(Monday 13th October): THE Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge continued to live up to expectation with quarterfinalists decided in rising 6-foot right hand reef break conditions at the high performance wave of Keramas in Bali, Indonesia today.
The high stakes on offer produced world-class performances from the best U/20 pro-juniors, all vying for the US $20,000 winner’s cheque in the richest junior event ever staged.
Hawaiian ace Dusty Payne (Maui) staked his claim as the surfer to beat, exploding to life en route to eliminating Australian Lincoln Taylor (Nth Stradbroke Island, Qld) in their round three face-off.
Payne, who is competing in only his second event in 2008 after suffering a major knee injury, made this mark on the prestigious event, top scoring for the day with a 17.70 two-wave combination.
After trailing Taylor for the opening third of the highly anticipated showdown, 19-year-old Payne threw some heat, netting a pair of 8’s (8.90 & 8.80) to beat his Australian foe by more than four points.
“Lincoln had a really good start and got the first good wave of the heat,” said Payne.
“I got one right after him and stuffed it up. After about ten minutes I finally got one good score, so I just kept busy and kept that rhythm right through to the end of the heat.”
Post heat, Payne said he was not feeling the pressure heading into the business end of the draw.
“Everything is a bonus from here,” he said.
“There’s no pressure on me. I’m surfing with my friends and having a blast. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
Local star Made ‘Garut’ Widiartha (Kuta) upstaged the international field of high profile stars eliminating Hawaiian hot shot and tournament favourite Sebastian Zietz (Kauai) from their round three match-up.
The 20 year-old has been carving out a reputation as one of the best talents to emerge from the Indonesian surfing island of Bali in years. Widiartha posted a heat total of 13.16 to his opponents 10.66 (out of a possible 20).
Widiartha came from behind by picking off the higher scoring set waves to snatch victory from Zietz. The Kauai surfer was further handicapped when he broke his board in the last five minutes to lose crucial time in the 30-minute heat.
Sixteen year-old Brazilian prodigy Peterson Crisanto also proved unstoppable, stepping up the day’s pace with a simply sensational showing against his Hawaiian opponent Kai Barger.
Barger managed a heat high wave score of 9 points but failed to find a back-up ride with his more consistent young opponent securing a 8.80 and a 8.20 for a heat total of 16.70 (out of a possible 20).
Cristano will now face lone remaining Australian Mitch Crews (Currumbin) in the quarterfinals. Crews, who posted the only 10-point ride of the tournament so far in yesterday’s round two, eliminated Jason Harris (Huntington Beach, USA) in one of the day’s slowest heats.
Crew’s a clear winner, finishing on a heat total of 14.50 points to Harris’s final tally of 9.10.
Quarterfinal match-ups will see Shaun Joubert (South Africa) take on Miguel Popo (Brazil) in heat one, Marc Lacomare (France) vs Made ‘Garut’ Widiartha (Indonesia) in heat two, Peterson Crisanto (Brazil) vs Mitch Crews (Australia) in heat three and Nick Godfrey (South Africa) vs Dusty Payne (Hawaii) in the last heat of the round.
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.