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News provided by ASP World Tour on 1 January 2006

While the temperature soared at Narrabeen Beach, Sydney, Australia, the waves arrived and the surfing in the Billabong World Junior Championships was simply top notch.

In the one metre (three foot) conditions fanned by a strong offshore wind, competitors blazed on the consistent left hand breaking waves with numerous competitors scoring rides in the excellent category.

Showing nothing but true professionalism beyond his years (all competitors are under 21 years of age) was Brazilian Jean da Silva who at the time of going to press was holding onto the highest heat score of the day with a 16.67 out of a possible 20.

Brazilians have a strong track record at this event and da Silva easily accounted for his opposition in Gonzalo Zubizareta (ESP) and Giancarlo Zampieri (BRA). Having surfed at Narrabeen quite a few times before he looked relaxed and was confident he could go al the way.

"I feel confident out there," said da Silva. "I have been here a few times before and have surfed this wave a lot. I really like surfing this wave.”

He also believed the push from the Brazilian team will be stronger than what has been seen in the past few years.

"In previous years the Brazilian team has been extremely strong and this year is no different,” said da Silva. “In fact it may even be better... Brazil has a great team again with Hermes Tomas, defending champ Pablo Paulino, Tiago Camarao, Leandro Bastos and Giancarlo Zampieri and I think we are getting better every year. I think we will be hard to beat."

As is the case with all round one winners, da Silva has the luxury of a day off as he will progress directly through to round three. He will be joined on his day off by Australian Matt Wilkinson, who caused something of an upset when he defeated fellow countrymen Ben Dunn and Mitch Coleborn. Wilkinson appeared relieved to get the win.

"I came to Narrabeen a few days ago to get in some practice," said Wilkinson. "Then I saw the draw and realised I had Ben Dunn and Mitch Coleborn and I was a bit worried, so I was happy to get a win in that heat."

Asked about the importance of an overall victory in the Billabong World Junior Championships he indicated how a win could potentially change his life. "I'd love to win it," said Wilkinson. "It puts you in a better seeding for the World Qualifying Series. If I got that seed I'd probably quit school and do the whole WQS tour."

Wilkinson was the only Australian (out of eight) to progress straight through to round three.

South Africa’s Jordy Smith lived up to his reputation as a world beater when he demolished Rhys Bombacci (AUS) and Brandon Jackson (ZAF). Displaying incredible flair with his huge tail slides mixed with old school power carves he is showing all the signs of being a future Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour campaigner.

“I was really stoked to get a result in my first heat,” said Smith. “I got a good wave early and that gave me confidence. But the other guys were all ripping and I knew I had to get a good backup wave to beat them.”

Instead of celebrating New Years Eve by partying, Smith was trying to quickly right himself after having a literal head on collision with a sand bank during a late afternoon warm up session yesterday. He was still sore but showed no signs that his injury was going to hamper his performance.

“I took off on a small one foot wave here at Narrabeen and tried a floater,” said Smith. “There was a kid in my way and I had to dive off and I went straight into the sandbank head first. I thought I was concussed and that my head had split open. I was really dizzy. I went straight home and then I couldn’t move my neck later. But this morning I saw the chiropractor and he gave me the okay.”

Defending event champion Pablo Paulino (BRA) indicated that he wasn’t going to let his title go without a fight. He defeated Keegan Nel (ZAF) and Jean Sebastian Esteinne (FRA) in heat eight of the day.

Through an interpreter he told of how eager he is to win again and how he isn’t showing any signs of pressure.

“I’m not feeling any pressure,” said Paulino. “I’m just happy to be here. I’m really stoked to get that good result at the start and am looking forward to the next heat. It’s gong to be hard for me to win again because the guys here are some of the best surfers in the world but I will do my best.”

He also recognised the importance of a win here and how his victory last year virtually gave him a start in the professional surfing ranks.

“It changed my life when I won here last year,” he said. “My career really took off and I just hope I can do it again.

With what is known as a southerly buster (a strong southerly wind) due to arrive later this evening, organisers will wait until tomorrow morning until making a decision regarding continuing the event.

The Narrabeen break is “open” to a southerly wind, meaning it will not be breaking at its best. It is hoped however that the wind will bring a new swell.

For the full rundown of the day’s results and tomorrow’s draw check out or

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