Coolum surfer aiming to ride high
TALENTED Coolum prospect Jack Duggan aims to make the most of his last year as a junior, tabling an ambitious plan to further stamp himself as a name to watch.
Duggan will recommence his bid to close out 2012 with a spate of titles when he competes at the Beach Retreat Coolum Junior Classic this weekend.
But the 17-year-old is also casting an eye further afield, with open events very much in his sights.
Emboldened by two quarter-final appearances on the Chiko Queensland Championship Circuit this year, including the five-star MP Classic at Coolangatta, he plans to contest as many open events as possible over the remainder of the year.
He is also keen to land his first state and national titles.
Duggan won the under-18 section of the regional secondary schools championships at Coolum last Thursday to book at berth at the state championships at North Stradbroke Island in August.
He aims to improve on his third placing from last year's state championships, and his quarter-final appearance in the schools' section of the 2011 national championships at Coffs Harbour.
Duggan certainly does not lack confidence.
He speaks with the assuredness of someone who refuses to entertain the thought of failure.
Having recently returned from the Volcomania VQS World Championships at Newport Beach, California, he believes his surfing is constantly improving.
"I'm definitely surfing better than ever before," he said.
"I think I've just grown a little bit and my turns are a bit more powerful.
"I've just matured in my surfing."
Although eliminated early at the US event, Duggan was pleased with his form at last Thursday's regionals and said he was looking forward to this weekend's event.
Meanwhile, the Coast's reigning Australian under-18 champion, Eli Steele, will swap his short board for a longboard this weekend.
Steele, a contestant at the world junior championships in Panama earlier this year, will compete at the state longboard championships on the Gold Coast.