Women Open the Oakley World Pro Junior Bali With Style

MICK CURLEY_OAKLEY PRO JNR_DAY1_3-10-2011-3944

The Oakley World Pro Junior Bali got off to a great start today with Women’s round one action. The day began with an opening ceremony where all competitors dressed in traditional Balinese attire and a local chief performed a blessing ritual on the sands of Echo Beach, Canggu.

The Oakley World Pro Junior Bali is the first of three events that will decide a men’s and women’s 2011 ASP World Junior Champion. With the weight of the championship title on their shoulders, the women hit the water with abandon putting on an epic show in the 3 – 4 foot surf to show the world that the future of women’s surfing is in good hands.

Joanne Defay (FRA) opened the day with a win over Gabriela Leite (BRA) and Sarah Mason (NZL). Defay’s smooth style saw her earn two scores in the 6-point range to advance directly into round three.

“I’m very happy that I chose to surf the right over the left,” Defay said. “Sarah [Mason] was on the left by herself and I was worried she would get a big score, but it was Gabriela [Leite] that got the big score right next to me. She only needed a 5 with a few minutes remaining, I was nervous, that’s why I’m so happy to win.”

Coco Ho (HAW), who finished sixth in this year’s elite ASP Women’s World title race, came to the Oakley World Pro Junior Bali to compete for an ASP World Junior title in her last year in the under 21 competition.

“This is only my second time to Bali, so it was an easy decision to come and compete here,” Ho said. “Especially since the ASP Women’s World Tour has finished for the year. The surf is fun, but it’s trickier than it looks from the beach.”

Oakley’s Juliana Meneghel of Brazil, is an experienced contest surfer, but was unable to keep pace with Coco Ho this morning. She’ll have another opportunity to keep her World Junior Tour campaign alive in round two.

Also, looking for a little round two redemption will be Oakley’s powerful Hawaiian goofy footer, Alessa Quizon who spent the majority of her round one heat jockeying for first with Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) only to be dropped to third during the final minutes of the heat by Oakley teammate Quincy Davis (USA).

The girls in heat four found themselves battling the lineup as much as each other. Maud Le Car (FRA), who kept busy catching more than her fair share of waves, proved to have the winning strategy, but Oakley’s Lani Doherty (HAW) kept pace and advanced directly through to round three as well.

Felicity Palmateer (AUS) came into this event brimming with confidence after achieving second place at the ASP 6-Star event in Portugal last week – the best result of her career. Palmateer used her powerful backhand attack to easily advance into round three.

“It’s really fun out there,” Palmateer said. “I’m just stoked to be here, I only got the call saying I’d been given a wildcard about a week and a half ago. Before that I was bummed that all the girls would be here surfing great waves without me.”

Closing out the day on a high note was Dimity Stoyle (AUS) who surfed an explosive heat earning the highest heat total of the day – 18.06 (out of a possible 20). With her lightning fast, searing forehand carves, Stoyle made her intentions clear today at the Oakley World Pro Junior Bali.

“I had so much fun, it’s awesome to be here,” Stoyle said. “I didn’t want to come in, it’s great to be able to surf Canggu with just two other girls.”

When onshore winds picked-up mid-afternoon Contest Directors decided to end competition for the day after the final heat of round one. A call will be made at 9 am tomorrow for a possible 9:30 am start to Women’s round two or Men’s round one.

The Oakley World Pro Junior Bali will run from October 3 – 14. Check out www.oakleyprojunior.com for the live webcast, latest news, photos, videos and more.

OAKLEY WORLD PRO JUNIOR WOMEN’S ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joanne Defay (FRA) 13.43, Gabriela Leite (BRA) 12.90, Sarah Mason (NZL) 7.16
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.67, Faye Zoetmulder (ZAF) 7.23, Juliana Meneghel (BRA) 6.67
Heat 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.50, Quincy Davis (USA) 10.03, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 9.17
Heat 4: Maud Le Car (FRA) 7.36, Lani Doherty (HAW) 6.90, Diah Dewi Rahayu (IND) 1.30
Heat 5: Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 13.27, Nao Omura (JPN) 6.14, Ren Hashimoto (JPN) 3.67
Heat 6: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 18.06, Philippa Anderson (AUS) 14.33, Leila Hurst (HAW) 11.50