Saturday, January 28th, 2012 (Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast, AUS): Brazilian surfer Ciao Ibelli (Gauruja, Sao Paulo, BRA) has won the ASP World Junior Title defeating Australian surfer, Garrett Parkes (Byron Bay, NSW, AUS) in stormy, one-to-two metre waves at Burleigh Heads, on Australia’s Gold Coast.
In a first for professional surfing, the title was decided via a 30 minute “surf off”, a new rule introduced prior to the 2011 season to break ties.
Heading into the deciding event at Burleigh, more than 10 surfers were in mathematical contention for the crown, including Ibelli who sat atop the ratings ladder. But a shock upset in Round 3 saw Ibelli bundled out to unseeded trialist, Wade Carmichael (Avoca, NSW, AUS).
Parkes had his chance to clinch the crown on the final day, but failed in the quarter-finals against the lightening fast Filipe Toledo (BRA) – forcing the historic surf-off versus Ibelli.
With local knowledge and hometown support on his side, Parkes started strongly in the 30-minute decider, registering two early scoring waves to take the lead. But Ibelli smelled blood. Using the onshore wind to his advantage and taking to the skies, the Brazilian attempted some massive aerial reverse manoeuvres.
The risk-taking ultimately paid dividends, earning Ibelli an excellent 8.5pt ride, which he later backed up with a second solid score of 6.07pts.
The final score of 14.74pts to Parke’s 14.00 total saw Ibelli become the fifth-ever Brazilian to win the title in the tour’s 13-year history.
The 18-year-old will receive his crown alongside the likes of Kelly Slater (USA) and Carissa Moore (Haw) at the official ASP World Surfing Awards night scheduled for the Gold Coast Convention Centre on February 23rd.
The surf-off was not the first ‘first’ for pro surfing at Burleigh Heads; the iconic break saw the introduction of ‘man-on-man’ competitive surfing at the 1977 Stubbies pro – the format that is still used in elite competition today.
Sydney surfer, Davey Cathels (Narrabeen, NSW, AUS) and local Gold Coaster, Jack Freestone (Currumbin, Qld, AUS) finished third and fourth respectively in the world junior ratings.
Freestone had a chance to overtake Parkes today, but lost out in this morning’s quarters match-up against Reunion Islander, Medi Veminardi (REU). Had Freestone, the defending world junior champion, made the final it would have been the first time a surfer had claimed back-to-back world junior titles.
As the Top four rated surfers, Ibelli, Parkes, Freestone and Cathels all receive vital last round seeding into to the 2012 six-star international World Qualifying Series events. The WQS series is the springboard to the elite ASP Men’s World Tour.
It was a special day too for Trialist Wade Carmichael (Avoca, NSW, AUS) who enjoyed a giant-killing run to the Billabong World Junior Championship event final, taking out Hawaiian Nathan Carvalho (Kauai, Haw).
The win earned Carmichael the biggest pay-cheque of his young career, $25,000, and it is his second event win in as many attempts. In early January he won the opening event on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series at Bells Beach.
Carmichael’s list of international scalps in the Billabong World Junior Championships, Gold Coast included Carvalho, Reunion Islander Medi Veminardi (REU), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Vasco Ribeiro (BRA), Ibelli (BRA) and fifth seed, Dale Staples of South Africa.
Carmichael received his place in the main event by winning the VonZipper Trials eight days ago.
Final Ratings, Top 5 Men – ASP World Junior Tour 2011
1st Ciao Ibelli (BRA)
2nd Garrett Parkes (AUS)
3rd Davey Cathels (AUS)
4th Jack Freestone (AUS)
5th Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Final Results – Billabong World Junior Championships, Gold Coast
1st Wade Carmichael (AUS) $25,000 10,000pts
2nd Nathan Carvalho (Haw) $10,000 8,000pts
=3rd Medi Veminardi (REU), Filipe Toledo (BRA) $5,000 6,500pts
=5th Jack Freestone (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA), Garrett Parkes (AUS), Dean Bowen (AUS) $2,250, 5250pts