Laura Enever wins Billabong Pro Jr, Sally Fitzgibbons Crowned ASP Australasian Junior Champion
Teenage surfing sensation Sally Fitzgibbons has added Australia’s most prestigious U/20 surfing title to her impressive collection of crowns by claiming the 2007 ASP Australasian Junior title at Bells Beach. The pocket-rocket however was forced to settle for second place in the season-ending Billabong Pro Junior Series final after losing to emerging superstar Laura Enever.
Both light-weight surfers used big carving manoeuvres and vertical snaps on the 1.5 – 2 metre waves as they battled gale-force, off-shore winds at Bells Beach in the 30 minute final. The long-walling wave providing the perfect arena for the pair of 16 year-old wonders to utilise their full repertoire of manoeuvres in spite of the renowned Bells chill factor.
It was U/16’s national champion Enever’s competitive savvy and more critical snaps that gave her the edge on the day over current U/18’s national champion Fitzgibbons. Enever opened strongly on a set wave for a 6.83 – the highest wave score of the final – to never be headed. “My plan was to go out and have fun, catch the sets and surf my best and that paid off catching those sets,” said Enever.
“This is my first year on the junior tour and I have had three wins, so I’m happy to finish it off like this, it’s just awesome. We haven’t had that many good waves this year so to have Bells pumping with no-one out is just a cool thing to happen for me,” added Enever.
Fitzgibbons clinched the Australasian crown earlier in the day with her semi-final victory over her lone remaining title rival, no.2 ranked Airini Mason. Fitzgibbons opened the encounter quickly with a 5.83 to leave her opponent to play catch-up for the entire semi-final. Both surfers posted two wins a piece on the 2007 junior tour but the more consistent Fitzgibbons had a strong edge heading into the deciding event.
“I’m just stoked to get the series win,” said Fitzgibbons after the final. “It was great but tough conditions out there with those off-shore winds. Laura had a great final. It would have been nice to cap off the year with a win but it wasn’t to be. I was just stoked to make the final and get through that semi against Airini,” added Fitzgibbons.
Mason finished second on the ASP Australasian rankings and along with Fitzgibbons qualified for the two coveted berths in the Billabong ASP World Junior Championship at North Narrabeen in January. Mason also won back to back Billabong Pro Junior Series Title which comprises of six of the ten events on the 2007 ASP Australian junior tour.
All three junior surfers will re-meet in Sydney next week when they compete for the lone wildcard into the NAB Beachley Classic at Manly on Monday 8th October.
Billabong Pro Junior Series Girls Results
Laura Enever 12.16 pts def Sally Fitzgibbons 10.63 pts.
Sally Fitzgibbons (NSW) 9.30 pts def Airini Mason (NZ) 7.33 pts.
Laura Enever (NSW) 9.73 pts def Paige Hareb (NZ) 8.66 pts
ASP Australasian End of Year Junior Girls Ratings
1 Sally Fitzgibbons (Gerroa, NSW) 10325
2 Airini Mason (NZ) 9850
3 Laura Enever (Narrabeen, NSW) 9100
4 Jessie Hickson (Boomerang Beach, NSW) 8263
5 Kirby Wright (Culburra, NSW) 8015
6 Rebecca Oakley (Sunshine Beach, Qld) 7868
7 Kirstie Jones (Uludulla, NSW) 7190
8 Paige Hareb (NZ) 7023
9 Brittani Nicholls (Cabarita, NSW) 6803
10 Angela Keighran (Mullaway, NSW) 6576