Locals hoping for lucky break
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THERE are many local contenders vying for State junior surfing title this week as they tackle the familiar breaks of Macauleys in the Dunes NSW State Junior Titles.
Starting yesterday, more than 200 of the State's best male and female surfers will compete over six divisions in the under 14, 16 and 18 age groups, making the event one of the biggest junior events in the country.
Competition will prove to be fierce over the next four days as the State titles will not only see the State's best junior surfers crowned but it's also the event from which the NSW junior team is selected for the Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles.
The 2006 Quiksilver Australian Grommet Titles are being held at Ballina in late November.
Action was already red hot yesterday as the under 16 and 18 boys hit the water.
Among the top contenders in the 18 years division was Sawtell local Billy Kean who is looking to improve on the third place finish that he managed last year.
Kean easily won his first heat yesterday in the clean two foot waves to be one of the outstanding performers on day one.
He's already facing stiff opposition from Far North Coaster's Brent Savage (Casurina Beach) and Ellis Ericson (Suffolk Park), along with Mollymook's Sam Wrench.
These two divisions start their second round heats this morning.
Every division's semi-finals and finals are being held on what's promising to be a Super Sunday at either Macauleys or Diggers Beach, depending on conditions.
Tomorrow will see the Girls hitting the water with current NSW and Australian U/16 Champion Sally Fitzgibbons from Gerroa the red hot favourite in the under 18s.
Fitzgibbons has had a great year competition wise winning an ASP Pro Junior event and finishing an outstanding second in the ISA World Junior Championships in Brazil earlier this year.
Fitzgibbons, however, will have her work cut out with current Australian champ and Sawtell local Kirra Townsend hoping to improve on her third place in this event last year. Joining Townsend will be another local, the consistent Angela Keighran of Mullaway.