THE second annual Oakley Pro Junior Challenge set for October 7-17, in Bali Indonesia is around the corner and South African’s Shaun Joubert and Brendon Gibbens, who qualified through the Oakley Pro Junior event held in Port Alfred, South Africa, are ready for action!
The Oakley Pro Junior series consist of six events, in six different locations around the world, namely North Stradbroke Island Queensland Australia, Lower Trestles California USA, Port Alfred South Africa, Balneario de Camboriu Brazil, Shidashita point Japan and Lacanau France. First and second place from each event have qualified to surf in the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge in Bali. The Oakley Pro Junior series has a total prize purse of $ 165 000 with the Global Challenge boasting $ 75 000 and the winner walking away with a massive $ 20 000, around R 160 000!
Last year Dusty Payne took out the Challenge with a brilliant display of surfing in perfect waves at Keramas in Bali. Dusty learned that its not all about the big prize jackpot at the end, the media hype he received around the high profile junior surfing event was enormous and he was spread across newspapers and surfing magazines the world over. The confidence he gained from the Oakley Pro junior Challenge then carried over to Hawaii where he had everyone talking and became the Rookie of the Triple Crown of surfing on the Island of Oahu, a series where pro surfer are made or broken!
One surfer who knows how important the Oakley Pro Junior Challenge proves to be is South Africa’s Shaun Joubert. Shaun finished 3rd in the challenge last year and had this to say about upcoming Challenge: ’ I am really looking forward to the Oakley Challenge, last year I ended 3rd and the level was unbelievably high, this year I want to go there and surf as well as I can and really go for the win! I was not that well prepared for the event last year, this year I know what boards to take and what to expect from the break so I will use that to my advantage but one thing is for sure, with only the top 2 guys from each country and plenty time to surf the contest in perfect waves, the surfers will be pushing the limits even harder than last year!’
The Other South African Qualifier is 18 year old Brendon Gibbens. Gibbens finished second to Joubert in Port Alfred and expressed his feelings about the upcoming final in Bali: ‘I am expecting everyone’s level of surfing to be insanely good over there. I have been surfing a lot and really focussing on progressive surfing as that is what the Oakley Global Challenge is about. I think there is less pressure in this event as you don’t feel like you are in a heat, its more like a free surf so I hope to display what I am capable of in the perfect waves of Karamas in Bali!’
The event will be run over 10 days with only 4 days needed to complete competition. With this much time to run the competition, the Junior surfers are almost guaranteed to be spoilt by brilliant waves again and show their talent off to the world as most other junior contest are run in a much shorter time frame and usually in sub standard conditions.
The list of surfers that have booked their place in the Oakley Pro Junior Challenge so far are:
Owen Wright (Aus)
Jadson Andre (Brz)
Kai Barger (Haw)
Davey Cathels (Aus)
Shaun Joubert (South Africa)
Brendon Gibbens (South Africa)
Alejo Muniz (Brz)
Jesse Mendes (Brz)
Dillon Perillo (USA)
Kato Arashi (JPN)
Charley Martin (FRA)
Wiggolly Dantas (Brz)
The event will run with an 18 Man format with 6 wildcard entries yet to be named.
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