Athorn beaten in final
SUNSHINE Coast's Wade Goodall won an exciting final of the Arnette Pro Junior at Manly Beach in Sydney and is now positioned to challenge for the Australasian Pro Junior 2005 Ratings champion with just one event at Bells Beach next week remaining.
Goodall defeated Woolgoolga surfer James Athorn (Woolgoolga/Coffs Harbour) in a closely fought final with multiple lead changes as both surfers called on all their small wave riding skills to extract their best scores in the 0.5m onshore waves at Queenscliff Beach (northern end of Manly).
Athorn held control for most of the final after he posted a very good 6.75 at the mid point but was unable to find a second strong score, re- quiring a 6.76 in the end.
It is the second year in a row that he has finished second in this event and was clearly frustrated.
"I really want to go one better and win one of these events," he said.
"Especially this one - when I saw the small waves this morning I was really confident because I generally do well in these conditions but it wasn't to be! - hopefully next week at Bells."
Thesemi finals were also very closely fought with Matt Wilkinson (Central Coast, Copacabana Beach) and Rhys Bombaci (Kiama) finishing equal third.
Both have improved their position on the ratings for the season and both are well in contention to win the season title next week at Bells.
Wilkinson only needed to make the final today to go to number 1 position on the ratings with current ratings leader Ben Dunn presently injured with knee problems.
Before his semi final Wilkinson said 'it's an opportunity to go to the top for sure and I'd love to win the ratings this year but there's quite a few of us in the race and this event and Bells are serious high pressure events!.'
No one is sure if Ben Dunn will take his place in the Billabong Pro Teen at Bells Beach which began yesterday, making the final event just that little bit more amazing.
Great swells are forecast for Victoria.