(Sunday 12th October, 2008): THE high performance wave of Keramas roared back to life today, serving up epic 4-6 foot barrelling reef break waves for round two of the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Championships in Bali, Indonesia.
After competition was halted for two days due to poor surfing conditions, the inaugural US $75,000 tournament got back on track with the world’s top juniors aged 20-years and under going head-to-head in the race for the planet’s richest-ever pro junior prize purse.
Australia’s Lincoln Taylor (Nth Stradbroke Island, Qld) and Mitch Crews (Currumbin, Qld) kept their title aspirations alive, top scoring in their sudden-death round two heat to advance through to round three contention.
In a classic tube riding showdown, the talented duo rode barrel after perfect barrel to avoid elimination in a gripping 35-minute three-man heat.
Taylor, who jagged several deep backhand barrels throughout the heat, defied several attacks to take the win, finishing just 1-point clear on 17.17-points to Crew’s 16.03, with Brazil’s Franklin Serpa eliminated in third on 11.50-points.
After the high stake heat, Taylor said he was excited to be through to the next round.
“It feels so good,” said Taylor.
“I had a bit of bad luck in my opening heat and the waves weren’t great, so I’m pumped to score some good barrels with only a couple of guys in the water.”
But it was no easy win for Taylor with Crews weaving through the heart of a pumping Keramas beast to emerge with a perfect 10-point ride.
“I was paddling into the wave and I thought I wasn’t going to get it because it was a double up,” said Crews.
“As I took off I thought I was too deep, but as the wave came over me I just stood their hoping to come out. It felt like I was in their forever. It was so sick.”
Japanese surfer Kaito Ohashi showed some mettle to join Crews and Taylor in round three, overcoming Hawaiian sensation Sebastian Zeits (Kauai) and local Indonesian Yuki Seedwell (Kuta) in their low-scoring round two confrontation.
With a round three birth on the line, Ohashi netted a 5.17 before travelling through a cavernous barrel to land a heat high 8.00.
Ohashi finishing in the lead with 13.17-points to Zeit’s 11.90. Both surfers will now progress through to round three, with Seedwell being eliminated from the prestigious junior event.
Going to press, South Africa’s Shaun Joubert (Mossel Bay) downed New Zealand’s Billy Stairmand (Raglan) in the opening man-on-man round three heat, before surfing action was cut short to rising onshore winds.
When round three resumes Brazil’s Miguel Pupo will take on France’s Romain Cloitre in the opening heat. Other round three face-offs include Kaito Ohashi (Japan) vs Marc Lacomare, Sebastian Zeits (Kauai, Hawaii) vs Made ‘Garut’ Widiartha (Indonesia), Peterson Crisanto (Brazil) vs Kai Barger (Hawaii), Mitch Crews (Currumbin, Australia) vs Jason Harris (USA) and Keito Matsuoka (Japan) vs Nick Godfrey (South Africa), along with the highly-anticipated heat of Lincoln Taylor (Nth Stradbroke Island, Australia) vs Dusty Payne (Maui, Hawaii).
In its inaugural year, the 2008 Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge has travelled the globe since February. With a total of six events for junior surfers to qualify, the Global Challenge Championship will connect four days of competition during a 10-day waiting period, October 7-17 in Bali, Indonesia. The series kicked off at North Stradbroke, Queensland, Australia, followed by, 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.