North Narrabeen, Australia (Thurs. 28, 2006) – With the elite senior tours of the Association of Surfing Professionals having wrapped up prior to Christmas in Hawaii, the only title yet to be resolved for 2006 is that of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championship for both men and women.

And as is the tradition, a host of the sport's most outstanding under-21-year-old talent will descend on Narrabeen, Sydney, Australia come January 1 where they will battle it out for junior surfing's ultimate prize.

Contesting the event will be 48 junior men and 18 junior women – all of whom have had to battle through preliminary rounds within their respective home regions in order to be chosen to compete for the prestigious crown.

The contestants have come from eight world surfing regions including Australasia, North America, South America, Hawaii, Asia, South Africa, Europe and a specially sanctioned ASP International region.

"This year's Billabong ASP World Junior Championship event looks to be one of the best yet," said ASP President Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew. "Just sifting through the names there are many who could not only win here at Narrabeen but could and will one day win at the sport's top level.

Past winners of the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships have used the event as a platform to launch their top tour careers.

"It is always a great event for uncovering our future super stars," said Bartholomew. "That is if the competitors aren't already stars in their own right."

The most notable of those who have tasted victory at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships then have gone on to enjoy stellar top tour careers include Andy Irons (HAW), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Pedro Henrique (BRA) and Adriano de Souza (BRA) and last year's inaugural women's event winner Jesse Miley-Dyer (AUS) who forged on to claim Rookie Of The Year on the 2006 ASP Women's World Tour.

This year's eventual victors will go on to stand alongside the 2006 Foster's ASP World Tour champion Kelly Slater (USA) and the ASP Women's World Tour champion Layne Beachley (AUS) at the official ASP world champion's ceremony in March 2007 and will be crowned as the worlds only true professional junior surfing champions.

Narrabeen, located 40 minutes north of Sydney's famous Harbour Bridge, is iconic in the history of Australian surfing as its world-class wave is the stomping ground for many of the sport's greatest athletes.

The locals watching over the vast array of new talent will include twice Foster's ASP World Tour champion Damien Hardman, three-fin Thruster inventor Simon Anderson plus past top tour stalwarts including Nathan Hedge, Nathan Webster, Mark and Brett Bannister and Chris Davidson just to name a few.
With a promising forecast on the horizon expect the best value for money surfing action when the event kicks off.

Complimenting the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships will be Sonic Bloom, a music festival that will feature some of Australia's top music talent.

Stay tuned to or for all the LIVE action plus all media information.

Daily releases, TV new feeds, audio grabs plus transcribed athlete quotes will be available.

The teams as they stand:

Junior Men:

USA– Eric Geiselman, Dylan Graves, Alex Gray, Nick Rozsa, Spencer Sterling

Europe – Joan Duru, Marc Lacomare, Jean Sebastien Estienne, Romain Cloitre, Adrien Toyon, Pierre Valentin Laborde

Africa – Rory Beach, Damien Fahrenfort, Keegan Nel, Brandon Jackson, Jordy Smith

Australasia – Wade Goodall, Julian Wilson, Dion Atkinson, Matt Wilkinson, Laurie Towner, Sam Page

Hawaii – Dusty Payne, Granger Larsen, Torrey Meister, Ola Eleogram, Hank Gaskell, Casey Brown

South America – Heitor Pereira (Brz), Matias Mulanovich (Peru), Halley Batista (Brz), Thiago Camarao (Brz), Bernardo Martins (Brz), Adriano De Souza

Japan – Hideyoshi Takana, Shu Hagiwara, Shota Nakamura, Kento Takahashi, Nobuyuki Osawa

International – Tamara McComb, Ruben Ash, Mason Ho
Wild Cards – Heath Joske, T.J Barron

Junior Women

USA – Erica Hosseni, Sage Erikson

Europe – Lee Anne Curren, Alizée Arnaud

Africa – Tammy Lee Smith, Nikita Robb

Australasia – Airini Mason, Jessica Hickson

Hawaii – Coco Ho, Leila Hurst

South America – Anali Gomez, Marina Werneck

Japan – Sayuri Hashimoto, Nao Omura

Wildcards – Nicola Atherton, Kirsty Jones

Billabong ASP World Junior Championships Honour Roll

1998 Andy Irons (HAW)
1999 Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2000 Pedro Henrique (BRA)
2001 Joel Parkinson (AUS)
2002 Not held
2003 Adriano de Souza (BRA)
2004 Pablo Paulino (BRA)
2005 Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)

2005 Jesse Miley Dyer

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