A Lucky Late Entrant Causes Upset at Billabong Junior Series
A lucky, late entry by junior surfer, Steve Simpson, saw the goofy-footer outpoint three of his fellow Gold Coast mates, in a stackedround two heat of the Billabong Junior Series at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.
The 18-year-old, finalist from last years event, was a reserve after he placed a late entry, due to money restrictions and was forced todo the dash from work after receiving a call that he had secured a berth in the opening day of the tournament.
The tough round two match-up, staged in cross-shore, sectioning 1 to 1.5 metre Burleigh Head point waves, saw the elimination of bothtop contender Luke Munro (Currumbin), exiting by a mere .09 and local Evan Morris in 4th. Kirra’s Joel Pitchers scraped through in secondplace. All four contenders struggled with the double-up, close out section at the end of the rides.
“I had no idea who I was up against, until I got to the beach and then I saw it was three of my mates and all great surfers,” said arelieved Simpson after the heat. “We all had a bit of a nervous start out there and when I heard I had the lead with ten minutes remaining, Ijust wanted to hang onto it.”
“Luke was surfing unreal, so it was bad luck for him. I had spent all my money travelling to Victoria and Avoca for the other juniorcontests and I managed to scrounge the money together from my Mum at the last minute.”
Simpson took the lead midway with the highest wave score of the heat – a 7 point ride – to win from Pitchers by over four points.Final scores out of a possible 30, were Simpson 18.25, Pitchers 14.05, Munro 13.96 and Morris 11.46. Last weekends, Avoca Beach Billabong Junior Series finalist Zahn Foxton (Collaroy) also advanced into round 3 with a heat win along withsecond place getter Jarrod Sullivan (Suffolk Park).
Also through to Friday’s round three action are Steve Noble (Victoria), Jai Boyce (Tweed Heads), Mark Wigley (Bundeena), Joel Reading(Taree), Jesse Willlians (Angourie), Kenny Hill (Mudjimba), Jason Duffy (Mandurah, WA), Morgan Dittman (Alex Headland), Scott Jardine-Hargraves(Perth), Mitch O’Grady (Scotts Head) and BJ Winiata (Maroochydore).
Top seeded surfers included no.1 rated Adrian Buchan (Central Coast) and Jock Barnes (Lennox Head) will enter the competition on Fridayafternoon. Organisers are hopeful to stage day two of the four day event once again at the preferred venue of Burleigh Heads.