Bailey takes Australiasian junior champ title despite injury
A FOOT injury couldn't stop Byron Bay surfer Soli Bailey from becoming the 2014 Association of Surfing Professionals Australasia junior champion.
Bailey, 19, had stitches in his foot following an accident with a knife during a fishing trip in the lead-up to the final event in New Zealand last week.
A determined effort saw him make it far enough in the competition to finish the year first overall.
There are 140 surfers across Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia who contest the Australasia Junior Qualifying Series.
"It's a really huge honour and it's my biggest accomplishment competitively so far," Bailey said.
"When I lost in New Zealand I thought I blew it. I thought I needed to make one more heat, but it turned out that I'd done enough.
"We had some great waves this year and fortunately for me I had some good results to leave me on top."
Bailey kick-started his campaign by taking out the Rangiroa Pro event in French Polynesia in March.
He has had a big couple of years in the sport and represented Australia in the ISA World Junior Surfing Championships in Nicaragua last year.
"I think winning the Australasia ASP Junior title is a positive thing for my confidence," he said.
"Competitive surfing has its ups and downs, so hopefully this is the start of a long 'up'."
Bailey will head to Indonesia for two months before the ASP World Junior Championships in the United States.
He will also compete in the US Open of Surfing while he is over there.