26 Jul Baker produces goods in Japan
THERE’S nothing as sweet as your first win.
Newcastle’s Jackson Baker knows that feeling now after taking out the Yumeya Surfing Games Tahara Pro in Japan on Saturday.
The QS1000 win netted $8000US and valuable points putting him in contention for the main draw in all 2017 Prime events.
Baker took the title beating Indonesian Made Rondi, 15.75 to 13.35, in the man-on-man final.
Baker was over the moon after his big win.
‘I’m still lost for words, I really can’t believe it,’ Baker said from Japan.
‘It’s feels good to get the monkey off my back and win at QS event.
‘I was feeling really good all event and I was very confident I’d do alright.’
Baker has spent a bit of time in Japan in recent years and clearly his knowledge of the local waves paid off for him.
‘I’ve been here four times prior to this event and knowing how small the waves can get definitely helped me adapt quickly.
‘I always seem to do well here in Japan.’ he said.
Baker’s win on the Qualifying Series was the first by a Novocastrian since Philippa Anderson’s win at Merewether in 2009.
The natural-footer was the standout performer during the event, finishing second in his first heat before stringing five consecutive wins together to win the trophy.
The victory catapults Baker inside the top 100, putting him in contention for guaranteed starts for all the QS10,000.
If he can hold his place inside the top 100 he is in line to get starts in Portugal, Brazil and Hawaii.
Baker’s next event will be a local one when he competes in the annual Ray Richards Memorial at Merewether Beach, followed by a trip to the French West Indies for the Martinique Surf Pro, a QS3000.
‘I love the Ray Richards – it’s a great event and I wouldn’t miss it.
‘After that i’m off to Virginia Beach for a QS3000 on the 18th of August.’
1st, 1,000Pts, U$8,000: Jackson Baker (AUS) 2nd, 750Pts, U$4,000: Made Rondi. I (IDN) 3rd, 650Pts, U$1,500: Sasuke Kawatani (JPN), Takumi Nakamura (JPN)