What a life for young surfers!
By ANDREW McKINNON
TODAY'S younger generation of professional surfers are continually on the move, whether it's a pro junior comp or a glamorous exotic island photo-shoot for the mags, and a DVD movie to go. Thanks to Billabong, Bali is back with a pro junior series, and the inclusion of the first Occy Grom at Canngu, where the likes of Coolangatta super grom 11-year-old Mitch Parkinson will be competing against the many talented Indo surfers under the dutiful eye of Uncle Occy from August 2-8. Meanwhile, a select bunch of Gold Coast pros, including Brent Dorrington and Brendan Leckie, was outer-island-hopping to West Java, and the famous Pannitian Islands for an ASL shoot and video. It's a wonderful life for the young crew who get paid to chase waves and travel the world.
CURRENT world women's No.1 %Stephanie Gilmore stepped up to the dais yet gain for a WQS win at the Huntington Beach US Open.
While not counting towards the world title race, in which she shares the lead with Tweed's Chelsea Hedges (who didn't compete at Huntington), Steph had her work cut out for her with some inspired surfing from her younger opponents. California's latest sensation, 14-year-old Courtney Conlogue gave Steph a run for her money in the semis but came up short, while fellow semi-finalist Sally Fitzgibbons (Genoa, NSW), who was the highest scorer of the event, was taken out by eventual runner-up California's 18-year-old Karina Petroni. Karina lived at Rainbow Bay back in the late 1990s where she grew up surfing with Stephie, and some days it was hard to tell the difference between the two extremely talented blonde haired natural footers.
JAY Thompson continues to wrack up the points on the WQS after another impressive performance, finishing equal 17th at Huntington. The Burleigh Boardrider is now in third position on the WQS ratings and is a shoe-in for next year's WCT.
It's been a long time coming for Bottle who has been chipping away on the WQS for the past six years.