The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 1-Star Fins Pro Junior was called ON today, in contestable 2-3 ft. windblown surf, on the shores of Belmar, New Jersey. Both Round 1 and Round 2 were completed in their entirety, setting the stage for the Quarterfinals, which are set to take place on Saturday. With this contest being the last Junior Series event on the ASP North America schedule, competitors are battling for one last result to solidify their year-end ranking. The ASP North America Junior Series winner will be crowned here in New Jersey, and the spots into the ASP World Junior Championships in Portugal will also be decided.
With such high stakes and so much on the line, competitors came ready to perform on Day 1. One surfer that showed he is looking to finish the year strong was Noah Schweizer (USA), who took home both the day's highest single wave score (9.67) and the highest heat total (16.67). Schweizer took to the air on a left and landed a big backside air reverse to earn his near-perfect score.
â€œI just lucked in to that sick wedge, it had a good ramp and I went for it because the wind is blowing into the lefts. I kept trying airs and falling on them and then I landed that one, which was the best one by far.â€ Explained Noah, â€œI'm trying not to think about points or anything and just surf. Whenever I don't think about it I always seem to do better.â€
Currently, Schweizer sits in qualifying position for the World Junior Championships, so a solid result here in Belmar could ensure his spot into this year's event. With all of his focus on attaining this one last result, the young Floridian is one to watch in the coming rounds.
Another one of the day's top performers was Nic Hdez (USA), who won both his Round 1 and Round 2 heats. The Santa Cruz native pocketed today's second highest two-wave total at 15.10 points, earning an impressive 7.93 on one of his waves. Hdez is also looking for one last result to add to his 2014 campaign where he currently sits in the 7th spot on the North America Junior rankings.
â€œI was super stoked to come back here to Belmar. This was one of the first ever Junior events I did as a kid, and there always seems to be waves.â€ Hdez said, â€œIt's the last stop on the North America series so I'm looking to maybe get one last result here to qualify for Worlds. I haven't looked at the specifics of what I need to qualify, but lately I've just been trying to have fun with things and it seems to be transferring into my heats.â€
Cam Richards (USA) also took home two heat wins today and has moved in to the top spot on the series rankings, for the time being. The East Coast goofy-footer is looking on fire going into this last Junior event, and will be moving on to the World Junior Championships with a lot of confidence.
â€œThe waves were super fun today and my boards felt good in these conditions. I'm psyched to be qualified for worlds and hopefully I can get a win here in Belmar, but I'm just here to surf and have a good time,â€ said Cam. â€œThis is where I made my first Junior Pro final so it's definitely cool to be back competing here.â€
The ASP 1-Star Pacifico Belmar Pro will kick off Friday, September 12.
The ASP Pacifico Belmar Pro and Fins Pro Junior are set to run from Thursday, September 11th to Sunday, September 14th.