AVATORUA, Rangiroa / French Polynesia (Tuesday April 5, 2011) - Garrett Parkes (Byron Bay, NSW, Australia) 17, secured the first ASP Pro Junior victory of his career taking down former World Junior Champion Dean Bowen (South Coast, NSW, Australia) in the final of the ASP 5 Star TNS Rangiroa Pro Junior in French Polynesia today.
A standout from start to finish Parkes maintained his exceptional form to reach the Final defeating Bowen by 14.00 (out of 20.00) points to 11.64.
“I’m over the moon, it’s the biggest weight of my back,” Parkes said after his victory. “I’ve been trying to win one of these for years and I was getting worried as there’s only a few events left and I wanted to win one before my junior career is over.”
Waiting patiently for the open-faced set waves, Parkes set the tone with a series of front side re-entries, completed with a tail waft maneuver to take an early heat lead for his solid 6.75 score (out of 10.)
“My strategy was just to go out there and get a couple early and then just ‘build a house’ and try and keep bettering my scores.”
While Bowen’s powerful backhand surfing kept the New South Welshman in contention, Parkes’ innovative top-to-bottom surfing and critical floater maneuver earned him a 7.25 to seal his inaugural pro junior victory.
“Dean rips, I’ve grown up surfing against him and we’ve had heats and finals against each other throughout our whole career so I couldn’t imagine anyone better to surf against out there,” Parkes continued.
Pocketing US$5000 for first place, not to mention a hefty 2000 ASP ratings points, Parkes moves one step closer to being in contention for this year’s ASP Australasia Pro Junior title.
“Hopefully it will put me in a good position to qualify for the Worlds (ASP World Junior Championships) and with the points remaining hopefully I can catch up on the whole series.”
Bowen’s steady rise to the final earned him US$2500 in prize-money as well as 1500 ratings points.
“Obviously it was disappointing not to go all the way today but I’m stoked for Garrett and I had fun surfing Avaturoa with only two guys out,” Bowen said.
The Woods brothers James and Thomas of Tugan on the Gold Coast split equal third place, reaching the semifinals where they were stopped in their tracks.
Thomas, the younger of the two brothers, fought tooth and nail against Bowen in semifinal two, the pair of surfers exchanging waves and scores. Bowen narrowly edged out Woods on 13.75 to Woods’s 13.00.
James meanwhile showed some winning promise during the early stages of his semifinal clash against Parkes. While Parkes opened up with a powerful 7.00 ride, Woods picked off two-opened faced walls to score a pair of 5.75 scores for a momentary lead. Parkes was quick to answer back blasting across his final wave of the heat to earn a 5.90 and charge on into the final.
The official waiting period finishes tomorrow and will see an expression session held at 10H00 followed by the awards ceremony.
For full results, photos and more visit aspaustralasia.com/live/asp/tahiti/results.php.