Nick surf?s next big thing
COOLANGATTA'S Nick Vasicek has followed in the footsteps of world title contenders Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning by taking out the main prize at the Australian Grommet Titles in Tasmania yesterday.
Vasicek was crowned Australian champion yesterday after dominating the final of the elite under-18 division at Tasmania's Roaring Beach.
"From the start of the year my aim was to make the Aussie titles," Vasicek said.
"I've never made it before but heaps of guys from Coolangatta, like Joel and Mick, have won it before so it's such a great honour."
Vasicek's heroics have earned him a berth on the Australian team to compete at the World Junior Championships to be held in Brazil next year.
Vasicek was the standout in yesterday's final, starring in the half-metre beachbreaks to score a comfortable win ahead of Sydney's Caleb Reid.
"I've been practising heaps in small waves and it all came together today," Vasicek said.
The powerful goofy-footer scored two solid waves to finish with 16.44 (out of a possible 20 points), well clear of Reid (14.06) with Carl Wright (10.87) third ahead of fellow Victorian Josh Johnson-Baxter (9.6).
In the under-16 division, Cabarita's Brent Savage missed out on his shot at the title after being knocked out in the semi-finals.
Koala Beach teenager Brittani Nicholl also fell just short in her title bid, bowing out in the semi-finals of the girls' under-16 division.
In the school teams event, Coolangatta's Blake Ainsworth and teammate Kane Powell were pipped at the post in the final of the under-16 division.
Ainsworth and Powell, members of the Palm Beach Currumbin High School team, were edged out by WA duo Jerome Forrest and Tod Quartermaine, representing Halls Head Community College.
Western Australia's Newhaven College won the boys' under-19 schools title ahead of Kincumber High School (NSW) while in the girls' event, St Mark's High School (Vic) downed Great Lakes College (NSW).