Australia’s Sam Wrench wins the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge Final 2009 in Bali
Sam Wrench today won the prestigious Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge 2009
final in excellent five-foot surf at Keramas River-mouth in Bali, defeating
French surfer and 2008 Global Challenge runner-up Marc Lacomare.
This victory netted Wrench $US20 000, the biggest prize purse in World
Professional Pro Junior surfing. The unsponsored surfer entered the Bali
event through an alternate ticket made available by fellow countryman Owen
Wright, who pulled out of the event in order to pursue WQS points.
The 19 year-old from Ulladulla on the south coast of NSW was overjoyed with
the win, defeating an elite field of 18 of the world’s best 20 and under Pro
Junior surfers, including the current European and World Junior Champions.
“It’s the first and obviously the biggest win of my professional career and
it couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Wrench after the win. “The
field here was so strong and we have surfed perfect waves all week. “It’s
amazing to win an event like this. It’s one of the best events in the world
for any pro junior surfer.”
Wrench trailed for most of the final after Lacomare opened with a very
strong seven-point ride.
It was during the final ten minutes of the final when Wrench found two clean
deep rides and used his proven strategy of scoring long barrel rides that he
took the lead and eventually the win.
“It’s such an amazing wave,” said Wrench. “You can score big in lots of
ways, either tube riding, on-face or even aerials. I found getting the
longer tube rides suited me and it worked for me today.”
For Lacomare it was his second runner-up placing at this event, and despite
being disappointed, was gracious in defeat.
“I would have liked to have won this year but unfortunately I’m second
again,” said the current European Junior Champion. “The contest is so good
and the field so strong, we have enjoyed an incredible week of surfing
against each other and well done to Sam.”
An inspiring performance was also put on by current World Junior Champion
Kai Barger today, who suffered a knee injury sustained free surfing two days
ago and this morning hobbled to the water’s edge, fully braced. After two
low scoring waves, Barger pushed his performance hard, clearly uncomfortable
but still showing signs of his renowned power, and scored a very worthy
six-point ride, putting him in contention. His following ride was one of the
best of the event. Taking one of the largest set waves, Barger unleashed a
massive opening bottom-to-top turn and followed up with three more powerful
controlled turns, scoring an 8.5. But in the final five minutes, a priority
mistake saw Wrench claim the semi final but Barger’s remarkable performance
drew applause from the beach.
Sam Wrench joins last year’s inaugural winner Dusty Payne (Hawaii) on the
prestigious winner’s list of the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge.
The quality of this event was highlighted by the daily scheduling of heats.
With plenty of excellent surf in prime time at an A-grade surf location,
heats were surfed per day in the following way, 3, 3, 5, 4, 3, 0, 3 and 2– a
scheduling unlikely to be matched in professional surfing.
Semi 1: Sam Wrench 14.85 V Kai Barger 14.50
Semi 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.50, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.66
Final: Sam Wrench (AUS) 14.40 V Marc Lacomare (FRA) 13.65
The Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge is a unique specialty series launched
by Oakley in 2008 to give young surfers the opportunity to compete at some
of the best surfing locales around the world. After a hugely successful
inaugural year, the 2009 series acquired international momentum and
qualifying became a main priority for many of the world’s top juniors.
For more information log onto oakleyprojunior.com or