Final Wildcard Decided for Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge

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Welcome to Bali. The waiting period for the inaugural Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Championships, the final event of a six-event international series for junior men begins today. Yesterday, 32 of Bali’s top surfers competed for the final wildcard slot at Keramas Beach on Bali’s east side. Garut Widiarta from Kuta narrowly defeated Raditya Rondi in an explosive wave-for-wave count-back final.

“It was great to see the boys all really going for it,” said contest director Tipi Jabrik. “Even in these tough conditions, they were charging, knowing only first place would qualify for the event. Now we’ll get to see how our local guys [Widiarta and Yuki Seedwell] will do up against some of the best pro juniors in the world.”

In addition to the $163,000 the series has already doled out via the five qualifying events, an elite field of 18 of the world’s best juniors will compete in a man-on-man WCT-style format for a chance at the $20,000 first-place prize, the richest Pro Junior in the world. The primary competition venue will be based at Keramus, with an option to go mobile based on conditions.

“It’s incredible to have this level of talent in Bali, one of the most diverse, high performance venues in the world,” says Oakley Surf Marketing Manager Ronny Nelson. “From the location to the format to the communal housing, this is truly an event that caters to the surfers. The Dream Tour format and the ability to only run when conditions are the best should create a platform for some of the best junior surfing to date.”

In its inaugural year, the 2008 Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge has traveled 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.

The Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge qualifiers:

AUSTRALIA
1. Lincoln Taylor (QLD)
2. Mitch Crews (QLD)*
SOUTH AFRICA
1. Shaun Joubert (SAF)
2. Nick Godfrey (SAF)
USA
1. Sebastian Zietz (HI)
2. Jason Harris (USA)
BRAZIL
1. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
2. Franklin Serpa (BRA)**
JAPAN
1. Keito Matsuoka (JPN)
2. Kaito Ohashi (JPN)
FRANCE
1. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
2. Marc Lacomare (FRA)

Mitch Crews replaces Julian Wilson who is out due to injury
*
Franklin Serpa replaces Thiago Camarao

In addition to the 12 qualifiers, six wildcards will round out the field of 18 competitors. Wildcards were chosen based on their performance throughout the year with the goal of ensuring a well-rounded group of the world’s best up-and-coming talent.

WILDCARDS
1. Dusty Payne (HI)
2. Yuki Seedwell (IDN)
3. Romain Cloitre (FRA)
4. Billy Stairmand (NZ)
5. Kai Barger (HI)
6. Garut