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Aussie surfers claim main event wildcards Print E-mail
Friday, 20 January 2012 12:54

 

Three Australians, Wade Carmichael (Avoca, NSW), Eli Steele (Caloundra, Qld) and Tim MacDonald (Stradbroke Island, Qld) have trumped an international field of 16 surfers vying for the final three wildcard spots into the main event of the world’s most prestigious junior tournament, the Billabong World Junior Championships, Gold Coast.

 

VonZipper Trials 2012 

VonZipper Trials finalists. Left to Right: 1st Wade Carmichael, 4th Kelly Norris, 2nd Eli Steele, 3rd Tim MacDonald. Credit: Dunbar/ASP.

 

To earn their spots the surfers progressed through three rounds in the VonZipper Trials, held in glassy, very contestable one-metre waves at iconic Burleigh Heads. They eliminated surfers from Peru, Tahiti, New Zealand, Japan and Brazil.


The trio will now be seeded direct into main event Round 1 draw that could commence as early as tomorrow. “All last year I was trying to make top five in the Australian series to qualify for this event, but I didn’t get there – now I’ve got my chance by winning the trials, so I’m pretty happy. It’s the biggest junior event you can be in and it’s a first for me,” said Carmichael.


Second-placed Caloundra surfer, Eli Steele is still just 16 years of age. His runner-up placing is an indication of a promising junior career ahead.


“This is the biggest junior event of my life, I guess I’ll get a hard heat against one of the top seeds so it’s going to be a challenge,” said Steele. The $125,000 Billabong World Junior Championships, Gold Coast decides the men’s and women’s ASP World Junior Championship titles and in addition to the wildcards, stars the world’s top-rated 45 male surfers and top 17 rated female surfers.


Gold Coast teenager, Mitch Parkinson (16 yrs, cousin to men’s world number 2, Joel Parkinson) and Brazilian Peterson Crisanto (BRA) have been awarded the other sponsors wildcards into the men’s main event. Ellie Jean-Coffey (Gold Coast, Qld) has been granted the women’s main event wildcard. Complete draws can be found at: http://billabongpro.com/wjc11/results-gb/

 


The event has a nine-day waiting period running until Jan 29th, with just six days of competition required to determine winners. Every heat from the Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast will be webcast live via www.billabongpro.com The Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast is brought to you by Monster Energy Drink, Sony, Events QLD, Sony Ericsson, VonZipper, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, ASL magazine and Burleigh Boardriders.


The Billabong World Junior Championships Gold Coast is supported by the Queensland Government, through Events Queensland.


VonZipper Trials Burleigh Heads, Jan 20 2012 Final results (1st to 3rd receive wildcards into main event of Billabong World Junior Championships, Gold Coast)

1st Wade Carmichael (Avoca, NSW) 14.75pts

2nd Eli Steele (Caloundra, Qld) 12.60pts

3rd Tim MacDonald (Stradbroke Island, Qld) 12.10pts

4th Kelly Norris (Coolum, Qld) 7.00pts

 

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