SYDNEY, Australia (Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008) – A low pressure system off Queensland has whipped up excellent 2-meter surf in time of the Billabong World Junior Championships which kick off at 9 am, with the Von Zipper Wildcard Trials, at Sydney's North Narrabeen this morning.

Sixteen surfers from around the world including Reunion, Indonesia, South Africa, France and Israel will compete for two wildcard slots into the main event, which is expected to get underway with Round 1 tomorrow.

The Von Zipper Wildcard trials will run through three rounds of four-man heats, each heat lasting 30-minutes, with the Final scheduled for Noon.

Three Australians and one South African will take to the water in the first heat of the day; Parrish Byrne (AUS) taking on big wave surfer Laurie Towner (AUS), multiple National Junior champion Owen Wright (Aus) and South African National Junior team member Shaun Joubert.

"This is probably the best forecast we've had for the start of the event and we're excited to get things up and running this morning" Contest Director and former ASP World Tour campaigner Luke Egan said. "The swell should last through the first half of the waiting period so we'll be looking to run straight through the next couple of days and get as much surfing in as we can."

The Billabong World Junior Championships sees a total field of 48 junior men, 18 junior women plus four event wildcards. Surfers will compete in an ASP World Tour format with man-on-man heats and priority rules, similar to those used on the elite ASP Men's and Women's World Tours.

The event will be broadcast live via the internet on www.billabongpro.com

The Billabong ASP World Junior Championships are supported by Panasonic, The Association of Surfing Professionals, Von Zipper, The Warringah Shire Council and Surfing NSW.

Von Zipper Wildcard Trials Match-ups:
Heat 1: Parrish Bryne (AUS); Laurie Towner (AUS); Owen Wright (AUS); Shaun Joubert (ZAF)
Heat 2: Jean Seba Estienne (FRA); Brendan Leckie (AUS); Reuben Levitt (AUS); Ido Ksantini (ISR)
Heat 3: Granger Larsen (HAW); Blake Wilson (AUS); Ashley King (AUS); Yonatan Klein (ISR)
Heat 4: Nick Riley (AUS); Maddison Williams (AUS); Thomas Chamula (REU); Mustafa Jeksen (IDN)

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