Yamba’s 17-year-old gun surfer hungry to win back state title
JEAMES Young will carry little pressure when he takes on the best shredders in the state next week.
Young will start the NSW Junior State Surfing Titles as the No.1 seed in the under-18s competition, but he isn't fazed by the pressure.
Whatever weight he might have felt in the lead-up to the event has been replaced by an appetite for success.
Just last week Young was knocked out of the second round in the under-20s Air Raid division of the Skull-candy Oz Grom Open at Lennox Head - an elimination he said could easily have been avoided.
"I got a wave in the last few minutes but I fell off right at the end," Young said. "That's contests, though. You learn from those mistakes. I probably should've been pushing for another spot on the water.
"I've got some fresh new boards that feel great and I'm looking forward to getting out there at Port Macquarie."
Fellow Yamba surfer Dakoda Walters finished third in the 14s.
Young will hit the Port Macquarie surf from Monday in his quest to win his third state title.
The gun surfer went back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, before being knocked out in the quarter-finals last year.
That early exit alone was enough to give the 17-year-old plenty of motivation, but there's no doubt his second-round exit at Lennox has had a hugely positive effect.
"Yeah, it definitely makes me more hungry," the under-18s top seed said.
"I know everyone who will be surfing out there.
"Being top seed, there's definitely more pressure. Being the underdog is a much better situation.
"As soon as I got away from Lennox with that round-two loss, I was hungry for the state titles."
A win at the state titles would mean direct passage to the national titles in Western Australia in September, and a win there could send him through to international competition.
Young said he wasn't planning that far ahead, though if he does reach the nationals you would expect him to better his fourth-placed finish in 2012.
He does have a trip to Bali up his sleeve later this year, when, instead of hitting the surf for competitive surfing, he will hit the Balinese waves for leisure.
"I've got a few trips coming up with that, and I'm trying to get to Hawaii for a competition later in the year," Young said.
"A month or so ago I went to Tahiti and New Zealand and they were some of the best trips I've been on."
- The NSW Junior State Surfing Titles run from July 21-27.