It was a great ending to a tough day of surfing for Indonesia’s pro juniors competing in the Billabong Pro Junior Asia 5 Star rated ASP event at Keramas Beach in Bali today, but top Indonesian seed Putra Hermawan from Nusa Lembongan aggressively surfed to a second place finish in the final heat of Round 3 to advance into the money round of the event tomorrow.
Hermawan was up against the number 2 ranked Australian pro junior Davey Cathels, South Africa’s number 4 ranked pro junior Beyrick De Vries, and South African Slade Prestwich.
Hermawan jumped into the number two spot early and held on for the entire 25 minute heat, making several big maneuvers to consolidate his position and leave Cathels needing a 6.5 point score to knock him down to third. Cathels never managed to pick off a good wave and ended the heat visibly frustrated.
After the heat Hermawan was all smiles as the MC announced he made it into Round 4. When asked how he felt he replied, “Wow, I’m so happy I made it. The onshore wind came up just as I paddled out so I knew it might be hard to get good waves. I just tried to do my best on whatever came my way.” When he was told that he had eliminated Australia’s number 2-ranked pro junior he was surprised saying “Really? Now I feel even happier! I actually beat the number 2 pro junior from Australia? That’s something I didn’t expect at all.”
Tomorrow in Round 4 Hermawan will face three Australians in Heat 7; Sam Lendrum, Sam Wrench, and Perth Standlick. Should he fail to advance into the Round of 16, for a third place finish he will go home with $400 and for a fourth place finish $300.
The other Indonesian pro juniors that competed today but failed to advance were Gazali Hamzah (Sumbawa), Agus Frimanto (Nusa Lembongan), Putu Anggara (Nusa Lembongan), and Mahardika Alit (Kuta).
The wave conditions were good to excellent throughout the day’s competition, which started at just after 7am and ended at 2pm. The skies were mostly overcast but unlike the previous day’s howling onshore winds the winds were slightly offshore or calm until just before Heat 16, the final round of the day.
Wave size was 2-4 foot glassy waves with a few barrels, mostly walls and excellent shape, which allowed for some very high performances from these top-seeded pro junior surfers. Jack Freestone from Australia posted the highest combined heat score of the day in Heat 4 of 18. 65 out of a possible 20, his best wave score a whopping 9.9 out of 10.
Tomorrow the wave size is expected to increase and the winds should remain much the same as today, making for great conditions to complete Round 4 and possibly on into the man-on-man quarterfinals. There are still four days left, so the contest organizers have plenty of time to wait until the conditions are optimal to run the remainder.
The Billabong Pro Junior Asia runs from July 21-28 at Keramas Beach in Bali, and has the top pro juniors from Australia, Japan, Brazil, Philippines, South Africa, New Zealand, and Hawaii in Bali to compete for their share of the USD 25,000 in prize money as well as well as ASP Pro Junior Championship points.
The Indonesian surfers will also receive points towards their rankings in the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Pro Junior Division.