After convincingly winning his Round 2 heat earlier in the day, Mustofa Jeksen (Denpasar-Bali) was narrowly defeated by reigning Pro Junior World Champion Kai Barger (Hawaii) in the final moments of Round 3 competition today at Keramas Beach in Gianyar, Bali.
Barger had gotten the first wave of the heat and had built up a solid lead, throwing massive hacks and digging deep bottom turns on the inside, leaving Jeksen on the outside sitting patiently waiting for the bigger sets to roll through. He was very unfortunate during the 35-minute heat, as no big sets came his way, forcing him to rove the lineup trying to rack up some points on the smaller waves. He almost exited a small inside barrel, but got clipped at the last second, so had no high scoring waves until late in the heat, the highest a 4.0.
Finally, just after Barger blasted a huge maneuver with 20 seconds left in the heat, Jeksen locked into a small but deep barrel to exit cleanly, then waited anxiously on the beach wondering if it would score big enough. The score was a massive 9.33 point (from a possible 10), which put a hopeful smile on his face, but Barger’s last wave had scored an 8.6 to put him just ahead of Jeksen for the win.
Though Jeksen will go home $2,500 USD richer, he was disappointed with his loss, saying, “I wish I could have gotten a few more good waves out there. Kai surfed really well and he is the best pro junior in the world, but really wanted to win over him. I just needed a couple more waves!”
Earlier in Round 2 against Charly Martin (France) and Dillon Perillo (USA), Jeksen had led the heat from the start, posting a 7.8 score for the best tube ride of the heat and get impressive heat win.
His was the last of the heats run at Keramas today, as the wave conditions that were excellent in the early part of the day had gotten very inconsistent by around 1 pm.
In addition to Jeksen’s pair of barrel rides, the highlight of the morning was certainly Granger Larson’s (Hawaii) amazing 9.5 barrel ride at the very end of his Round 3 heat, getting a huge round of applause from the fans on the beach.
The Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Finals will resume competition tomorrow morning at approximately 7:00 am, with the contest organizers hoping to finish off Round 3 and the Quarterfinals, as the swell is expected to increase and create another ideal day of surfing at Keramas Beach.
Tomorrow’s lineup will start with Indonesian surfer Dewa Made Ardika surfing against last year’s runner-up Marc Lacomare (France), followed by Shaun Joubert (ZAF) vs Brendon Gibbens (ZAF), then Charly Martin (France) vs Arashi Kato (JAP), then Alejo Muniz (Brazil) vx Billy Stairmand (NZL) to complete Round 3.