Fredricks fires on WA's waves
CABARITA young gun Regen Fredricks took out his first major junior surfing title at the Billabong Taj's Small Fries in Western Australia on the weekend. Surfing 500m north of the event's original location of Yallingup Beach in Southern Western Australia, the 15-year-old shot into the limelight in the under 16s final, defeating Matt Banting (NSW), Nathan Kikiros (WA) and Coolangatta's Jack Freestone in near-perfect one-metre waves at Shallows Beach. "That sure was a good win," glowed Fredricks after his heat. "It was intense out there and I was lucky to get a good one from the%very start." "I managed to hang onto the lead the whole time and I was lucky to get the scores." Despite being as far away from his home break of Cabarita point as he could possibly be, Fredricks still managed to use a small amount of local knowledge to get the upper hand in the final. "I surfed this spot a few days before the contest and I've been surfing here between heats, so it was good to come back to my practice ground and take it out." The icing on the cake for Fredricks was receiving praise from ASP world No.2 Taj Burrow as he made his way up the beach. "It was amazing to come in from my heat and have Taj congratulate me and say 'you did a very good job". "I loved it, it felt so good," Fredrick said. Coolangatta's Mitch Parkinson looked to be the one to beat in the under 14s going into the final day%after a classy eight-pointer in his quarter-final, but the young Cooly Kid went down in the final to 13-year-old surfing whiz-kid Matt%Banting. After finishing runner-up to Fred- ricks in the under 16s, Banting took out the under 14s, knocking over Parkinson with two very im-%pressive eight-point plus rides in the final. The calibre of the junior surfing was good enough to cause even the events namesake, Taj Burrow, to be wary of some of the older, more explosive small fries. "I've been watching these kids surf for the last three years, and it's amazing to see how they've all progressed," Burrow said. "They surf unbelievably well and there were definitely a couple of guys I wouldn't want to surf against in these smaller conditions."