Sharpe upsets Pro Junior Series leader
COFFS Harbour surfer Jayke Sharpe had an Australia Day to remember when he defeated ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series ratings leader Julian Wilson (Coolum) to take out the Hurley Burleigh Pro Junior in inconsistent three- foot waves at Burleigh Heads.
Registering his maiden pro junior series victory, 20-year-old Sharpe walked away with $5000 along with a wildcard into the trials of the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley WCT event at Trestles, California in 2007.
"I'm stoked, I've never surfed Trestles," Sharpe said.
"At the start of the year I set my goals to be in the top 10, but now I will be concentrating on surfing for Trestles as well as gaining entry into the World Juniors next January."
Burleigh Heads, generally regarded as the birthplace of professional surfing, was again in the limelight with Sharpe and Wilson confronting each other in a man-on-man final; a surprising 30-years after its inception at the Stubbies Surf Classic in 1977.
Sharpe opened with a 6.00 point ride to leave his 18-year-old opponent playing catch-up for the entire 40-minute final.
He sealed the deal with a 7.10 to finish with a heat total of 13.1 to Wilson's 12.7. In doing so, the relatively unknown natural footer upstaged arguably the best junior surfer aged 20 years and under in the world to cement his reputation as one of the most threatening junior surfers in the country.
"That was the longest final of my life," Sharpe said. "You give Julian (Wilson) half a chance and he'll have you in a combination (requiring two wave scores) before you know it. I'm stoked that it didn't happen today."
Sharpe's impressive win boosts him to second on the ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series ratings, where he sits behind Wilson (4593) on 4287-points.
Wilson, who dominated the event from round one, was unable to find high scoring waves in the intense man-on-man final.
"The waves were changing every half an hour," Wilson said.
"I had a strategy before the final but when I got out there things had totally changed."