Closing in on the leaders
ANGOURIE surfer Laurie Towner has made a move, albeit a shaky one, on the ASP Australasian Junior Series ratings lead currently held by Sunshine Coast surfer Julian Wilson (Noosa), after progressing through his opening heat at the Billabong Junior Series at Wollongong yesterday.
"He's had a bit of a shocker not putting his entry in on time," said Towner.
"Julian is a long way ahead, but's it's definitely left the door open for me to grab the lead back. He is a good competitor though and I'm sure he'll be back, you can't give him an inch."
Towner needs to reach the quarter-finals in order to reclaim the lead he originally held after winning the opening event of the year in Victoria.
Facing event wildcard David Delroy-Carr (Cottesloe) and Kiwiduo Nathan Welch and Kieren Van Der Helder, Towner looked out of touch and claimed that his board was not suited to the conditions.
Surfing a bank, way to the left of the contest zone, Towner was told to move back into the line-up in order to be scored by the judges, and after three average waves finally linked a combined score together of 10.20 to win the heat.
"I was lucky to get through, I had a slow start to the heat and fortunately had a good score towards the end, but I wasn't feeling that good out there," he said.
"The waves are small and it's pretty hard to surf so hopefully it will pick up a little bit. I wasn't at all happy with my result on the Gold Coast, just a round of 24, if I could do a little bit better down here I'd be happy."
Other Northern rivers surfers to move through to today's competition include Lennox pair James Wood and Stephen Walsh.