Merewether Beach, NSW/AUS (Sunday, 16 February, 2014)
NORTH NARRABEEN’S Cooper Chapman has won the junior men’s competition at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Hunter Business Boardriders Pro Junior 1-Star event at Merewether beach.
He defeated Matty King (AUS) (13.55) Kanoa Igarashi (USA) (11.65) and Jackson Giles (AUS) (8.35) in the four man final.
The last remaining local surfer Kurtis Herman, and form surfer of the event over the past two days, Leonardo Fioravanti, were both bundled in the quarter-finals.
At just before 6.30pm – nearly three hours after the final was originally scheduled – Chapman, a 19-year-old natural-footer, ripped apart wave mush at The Cliff, some 500 metres north of the Merewether contest site.
Organisers were hampered by a lack of swell today at the preferred Merewether contest site but had to wait until the completion of the Burton Toyota Pro International Trials at The Cliff.
Only then could the quarter-finals of the Pro Junior commence.
Just before 4.30pm, the light offshore wind gave way to a strong southerly change accompanied by a drenching downpour.
Chapman’s dominance in the final was stamped inside the first minute of the heat when he scored a 9.75 (out of a possible 10) and he followed that impressive effort with 7.25 just three minutes later.
The result was all but secured inside the first five minutes of the 25 minute heat.
“Just after the heat started there was a left bomb. I snapped a great turn and knew it’d score well in those conditions,” he said.
Chapman was lucky the decision to continue with competition despite appalling conditions was not up to him or he wouldn’t have pocketed the $2000 first prize.
“I was saying they should have called it off. Dad rang me and said we were going to get smashed by a southerly and seeing the swell was coming from the north-east I just thought it was going to be a total mess.
“I did the maths and figured we’d get $312 each if they called it off at the quarters.
“I wasn’t concerned about the points so much but hey, now I’ve got the two grand (for winning), I’m glad they didn’t call it off,” he said.
Winners are grinners.
Chapman said he was staying in Newcastle with a relative and was focused on this week’s 6-Star Burton Toyota Pro which starts tomorrow at Merewether beach.