Barbadian surfer Josh Burke placed second at the World Surf League RVCA Pro Juniors in California over the weekend.
Burke surfed five rounds against the world’s best junior professional surfers and won all but one heat en route to the final. He posted the highest wave score on finals day, an 8.33 point ride which occurred in the dying minutes of the RVCA final.
After the excellent ride moved him into second place, Burke had one minute to score a 6.5pt for the win. On the 15-second mark a potential wave appeared and Burke scrabbled into it, with the crowd watching in anticipation.
He hit one off the top before the wave shifted and did not materialize as he expected and spoiled his chances of getting a buzzer-beating win.
“I had an amazing event, I felt strong and grew with confidence after every heat which were all tough surfing against the elite. My RPD boards were working really well even though they got trashed by the airline and I had to get my friends at Pure Glass to do an emergency overnight repair job, getting back my boards an hour before my first round heat.
“The final was actually the slowest heat with waves not getting much opportunities. But when that one set wave came I had to put it all on the line going big. I hit the first section vertical, projecting off with speed going down the line eyeing a ramp section and I decided to go to the air, throwing an air 360, landing clean to post the 8.33pt.” Burkes explained.
Burke’s achievement came just hours before it was announced that surfing has been proposed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Japan. The proposal is for two events for 20 male surfers and 20 female surfers.
The decision was announced by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee today. Surfing, along with skateboarding, karate, sports climbing and baseball/softball, has been proposed by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to enter the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should confirm the new sports at the 129th IOC Session, in Rio, in August 2016.
Burke’s next event is the ISA World Junior Surfing Games from October 8 to18 in Oceanside California.