Gold Coaster, Jack Freestone (18, Currumbin, Qld, AUS), has become the first Australian surfer in 10 years to claim the ASP World Junior Title following the culmination of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships today in 1-to-1.5 metre waves at North Narrabeen, Sydney, Australia.
Freestone entered the championships as number one seed after claiming event one on the ASP World Pro Junior Tour in Bali last October, but was bundled out three days ago in Round 4 via a shock upset to Caribbean surfer, Charles Martin (GLP).
Heading into the final day, five other surfers remained in mathematical contention for the prestigious title including eventual finalist Nat Young (USA), Brazilian Caio Ibelli (Sao Paulo, BRA), South African Dale Staples (ZAF) and Australian Mitch Crews the firm favourites.
Crews and Ibelli both fell short in crucial semi-final heats, while Staples bowed out to eventual finalist Young in the quarter-finals.
Freestone watched from the sidelines during the 35 minute decider, knowing full well that a French victory would hand him the most important title of his short career.
Lacomare, who was forced into a swim cap after gashing his head earlier in the week, had Freestone and every other Aussie cheering from his corner, while Young surfed hard to bring the world title to the USA for the first time since its inception.
But with Lacomare getting out to an early lead, Young was forced to rally in the later stages of the final, and fell on a crucial ride.
The final score, Lacomare 14.00, Young 11.50 points, handed Freestone the victory he same so close to losing …
Freestone’s name joins an impressive roster of world beating talent that includes South African Jordy Smith (2006), Adriano de Souza (BRA)(2003) fellow Aussie Joel Parkinson (2001) and three time Hawaiian World Champion Andy Irons (1998).
Freestone will be presented with his trophy and officially crowned ASP World Junior Champion alongside ten-times ASP Men’s Champion, Kelly Slater (USA) and four times Women’s ASP World Champion Steph Gilmore (AUS) at the ASP World Champions Banquet scheduled for the Gold Coast in February.
Lacomare’s win completes an excellent week for French surfing, with 20 year-old Alizee Arnaud winning the Women’s ASP World Junior title on Tuesday.
Billabong ASP World Junior Championships – FINAL RESULTS Men’s:
1 – Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.00
2 – Nat Young (USA) 11.50
Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 11.07 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.03
SF 2: Nat Young (USA) 13.60 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.40
Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Quarterfinals Results:
QF 1: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.00 def. Kiron Jabour (HAW) 10.37
QF 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.27 def. Charles Martin (GLP) 11.90
QF 3: Nat Young (USA) 10.83 def. Dale Staples (ZAF) 9.60
QF 4: Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.54 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.84
Billabong ASP World Junior Rankings (Top 8):
1: Jack Freestone (AUS)
2: Nat Young (USA)
3: Dale Staples (ZAF)
4: Caio Ibelli (BRA)
5: Mitch Crews (AUS)
6: Kiron Jabour (HAW)
7: Marc Lacomare (FRA)
8: Charles Martin (GLP)
For more information, including scores, heat totals, heat draws, pictures and contacts log onto: http://www.billabongpro.com.