (USA) 10.70

Quarterfinals (3rd=equal 9th=US$900; equal 4th=13th
QF1: Fred Patacchia (Haw) 22.75; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 18.55; Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 15.30; Charlie Carrol (Haw) 12.90

QF2: Tiago Pires (Port) 19.40; Marcio Farney (Brz) 15.35; Mike Losness (USA) 13.85; Joel Centeio (Haw) 13.35

QF3: James Noble (Aus) 16.05; Pedro Henrique (Brz) 15.25; Jason Shibata (Haw) 14.75; Craig Wilson (Haw) 10.60

QF4: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 15.50; Tim Reyes (USA) 13.00; Dustin Cuizon (Haw) 12.80; Brian Conley (USA) 12.10


Round 3 (3rd=equal 17th=US$700; 4th=equal 25th=$600)
Heat 1: Fred Patacchia (Haw) 16.40; Jamie O’Brien (Haw) 10.40; Bruno Santos (Brz) 9.05; Daniel Jones (Haw) 7.50
2: Charlie Carrol (Haw) 18.15; Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 17.05; Gabe Kling (USA) 12.60; Daniel Hardman (Brz) 11.00
3: Mike Losness (USA) 19.25; Tiago Pires (Port) 19.00; Shane Magnusson (Haw) 13.40; Pablo Gutierrez (Spn) 11.35
4: Marcio Farney (Brz) 18.00; Joel Centeio (Haw) 17.25; Matt Thompson (Aus) 17.10; Brad Mommsen (SAfr) 12.15
5: James Noble (Aus) 17.75; Craig Wilson (Haw) 15.60; Diego Rosa (Brz) 14.65; Micah Bryne (USA) 12.80
6: Jason Shibata (Haw) 21.15; Pedro Henrique (Brz) 20.50; Jock Barnes (Aus) 11.20; David Weare (SAfr) 10.15
7: Dustin Cuizon (Haw) 16.00; Brian Conley (USA) 12.05; Mitchell Ross (Aus) 11.75; Paul Evans (Aus) 11.00
8: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 16.05; Tim Reyes (USA) 15.15; Robbie Schofield (SAfr) 15.10; Peter Nicholson (SAfr) 12.50ablo Gutierrez (Spn) 11.35
4: Marcio Farney (Brz) 18.00; Joel Centeio (Haw) 17.25; Matt Thompson (Aus) 17.10; Brad Mommsen (SAfr) 12.15
5: James Noble (Aus) 17.75; Craig Wilson (Haw) 15.60; Diego Rosa (Brz) 14.65; Micah Bryne (USA) 12.80
6: Jason Shibata (Haw) 21.15; Pedro Henrique (Brz) 20.50; Jock Barnes (Aus) 11.20; David Weare (SAfr) 10.15
7: Dustin Cuizon (Haw) 16.00; Brian Conley (USA) 12.05; Mitchell Ross (Aus) 11.75; Paul Evans (Aus) 11.00
8: Joel Parkinson (Aus) 16.05; Tim Reyes (USA) 15.15; Robbie Schofield (SAfr) 15.10; Peter Nicholson (SAfr) 12.50