…on his Mayhem shaped surfboard. Check the story below from ASPWORLDTOUR.COM
(Merewether, Newcastle, NSW, Australia, 11 March, 2012): Brazilian Jesse Mendes is the CHIKO Pro Junior champions for 2012.
Although Merewether beach did not offer the exceptional surf perfection seen on the opening days of competition, conditions on the final day of the CHIKO Pro Junior remained favourable for power surfing with a pulsing 1.5m swell accompanied by light onshore winds.
In the junior men's final, Mendes (14.9) edged out Moroccan Hamzi Boukiam (12.25) in a tightly contested final that Boukiam led until there was less than three minutes on the clock.
Nineteen-year-old Mendes, who heils from Guaruja in Brazil, said he was thrilled with today's win – the biggest Pro J
unior event he has secured to date.
Mendes, who made the quarter-finals at Manly last month at the Australian Open of Surfing, said he had been fortunate at Merewether beach because the waves he needed when trailing opponents during every heat he surfed at the CHIKO Pro Junior seemingly appeared from nowhere.
“Every heat here the waves have come to me in the last few minutes of the heat,” he laughed.
“Lucky I guess,” he said.
Mendes and Boukiam started the heat with differing tactics, with Mendes paddling a considerable distance to the north.
“We started that heat 200 metres apart because I was watching the bank up there (toward Dixon Park) and there seemed to be some better lefts,” Mendes said.
But when the waves didn't come, Mendes paddled back to the south where his two top scoring waves were right-handers that suited the goofy-footer's big backhand turns off the bottom and vertical lip smacks.
Mendes said he had been blown away by the quality of the waves during the event –especially those earlier in the week.
“The waves here were just about the best ever for a Pro Junior contest and I am really hoping they hang around for the 6-star this week,” he said.