Hawaiian Dusty Payne barreled his way to victory in the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge to claim the world’s biggest ever pay-day for a pro junior event in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday.
“It’s the best contest I’ve ever surfed in,” said Payne, who won a wildcard to the event after placing third at the Oakley Pro Junior at Lower Trestles. “It’s been my dream to surf a contest at Keramas. The waves were just so good. I’m so stoked with how it turned out.”
Keramas, an ultra perfect right hand reef break, lived up to its hype, serving out epic 6-8 foot barreling waves for the final day of the inaugural $75,000 competition.
After surfing barrel after perfect barrel in Rounds 1-3, Payne, 19, surfed a smart heat in the extended 45-minute man-on-man final against French surfer Marc Lacomare, choosing his waves tactically.
Despite the hype surrounding the 19 year-old from Maui, today’s win was Payne’s first in more than eight years.
“I haven’t won an event in so many years,” said Payne. “It’s the best feeling in the world. That’s why I still compete.”
The pressure-packed final saw Payne seal the deal with a 7.73 with just five minutes remaining and then went from strength to strength locking in an 8.50 in the dying minute to put the result beyond doubt. Payne finished with a 16.27 two-wave combined total to Lacormare’s 14.33.
“I was behind for nearly the whole final because Marc got a good wave at the start of the heat,” he said. “I was just going on anything trying to get a good score.
Gouging goofy footer Lacamore, opened his final account with a 7.50 for an early lead in the close fought final but with minutes remaining he required a 7.10 but only managed a 6.83 on his final ride.
At the completion of the final, Lacomare said he was proud of his result.
“I’m really happy right now,” said Lacomare, who won $7,500 for his runner-up finish. “Although I didn’t win, I still posted a really good result against the world’s best juniors. Dusty (Payne) has been surfing amazingly all week, so to go up against him in the final was incredible.”
Both Mitch Crews and Oakley’s Shaun Joubert took home $4,500 for their equal third placing.
Finishing equal fifth today was the Brazil duo of Miguel Popo and Peterson Crisanto, Indonesian Made ‘Garut’ Widiartha and South African Nick Godfrey. All four surfers collected US $3,500 for their efforts.
In its inaugural year, the 2008 Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge has travelled the globe since February, bringing the world’s best juniors to the world’s best waves. Building on the original Oakley Pro Junior model, the Global Challenge series kicked off at North Stradbroke, Queensland, Australia, then traveled to New Pier, Durban, South Africa; Lower Trestles, San Clemente, Calif., USA; Itamambuca Beach, Ubatuba City, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Shidashita Point, Chiba, Japan and Grand Plage, Lacanua, Gironde, France.