SECOND ANNUAL OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR GLOBAL CHALLENGE COMES TO A SUCCESSFUL CLOSE
(Foothill Ranch, Calif., Oct. 26, 2009) – The second annual Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge wrapped up earlier this month after a grueling battle in excellent conditions at the Final at Keramas, Bali, Indonesia. Crowned victorious, Australia’s Sam Wrench took home the $20,000 first-place prize check, the largest single payout in pro junior surfing, after getting a last-minute entry into the event due to Australian qualifier Owen Wright’s decision to pursue Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) points. With a 10-day holding period, organizers were able to stretch the heats out across eight days in order to ensure the best possible conditions for the entire contest.
Only 18 surfers earned spots into the Final event, by qualifying in first or second at one of six qualifying events around the globe (Australia, USA, South Africa, Brazil, Japan and France) or earning one of six coveted wildcards. A few others, like Wrench, received entry after qualifiers withdrew from the competition due to injury or scheduling conflicts. Included in the final mix were some of the best surfers under the age of 20 including both the World and European World Junior Champions.
“From Straddie to Bali, this year’s Challenge brought the top juniors to some of the best waves in the world,” says Ronny Nelson, Oakley Sports Marketing Manager. “Long waiting periods, epic conditions, man-on-man heats and progressive surfing made the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge stops the most exciting contests of the year. We lived up to the hype generated by last year’s Challenge by producing the world’s most prestigious junior series.”
The final results looked like this:
1st ($20,000) – Sam Wrench (AUS)
2nd ($7,000) – Marc Lacomare (FRA)
Equal 17th ($1,500) – Noa Deane (AUS), Dillon Perillo (USA)
Sam Wrench joins last year’s inaugural winner Dusty Payne (HAW) on the prestigious winner’s list of the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge.
Although the Global Challenge series has come to an end, a handful of Global Challenge competitors will be competing in the final North American event of the Pro Junior season at the Oakley Pro Junior North American Championships running November 2-8 at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz, California including Kai Barger, Nat Young, Granger Larsen and Alejo Muniz.
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.