Oakley'Â™s Seabass Wins OPJ
Oakley’Â™s Sebastian Zietz (Hanalei, HAW) has claimed the 2008 Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge North American Qualifier in firing three-to-four foot surf at Lower Trestles over fellow finalists Jason Harris (Huntington Beach, CA), Travis Beckmann (Vero Beach, FL) and Dusty Payne (Lahaina, HAW). The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior event culminated a week’s worth of competition this afternoon as performance levels went through the roof, with some of the highest scored waves of the event being logged in during the hard-fought final.
Zietz, who proved the form surfer of both the Oakley Pro Junior and the ASP WQS 4-Star 6.0 Lowers Pro (only knocked out with a last-minute interference), absolutely dominated the final, seamlessly blending beautiful rail work with explosive fin-free maneuvers to net the highest-scoring heat total of the Oakley Pro Junior, an 18.40 out of a possible 20.
“I was surprised when I heard that first score because I didn’t think that it was that good of a wave and then I got that second wave and I finally started to relax a little bit,” Zietz said. “I surfed about 11 heats in this contest, and I’m bummed to lose out in the quarters of the men’s event because of an interference, but it made me want to go out and smash it in this heat that much more. It’s always a big breakthrough to win an event and take home some money.”
As the opening event of the Macy’s California Trifecta Surf Series (an ASP North America Specialty Series), Zietz’s win also sees the young Hawaiian take the ratings heading into the second stop in September.
Harris, who advanced through the field relatively unnoticed, rocketed from third to second in the dying moments with a blistering forehand assault on a roping Lowers righthander. The score netted in at an 8.27 out of a possible 10 and upped Harris into runner-up position.
“I knew it was a battle for second and when that wave came through at the end, I just focused on surfing top-to-bottom and not falling,” Harris said. “This is the best result of my career and it definitely helps in terms of ratings and qualifying for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships is definitely a goal this year because it’s my last season as a junior.”
In finishing 1st and 2nd respectively, Zietz and Harris have qualified for the Oakley Pro Global Challenge, which will run October 7-17, 2008.
“It’s unreal,” Harris said. “I’ve never been to Bali. I’ve been to the Mentawais, but never to Bali and I think it’s great that Oakley is putting money into junior surfing.”
Beckmann, who was one of the form surfers of the Oakley Pro Junior, looked in solid position throughout the final, but was unable to stave off the onslaught of Harris towards the end.
“It’s really tough to have second locked up and then lose it at the end,” Beckmann said. “3rd is still a pretty good result and it will help my rating this season as I aim to qualify for the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.”
Payne, who consistently picked off the highest scores in both the 6.0 Lowers Pro and the Oakley Pro Junior, seemed to run out of energy towards the end of the day, but his impressive performances put the entire globe on notice.
“I was just out of rhythm I guess, and I just couldn’t get any good ones out there in the final. I just couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Payne said.
Check out Day 1 results HERE.
All Oakley Pro Junior action is available at www.oakleyprojunior.com
Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge ASP North America Qualifier – ASP Grade-2 Pro Junior
- – Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 18.40
- – Jason Harris (USA) 14.94
- – Travis Beckmann (USA) 14.17
- – Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.40
Semifinals: 8 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
SF 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.06, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.77, Adam Wickwire (USA) 10.47, Austin Smith-Ford (USA) 10.34
SF 2: Travis Beckmann (USA) 15.16, Jason Harris (USA) 10.93, Blake Jones (USA) 7.84, Nat Young (USA) 6.33
Quarterfinals: 16 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
QF 1: Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.57, Austin Smith-Ford (USA) 12.67, Nick Rupp (USA) 5.20, Andrew Doheny (USA) 8.13
QF 2: Adam Wickwire (USA) 14.17, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.96, Bruno Rodrigues (USA) 10.46, Dillon Perillo (USA) 10.36
QF 3: Travis Beckmann (USA) 11.00, Jason Harris (USA) 10.00, Brent Reilly (USA) 10.00, Sean Poynter (USA) 8.20
QF 4: Nat Young (USA) 14.67, Blake Jones (USA) 13.16, Matt Mohagen (USA) 12.60, Cody Thompson (USA) 8.86
Remaining Round 2 Heats: 32 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 5: Travis Beckmann (USA) 11.17, Matt Mohagen (USA) 8.28, Mike McCabe (USA) 5.76, Rudy Palmboom (USA) 5.33
Heat 6: Brent Reilly (USA) 15.10, Nat Young (USA) 13.50, Fisher Heverly (USA) 9.60, Kyle Ramey (HAW) 8.86
Heat 7: Blake Jones (USA) 11.42, Sean Poynter (USA) 9.94, Marshall Alberga (USA) 4.20, Philip Goold (USA) 9.93
Heat 8: Cody Thompson (ZAF) 16.17, Jason Harris (USA) 13.10, Daniel Shea (USA) 11.40, Kento Takahashi (JPN) 8.60