Parkes headlines strong line-up

REIGNING under-16 world junior surfing champion Garrett Parkes of Byron Bay will headline the all-star cast at the 2008 Quiksilver State Junior Titles beginning in Forster today

Widely regarded as the most important junior surfing event in NSW, the state titles will continue through to Sunday.

The five-day event will see up to 200 surfers battle it out across six divisions for prestigious state titles and selection into the team that will represent NSW at the Australian junior titles scheduled for Margaret River in December.

Littered with current and former world and Australian junior champions, such as Garrett Parkes, this year's event illustrates the abundance of world-class talent within NSW.

“I've been training really hard and surfing heaps in preparation for this event because I want to do really well in Forster to give myself every opportunity to surf again at the world's. I'm super focused,” said Parkes

Gunning for glory alongside Parkes in the blue ribbon under-18 boys division will be teen sensation Davey Cathels (North Narrabeen, NSW), renowned big-wave charger Dean Bowen (Gerroa, NSW) and reigning under-16 Australian champion Max Ayshford (Maroubra, NSW).

“NSW definitely has the toughest state titles, you just need to look at those names,” added Parkes. “So if you do well, it's a massive confidence boost going into the Australian titles knowing you've surfed well against quality opposition.”

The under-18 girls division is also littered with future stars, with under-16 Australian champion Philippa Anderson (Merewether, NSW) and South Coast sensation Kirby Wright (Culburra Beach, NSW) among those expected to shine.

Competing in the under-16 boys division, will be Jake Sylvester (Bar Beach, NSW), Cooper Chapman (North Narrabeen, NSW) and reigning under-14 boys NSW champion Matt Banting (Port Macquarie, NSW).

While in the under-16 girls it will be defending champion Tyler Wright (Culburra Beach, NSW) pitted against a host of stand-outs including Ellie-Jean Coffey (Crescent Head, NSW), who will be ready to grab the title from Wright.

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