The Hurley Burleigh pro is the wealthiest junior contest in surfing’s history. It’s due to start tomorrow but the comp’s undoubted favourite, Owen Wright, won’t be collecting his contest singlet. After a disappointing world juniors he’s escaped to get some barrels and clear his head. Rip Curl’s international team manager, Gary Dunne, explained, “He was […]
The Hurley Burleigh pro is the wealthiest junior contest in surfing’s history. It’s due to start tomorrow but the comp’s undoubted favourite, Owen Wright, won’t be collecting his contest singlet. After a disappointing world juniors he’s escaped to get some barrels and clear his head. Rip Curl’s international team manager, Gary Dunne, explained, “He was number one seed and takes pride in that stuff. He was bitterly disappointed to lose. Actually, he was just really pissed off. He’s won the Hurley event before and didn’t want to miss this swell opportunity in the North Pacific (Tahiti, but Rip Curl don’t like to expose breaks).” He leaves the opportunity to claim $USD25,000 to a host of other competitors. Among them is Currumbin’s Mitch Crews. Mitch spoke to Stab as he surveyed the contest site this morning.
Stab: Owen Wright’s gone, what do you think his odds of winning were?
Mitch: (Laughs) Fuck, we’re all stoked. He wins everything, he would have been the favourite for sure. He’s the favourite of anything I guess. I’m pretty stoked that he’s not in it now. It gives one of us a chance to try and win it.
Especially yourself ’cause you’re from the area, you’d surf it more than a lot of other competitors.
Yeah I surf it a fair bit when it’s pumping.
Is he the talk amongst all the juniors going in?
Yeah, that was the first thing on everyone’s lips when they arrived, Owen pulling out. It gives us all a bit of confidence but you’ve still got to beat the best if you want to win, so even if he was here it wouldn’t really make too much of a difference to trying to win it.
But it brings the 25 gees of American paper a little closer.
Yeah definitely, the door goes wide open. Last year he won it in knee high fast little rights and being like a tall gangly goofy-footer we’re all thinking, “Nah, he’ll struggle out here.” But sure enough he won it last year and I think that’s what the conditions are gonna be like this year so he could have done the exact thing. There’s a lot of guys really ripping though. It’s going to be interesting to see who’s gonna take it out. – Mike Jennings
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