Jake Sylvester wins junior surf crown

Artwork Grant SprouleIT came earlier than expected, but Merewether surfer Jake Sylvester claimed the Australasian Pro Junior championship just the way he wanted yesterday – with a win.

Sylvester took out his first heat at the Be The Influence Surf Pro at Parks beach in Coffs Harbour on Fridaywith a dominant performance, earning the highest single-wave score of the day, a 9.35, and a 7.5 for a 16.85 total.

But it was the mistakes of sole title rival Mitchell Parkinson in and out of the water that allowed Sylvester to seal overall honours in the four-event series after just one heat.

Parkinson was seeded to meet Sylvester in the final but because he lodged an entry late into the contest, the cousin of world champion Joel Parkinson was forced to start in the opening round.

He won that, setting up a clash with Sylvester.

The Novocastrian shone and Parkinson struggled, bowing out of the contest with a combined 10.4 score and third place behind Sylvester and Pama Davies (10.85). It meant Sylvester, who won two of the three previous events on the series, could not be headed for the crown.

‘‘I’m so happy. I’m ecstatic at the moment,’’ Sylvester said afterwards.

‘‘I knew there was a really good chance Mitch would win that round-one heat and be in my heat in the second.

‘‘I really didn’t think he was going to be knocked out.

‘‘Coming into the event, I really didn’t want to have a shocker and be banking on Mitch losing.

‘‘From the get-go, I wanted to win this event and the series on my own account because I’m surfing well. It was good to win that way.’’

Sylvester was humbled to join the likes of Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, Mitch Crews and Adrian Buchan in claiming the junior crown.

‘‘Just looking at the guys who have won it, not many of the big names have missed out, so it’s a pretty insane list to be added to,’’ he said.

Fellow Hunter surfers Jackson Baker and Jack Scollard bowed out yesterday.