Carmichael started 2012 with a win at the Championship Moves Pro Junior in Torquay, and went on to finish the season with back-to-back wins in French Polynesia, to take top honours on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series. The pivotal heat of the year was the Quarterfinal at the Rangiroa Pro Junior against Cooper Chapman (NSW/AUS), the winner of the heat would move to number one on the ratings. Both surfers posted fantastic scores, the lead changed multiple times, but it was Carmichael who came out on top, and went on to win the event and the series, to put the icing on the cake.
“It feels amazing to win the series,” Carmichael said. “I’m so happy, this was one of my goals for this year and I worked really hard for it. I’ve been waiting for it to be official, and now it is. I’m stoked to have my name amongst all the other great surfers who have won the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series in the past.”
Carmichael joins an impressive list of Australasian Pro Junior Champions, many of whom have gone on to qualify for the elite ASP World Championship Tour; Jake Patterson – 1993, Nathan Webster – 1994, Beau Emerton – 1995, Taj Burrow – 1996, Trent Munro – 1997, Darren O’Rafferty – 1998, Joel Parkinson – 1999, Adrian Buchan – 2000 + 2001, Luke Munro – 2002, Daniel Ross – 2003, Ben Dunn – 2005 and Owen Wright – 2009. Carmichael will head to the Oakley World Pro Junior in Bali in October to compete for the coveted ASP World Junior Title with his fellow ASP Australasia qualifiers.
“I’m really excited for the first comp in Bali,” Carmichael said. “It’s not going to be easy, but I’m going into it confident and I’ve been training really hard and just putting all my focus on winning.”
Van Dijk had a stellar year on the ASP Australasian Pro Junior Series, winning the Evo Women’s Pro Junior in Torquay, the Australian Open of Surfing in Manly and finishing 3rd at the Chiko Pro Junior at Newcastle’s Surfest.
“It feels so good to join the list of many amazing Australian surfers before me,” Van Dijk said. “I’m also really excited to secure a spot for the World Juniors, I missed out last year so I am happy to get the top spot. It’s something that I have wanted to tick off the list and I’ve been working hard for. I’m excited for the first ASP World Junior Tour event in Bali, it will be my first time competing at that level. I have surfed against the girls a lot so I feel comfortable surfing against them. I’m looking forward to being in a new place and surfing some fun waves. I definitely would like to get a good result.”
Van Dijk also joins a winner’s list that is stacked with Australasia’s past and present surfing stars; Amy Donohue – 1999, Chelsea Hedges – 2000 + 2001, Rebecca Woods – 2002 + 2004, Claire Bevilacqua – 2003, Jessi Miley-Dyer – 2005, Sally Fitzgibbons – 2007 + 2008 and Laura Enever 2009. Van Dijk is currently 14th on the ASP Women’s World Rankings, and only three places away from qualifying for the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour.
“I really want to have fun and be happy with surfing and see how far I can take myself in the sport,” Van Dijk said. “Travelling the world competing and surfing is exciting and inspiring. I would love to qualify for the women’s World Championship Tour and one day win an ASP World Title, and just enjoy everything along the way!”
ASP Australasian World Junior Tour Qualifiers
1. Wade Carmichael (Avoca, NSW/AUS)
2. Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen, NSW/AUS)
3. Thomas Woods (Gold Coast, NSW/AUS)
4. Soli Bailey (Byron Bay, NSW/AUS)
(Plus the two highest rated Australasian Junior surfers on the ASP World Rankings)
1. Nikki Van Dijk (Phillip Island, VIC/AUS)
2. Ellie-Jean Coffey (Gold Coast, QLD/AUS)