Young Occhilupo eyes off national title
JAY Occhilupo is the new Queensland Junior Champion and is preparing for his third crack at a national title in South Australia next month.
"I had my sights set on winning the state title because I needed a big result to qualify for nationals,” said the oldest son of former world champion surfing legend Mark Occhilupo, better known as Occy.
"I have been to nationals in the past two years but I've never really done that well.”
Obviously, there is a fair bit of expectation on Jay as the son of a surfing legend, but it's something that he's not phased by, instead using his dad's guidance to help his career.
"I try not to think about it too much, but it's definitely great to use dad's experience and his knowledge about surfing to my advantage,” he said.
His father had Jay surfing when he was just two years old at Sunset Beach, Hawaii.
By the age of 10, Jay had won his first contest at Agnes Waters.
Since then he has won 10 events, including back-to- back national grom titles.
He admires his club Snapper Rocks and club stalwarts Mont and Lorraine Bryant.
"They have really good coaches to help shape our club into one of the best,” he said.
Jay has been part of the Palm Beach/Currumbin High School sport excellence team, allowing him to surf during school time.
Surfing Australia's coach Tim McDonald also helped Jay with a couple of sessions before the state titles.
Jay takes his training and surfing seriously, working out at the holistic performance centre gym in Coolangatta, and surf training three to four days a week, including surf excellence sessions.
Jay said he had been very privileged to have travelled around the world to Hawaii, Maldives, Bali, and all of the international spots while Occy was still on tour.
One of his favourite sessions was with his dad at the Maldives, surfing a perfect right-point reef break to themselves.
"Just us and a few other guys out for 10 days, it was really sick,” he said.
His favourite surfers are Griffin Colapinto, Julian Wilson and, naturally, his dad for teaching him everything.
Jay is always seeking to improve his surfing.
"I love it when I have a good session and make big airs or big turns,” he said.
Not surprisingly, Jay would like to be on the world tour one day, vying for a world title.
Jay rides a 5/6 DHD, listens to rap music, likes playing golf and hanging out with his friends.
His craziest experience was when he was stuck in an elevator in Mundaka, Spain.
Good luck at next month's nationals Jay - three times lucky mate, go for it!