Junior surfers battle for top title

Rivalries will be reignited as Queensland’s best junior surfers square off for supremacy on the Sunshine Coast this weekend, when they take part in the final event of the 2009 Arnette Queensland Junior Surfing Titles.

The third and final event of the revered series will see the state’s best junior surfers compete across four divisions (U/18 and U/16 boys and girls) for a prestigious state title along with selection in Queensland’s esteemed Junior Surfing Team.

The two-day event is swarming with Queensland’s next wave of future world surfing super-stars.

Series winners will join an elite group of Queensland surfers that have previously won state junior titles, including 2007 World Champion Mick Fanning (Coolangatta), current World no.1 Joel Parkinson (Coolangatta) and perennial ASP World Tour competitors Bede Durbidge (Currumbin) and Dean Morrison (Coolangatta).

Contest director and Surfing Queensland’s event manager Scott Gillies likened the build-up to the event to a grand final week in the football codes.

“In terms of media attention and pressure to perform, the build-up and actual competition is not too dissimilar to a Queensland Junior Rugby League or AFL grand-final,” Gillies said.

“These kids have media and sponsorship commitments to go along with trying to prepare for arguably the biggest surfing event of their career, so it’s no easy feat.”

In the U/18 girls division, the score will finally be settled between traditional Gold and Sunshine Coast rivals Naomi Stevic (Castaways Beach) and Amiya Doyle (Coolangatta).

With only 10 ratings points separating Stevic (first) from Doyle (second), and with 1000 ratings points available for the first place finisher at this weekend’s event, both girls will be aware that the competitor who places higher will ultimately be crowned state champion.

Not to be outdone, only 10 ratings points separate the top three competitors in the U/16 girls division, which has arguably been the most fiercely contested division of the 2009 series.

A three-way shootout looms between U/16 girls division leaders – Eden Putland (Currumbin), Sophie Callister (Noosaville) and Brodie Doyle (Coolangatta), who currently sit first, second and third respectively. Again, this weekend’s results will decide who walks away with state crown.

After U/16 boys series leader Noa Deane (Coolangatta) suffered an upset loss at the previous series event on North Stradbroke Island, he’ll undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on ever-present rivals – Eli Steele (Shelly Beach), Harry Wheeler (Coolangatta) and Harry Bryant (Sunshine Beach) who sit second, third and fourth respectively in the ratings as all four boys remain poised to make a final charge towards a state title.

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