Legendary Laurie wins again
YAMBA'S Laurie Towner has capped off a brilliant start to the year by winning his second pro junior event of the year, the Billabong Pro Teens in New Zealand.
The week before the quietly spoken and cool headed 19-year-old kid, who grew up surfing the famous Angourie Point, was paddling into a 15ft Tasmanian Shipstern Bluff monster earning Towner a nomination for the Billabong big wave awards.
While Joel Parkinson and Andy Irons were being towed-in by Jet Ski assist, Laurie started to paddle for one of the bigger waves. Urged on by AI (Andy Irons), he successfully negotiated the stairwell steps, running down the face of the inside out, top to bottom, below sea level super suck section and survived!
Towner has been one of the best juniors to come out of Yamba and has been competing since gromhood. He surfs with former pro Navrin Fox and the local boys like Dan Ross who are constantly pushing themselves to the limits.
Laurie's 'midas touch' began in the late Hawaiian season with a super session at 'Off the Wall' when he drove through a triple keg tunnel in viewing distance from the Billabong team rider's house.
Both Parko and Irons witnessed Towner's epic tube ride which was called the best of the season.
Four months later, with two pro junior wins and big wave award nomination, Towner is back on top of the ASP Australasia pro junior ratings.
"It's been a week of highs. Good waves at Shipsterns and I won the contest, I couldn't be happier! Hopefully I can stay where I am and would be happy to finish in the top 5 or 10. I want to keep the momentum going," he said.
Latest ASP Australasia pro junior ratings after NZ rounds. 1. L.Towner Yamba, NSW; 2. M.Coleborn, Maroochydore, QLD; 3. O.Wright, Culburra, NSW; 4. J.Wilson, Coolum, QLD; 5. M.Wilkinson, Cocacabana, NSW; 6. D.Atkinson, Seaforth, SA; 7. N.Riley, Manly, NSW; 8. W.Goodall, Caloundra, QLD; 9. J.Wood, Lennox Head, NSW, and 10. T.Rudd Avalon, NSW.
North End's Adam Bennets scored the best maneuver (a pop shovit) at the NZ Billabong Pro Teens winning $1000 and Chippa Wilson, of Cabarita, considered one of the most futuristic surfers on the junior circuit, won the Panasonic expression session with a flawless 'passion pop' earning him a new digital video camera.
Tugun's Airini Mason, formerly of Gisbourne, NZ, came second to WA's Jamie Wheatley on the ASP Australasia junior women ratings.
The next Billabong Pro teens round will be on March 29 at Newcastle for the Wild Surf Co, the week before the 4-star open mens WQS Vodaphone at Newcastle City beach. The first round of the Print Point Masters will be held this Sundayon the Gold Coast. It's the first of four events hosted by Surfing Queensland which offers cash and prizes. The age categories are over 28, 35, 40, 45, and 50.
Call SQ on 55201150 or for the event location, call 0428743113.