OPJ Comes to N. America


The nine-event worldwide Oakley Pro Junior series hits North America in conjunction with the 6.0 Lowers Pro at Lower Trestles, San Clemente, Calif. May 2-3, 2008. The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade 2 event will boast a $10,000 prize purse, and as stop number one of the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series, will offer an upgraded $10,000 bonus purse to the top three overall points winners at the end of the three-event series. The event is also the only U.S. qualifier for the five-stop Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge, which will culminate in Bali, Oct. 7-17, with a massive $75,000 prize purse.

“The Oakley Pro Junior series is our top surf event initiative for 2008,” said Ronny Nelson, surf marketing manager for Oakley, Inc. “Trestles is the first of four events on the North American leg of the series, it kicks off the Trifecta, and is the qualifier for the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge in Bali this October. Trestles is also a crucial event for America’s top junior professionals vying for a seed into the ASP World Junior Championships. This is a huge event for the juniors and Oakley is stoked to be a part of it.”

As the North American qualifier for the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Championships in Bali in Oct., Trestles is stop number three out of six. Two qualifiers have already been completed, one in North Stradebroke, QLD and one in Durban, SAF. The last three stops are in Brazil, Japan and France. With the top two finishers in each event gaining entry into the Championships, Lincoln Taylor (QLD), Julian Wilson (QLD), Shaun Joubert (SAF) and Nic Godfrey (SAF) have already qualified. They will meet the winners from each of the remaining Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge qualifying events.

With his win at the Oakley Pro Junior in Durban, Joubert was granted a wildcard into the Trestles Oakley Pro Junior. Rudy Palmboom (SAF) also received an ASP wild card as the number one seed from South Africa after losing in the first round at the South African Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge qualifier. He’ll be looking for redemption.

The Oakley Pro Junior series started two years ago to give young American surfers the same competition opportunities as other surf-centric countries and has since grown into nine events worldwide and four in the U.S., including the three Oakley Pro Juniors that construct the Macy’s California Trifecta. Aligning 32 of the top-rated international junior competitors and the highest-rated ASP North American juniors, the Oakley Pro Junior’s small field and competitive draw demands each surfer perform at the top of his ability.

Each event offers domestic competitors important points toward the year-end standings and a chance to receive entry into the ASP North American Championships which plays a key factor in deciding who will go on to the 2008 Billabong ASP World Junior Championships. The ASP World Junior Championships has crowned past champions such as ASP World Tour pros Joel Parkinson (AUS), Andy Irons (HAW), Adriano de Souza (BRA), as well as, reigning ASP World Junior Champ Jordy Smith (ZAF).

The three Oakley Pro Junior California stops are once again part of the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series, which are held at three of the best locations in North America: Lower Trestles, Newport Beach, and Steamer Lane. The Lower Trestles stop will be the only Pro Junior event of the year held at a North American World Championship Tour venue. The juniors can also look forward to an increased Trifecta bonus of $10,000 up from $5,000 last year.

Following Trestles, the second stop of the Trifecta series will be the ASP Grade 2 Oakley Pro Junior, September 16-21, 2008, at Newport Beach’s renowned 56th Street break in conjunction with the ASP WQS 2-Star Oakley Newport Beach Pro. The series will conclude with the ASP Grade 3 Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships at the 2008 O’Neill Cold Water Classic at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, Calif., October 21-26, 2008.



Staff Writer


April 23, 2008