Press release - KERAMAS, Bali, Indonesia: Wade Carmichael barrel rode his way to his biggest career victory by taking out a close and high scoring final at the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Billabong Pro Junior Asia in excellent 1.5m (4 to 5 feet) surf at the famed Keramas River-mouth in Bali.
The 17 year-old Australian rising-star from Avoca Beach on NSW's Central Coast displayed nerves of steel in his come-from-behind win today after James Woods (AUS/Coolangatta/Qld) opened the final with an outstanding 9 point ride.
"I was really concerned when Woods scored that 9 point ride early but I sort of told myself to relax and concentrate on getting a great wave because there were a lot of excellent waves coming through and I'd scored big prior to the final and realized I simply had to score a big one again" said Carmichael after the win.
"When that large set wave approached mid way through I knew the time had come to get the score - it lined up perfectly and I just rode the barrel hoping it would stay open and let me out, which it did and straight away I felt I'd taken the lead."
Carmichael scored an excellent 8.75 for the ride and combined with his earlier ride of 7.75 took the lead and left Woods chasing a very achievable 7.5 to regain the lead which he was unable to find in the final 10 minutes.
For both surfers this was their first ever final and best ever result in ASP Pro Junior surfing with Carmichael taking $US7000 in prize-money and Woods $US3000.
"I was disappointed not to win especially after that opening 9 point ride but I'm really pleased to have made the final of such an amazing event" said Woods.
"The waves have been great all week and today's finals were super high standard - second is a great result and the $US3000 prize-money comes in handy as I'm looking to buy a car right now when I get home."
In the semi-finals James Woods stole a last wave win over his younger brother Thomas Woods while Carmichael outclassed Blake Ainsworth by again riding deep barrels to advance.
This was the first-ever duel sanctioned ASP Australasia/Japan event which attracted the very best 20 year and under surfers from throughout the region which included a strong contingent of Australian, Japan, Indonesian, New Zealand and Philippine surfers along with a sprinkling of excellent surfers from South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Sudan and Hawaii.
Such was the success of the event that organizers held a well represented post-event meeting to discuss ways to expand this concept further into what is possibly surfing's greatest geographical location boasting the greatest abundance of amazingly perfect reef, point and river-mouth locations.