JOAQUINA BEACH, Florianopolis/BRA (Saturday, November 2, 2013) - Ella Williams (NZL), 18, has won the 2013 Women's ASP World Junior Title, defeating Kauai's Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), 17, in a hard-fought final to win the HD World Junior Championships presented by Devassa at Joaquina Beach in Florianopolis, Brazil.
Williams' victory places her name among some of surfing's finest female talent, with past winners including the likes of ASP Women's World Championship Tour (WCT) standouts Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 22, Pauline Ado (FRA), 22, and Laura Enever (AUS), 22. In addition to the prestigious title, surfers finishing in the Top 4 at the HD World Junior Championships have earned a seed in to the Round of 60 for all ASP Women's 6-Star events for 2014, potentially fast-tracking their chances towards qualification for the elite ASP Top 17.
Ella Williams, who entered the event as a last-minute alternate, quietly navigated her way to the Final, besting recent ASP Women's WCT Qualifier Johanne Defay (FRA), 19, before topping Weston-Webb for the win. The Kiwi battled hard in the Final and would lock in to two lefthanders in the back half of the match-up to secure the victory.
"This is like a dream," Williams said. "I've worked really hard to get here and for it to pay off was amazing. I was pretty lucky to get in to the competition and anything was just a bonus for me. This is really just amazing! Getting in to the top round of the QS events is such a fantastic help for myself and I hope to do well and progress next year."
Weston-Webb, who was born in Brazil but moved to Hawaii as a child, was deadly on both the Joaquina lefts and rights throughout the entirety of Women's HD World Junior Championships competition, consistently posting top scores throughout the rounds. The Hawaiian was unable to find a rhythm in the Final bout against Williams, and would finish runner up.
"I'm really happy for Ella (Williams)," Weston-Webb said. "I love to watch my friends win and having my family here for this competition is amazing and I'm sad to let them down. Their endless love and support is what my keeps my head held high, so I'm really happy to have them here and supporting me. This is a good result, I'm looking forward to next year and hopefully I can qualify (for the Women's WCT).
Johanne Defay (FRA), 19, looked deadly on the final day of competition, dominating her Quarterfinals heat en route to the Semifinals. The French talent was unable to find a rhythm in her Semifinals clash against Ella Williams, however, and would finish equal 3rd.
"It was hard to find any waves, but the one I found, I didn't surf it well," Defay said. "I'm disappointed, I wanted to win this title. I'm happy with my season, but it would have been nice to win here in Brazil."
Defay's Semifinals result caps off an incredible 2013 campaign that saw the natural-footer secure both the ASP European Pro Junior Series title and a berth among the 2014 ASP Women's WCT. Defay is now out to regroup in preparation for her rookie year among the ASP Top 17.
"The WCT is going going to be amazing," Defay said. "I'm really excited and looking forward to next year, but it would have been nice to finish this year by winning the Junior title."
Chelsea Tuach (BRB), 17, Women's ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion, put in a standout performance at the HD World Junior Championships presented by Devassa, finishing equal 3rd overall. The Bejan surfer would issue a massive upset on the final day of competition, eliminating ASP Women's WCT surfer Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), 19, in their Quarterfinals match, but was unable to surpass a rampaging Tatiana Weston-Webb in the Semifinals.
"I really wasn't expecting anything going in to that Quarterfinal with Bianca (Buitendag) and I knew knew I had to surf as well as I could," Tuach said. "The waves kind of just came to me. Going up against Tati (Tatiana Weston-Webb), she's such a great competitor and always seems to find the best waves, so I'll be rooting for her."
Tuach's 3rd place finish solidifies her position in the Round of 60 for ASP 6-Star Women's Qualifying events for 2014 and the natural-footer is ready to up her training program for a global assault next season.
"This year I was focusing on the Pro Juniors and my goal was just to make it here," Tuach said. "To make it this far is really great. I'm going to train hard and do as many QS events and possible and see how I do."
For highlights of the Women's HD World Junior Championships presented by Devassa log on to http://www.hd-wjc.com/.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com.