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Layer tops Jaquias in Quiksilver Pro Junior


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POSTED: Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Albee Layer waited until the last 2 minutes of the final heat to win the Quiksilver Pro Junior yesterday. In 6- to 10-foot wave face heights at Kewalo Basin, the 17-year-old from Haiku, Maui, posted a 10-point ride in the man-on-man final to beat Kauai's Kaimana Jaquias.

Layer's perfect ride was a right-breaking wave that provided a dredging barrel to a cutback and he finished off with a huge floater on the closeout section.

“;I was all scared I was gonna blow (the wave), but it was too perfect to blow it,”; Layer said. “;It was a perfect wave and it came out of nowhere. I was lucky enough I didn't fall.”;

He backed up his 10 with a solid 7.5 to narrowly beat Jaquias, who scored two 8-point rides in the final. Both surfers put on excellent performances in the epic surf yesterday and Jaquias, 16, can take heart knowing that he went down swinging.

“;I was pretty sure I was winning until the last two minutes when Albee got the 10,”; said Jaquias, who won $900 for his second-place finish. Kaimana is the son of former World Tour surfer Kaipo Jaquias.

In addition to taking out a solid competitor like Jaquias, Layer also beat Maui's Granger Larsen in the semifinals. Larsen was the most in-form surfer yesterday, but Layer wouldn't be denied after launching a giant air reverse 360 in the semi.

“;It was pretty heavy to have a man-on-man heat with Granger and I was kinda freaked out before (the semifinal),”; Layer said. “;He was ripping super hard and I got lucky to get a few good ones.”;

All of the 20-year-old and under competitors yesterday were reveling in the high-quality surf, but there is always a little bit of carnage when the waves are big. Waimanalo's Kekoa Cazimero found that out the hard way in the fourth round.

Cazimero pulled into a closeout barrel on an overhead left and was crunched by the axing lip when he attempted to negotiate out of the tube.

Consequently, Cazimero was forced to take a trip to the hospital, where the doctors diagnosed him with a pulled groin and strained lower back. Incidentally, Cazimero managed to qualify for the quarterfinals, but was physically unable to continue at the Quiksilver Pro Junior.

Layer's victory at this event garnered him $2,000 and a great start to qualifying for the World Junior Pro Championships held annually in January at Narrabeen, Australia. While Layer doesn't have a solid plan for a world junior campaign, he knows that the big surf contributed greatly to his victory at the Quiksilver Junior Pro.

“;It was super fun out there and I haven't been in a contest with good waves in a while so it was nice,”; Layer said. “;It helped a lot.”;