(Foothill Ranch, Calif., Oct. 7, 2009) – The 2009 Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Final began today in nearly flawless three-to-four-foot surf at the now famous Keramas River-mouth in Bali, Indonesia. Bringing together 18 of the world’s very best junior surfers (20 years of age and under) who have qualified for the event through six regional Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Qualifiers from all over the world earlier this year or receiving one of six highly sought after wildcards, all of these surfers are chasing a winner’s prize purse of $20,000 along with the prestige of winning this unique event.
Defending Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Junior Champion Kai Barger (HAW) won his heat today with a powerhouse display of bottom-to-vertical top-turn surfing. He seemed to present the view of all surfers at the event after his heat by commenting: “It’s such a great location for an event like this, and I really want to win this as it’s my last Pro Junior event.”
“We just know we’ll get great waves here; we’re at an ideal performance-driven wave with a good waiting period,” continued Barger. “Over the coming 10 days there’s a great outlook for swell, so everyone’s pumped and looking forward to an incredible time.”
Today, just three heats of Round 1 were run, highlighting the approach of event directors Andrew Stark (Surfing Australia) and Tipi Jabrik (Indonesian Surfing Championship Circuit) to watch for ideal tides and winds to ensure the highest level of quality control for the event.
“It was good to let the surfers get a feel for the waves today,” commented Jabrik. “With a really favorable swell outlook ahead, we were sort of expecting not to run today and wait for the bigger waves that are coming. But it was so clean and perfect offshore this morning that we had to run. As soon as the winds came up after three heats, we stopped. So it was a good start for all the guys to familiarize themselves with the break.”
No surfers are eliminated in the three-man Round 1 heats, which see first- and second-place surfers progress to Round 3 while third-place surfers go to Round 2.
New Zealand’s Billy Stairmand was the top scoring surfer of the morning with an outstanding 9.17 (out of a possible 10) and a heat tally of 16.34 on his top two rides to easily win, defeating Granger Larson (HAW) who also moved through to Round 3. California’s Dillon Perillo (USA) placed third in this heat and advances into Round 2.
The other heat winner joining Kai Barger and Billy Stairmand was South Africa’s Shaun Joubert who defeated Australia’s Sam Wrench and Charley Martin (FRA).
Surfers will reconvene each morning at 7 a.m. at Keramas to determine whether organizers will run the contest that day. The new approaching swell is expected to hit in the coming days.
Keramas is renowned as possibly the world’s most ideal performance wave, combining excellent barrels, performance-driven sections, along with aerial opportunities across this unique river-mouth and reef combination break.
Heat 1: Shaun Joubert (ZAF) 15 .27, Sam Wrench (AUS) 12.83, Charley Martin (FRA) 4.17
Heat 2: Billy Stairmand (NZ) 16.34, Granger Larson (HAW) 11.67, Dillon Perillo (USA) 6.66
Heat 3: Kai Barger (HAW) 12.24, Arashi Kato (JPN) 10.03, Noa Deane (AUS) 7.17
When Round 1 resumes, the following heats will be surfed:
Heat 4: Marc Lacomare (FRA), Brendon Gibbons (ZAF), Mustofa Jeksen (IND)
Heat 5: Alejo Muniz (BRA), Davey Cathels (AUS), Dewa Made Ardika (IND)
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA), Clay Marzo (HAW), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
The Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge is a unique specialty series launched by Oakley in 2008 to give young surfers the opportunity to compete at some of the best surfing locales around the world. After a hugely successful inaugural year, the 2009 series acquired international momentum and qualifying became a main priority for many of the world’s top juniors.
For more information log onto oakleyprojunior.com <http://www.oakleyprojunior.com>
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