Balinese wildcard Dewa Ardika came from behind to take out the heat win out from under Australian Davey Cathels in the final minutes of the 35 minute Heat 5 of Round 1 today at Keramas Beach in Gianyar, Bali. He and fellow Indonesian wildcard Mustofa Jeksen are the two locals surfing against an international field of 16 of the best pro junior surfers in the world for the $20,000 USD first place prize money.
Ardika appeared to have some early jitters to start the heat, leaving him behind in the early going, while Cathels jumped right into the lead from the starting horn. But Ardika seemed to gain confidence as the heat progressed, helped along the way by seeing Alejo Muniz from Brazil fail to rack up any significant points.
Alejo was aggressively attacking the waves but couldnt quite complete any high scoring maneuvers, then in the final minutes Ardika nabbed one of the few barrels on offer and tucked into it for a few seconds before sneaking out and adding a couple turns for a 7.33 score, taking over the lead and getting the heat win. He was ecstatic back on the beach, saying. Wow, I cant believe I won the heat. I was really nervous about surfing against those guys, because they are the best in the world you know. Im so happy I got that last wave, and that I surfed it good.
Jeksen was not so lucky in his matchup with last years Oakley Pro Junior Pro Global Challenge runner up Marc Lacomare from France, and Brendon Gibbens from South Africa. Jeksen appeared to have a solid lock on second place while Gibbens had tapped a couple of nice barrels rides to jump way out into the lead. There were some long waits between sets and Lacomare couldnt seem to make anything happen, whereas Jeksen had picked off a couple waves and hacked up some good turns to get into second. But in the final seconds all three competitors begin paddling for the same wave with Gibbens on the outside, Jeksen in the middle, and Lacomare on the inside. Jeksen and Gibbens backed off but Lacomare went, ducking into a small but very hollow barrel and exiting to knock Jeksen out of second spot.
Jeksen was obviously disappointed, but could still smile about it. I have another chance tomorrow in Round 2, so hopefully Ill be the one getting lucky then, he said. Jeksen earned his wildcard spot by beating a strong field of 23 other Indonesian pro juniors in a Trial competition on October 6th at Keramas.
The action is scheduled to continue tomorrow at Keramas Beach with Round 2, so stay tuned as there will be updates on the Oakley Indonesia and ISC Facebook sites, as well as more press releases from Surfing Australia and the Coca-Cola ISC Tour.
The Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Finals runs from October 7-17 at Keramas.