JACK FREESTONE WINS SECOND ASP WORLD JUNIOR TITLE AT OAKLEY WORLD PRO JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
KERAMAS, Bali/Indonesia – Oakley crowned Jack Freestone (AUS) with duel titles today after a stunning performance in three consecutive rounds of competition today. Freestone is now the reigning Oakley World Pro Junior Champion and the ASP World Junior Champion. The title was not easily won over Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau (HAW). Two of the strongest competitors in the event, they went to battle not only against each other, but also with the declining conditions. Freestone and Lau unleashed their aerial attacks in the 2-to-3 foot punchy surf at Keramas, going wave for wave until the final horn sounded.
Freestone, who also won the ASP World Junior Title in 2010, joins current ASP WCT No.1 Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Pablo Paulino (BRA) in an elite club of three surfers to have claimed multiple men’s ASP World Junior Titles.
“It’s amazing to follow in Joel [Parkinson’s] footsteps,” Freestone said. “He’s my favorite surfer and we’re both from Coolangatta, so it feels amazing right now. He’s on the Men’s ASP World Championship Tour, that’s where I want to be so hopefully this gives me the confidence to know that I can get there.”
This year’s ASP World Junior Champion was decided at a standalone event, the Oakley World Pro Junior Championship in Bali. Freestone is truly a deserving winner after battling through a stellar field of the world’s best junior surfers and an array of conditions ranging from shifty beachbreaks at Canggu, massive tubes and windy, rampy Keramas on the Final day.
“When I won the ASP World Junior Title in 2010 it was just luck,” continued Freestone. “I was out of the event and had to sit and wait for certain people to win and lose. This event was much different because it’s the only one, but I never put pressure on myself and it must have worked. I feel amazing right now.”
Lau, the powerful Hawaiian surfer, was in fine form throughout the event logging impressive wins heat after heat. The caliber of his surfing carried straight through to the final round. The Final was a chess match between two powerful and progressive surfers each equipped with the skill and style to claim the title as their own.
“I came here to win, not come second,” Lau said. “But Jack [Freestone] was in rhythm and caught the best waves in the Final so congratulations to him. You just have to move on. I have the Triple Crown coming up soon in Hawaii, so I’ll be back.”
Andrew Doheny (USA) was eliminated by Lau in Semifinal 1, finishing equal 3rd, one spot short of his runner-up finish at the Oakley World Pro Junior Championship last year. Doheny was one of the most exciting surfers to watch for the duration of the event, using his unpredictable style to keep competitors and onlookers guessing what he would do next.
“I thought I’d be bummed,” Doheny said. “But I’m actually really stoked! Even though I finished second here last year, I didn’t expect to get as high as third this year. Ezekiel [Lau] did what I like to do, he caught a bunch of waves and got into rhythm.”
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) fell victim to a raging Freestone in Semifinal 2, finishing the heat with just 2.17 [out of a possible 20] to Freestone’s 19.53. Boukhiam was the last goofy-footed (right foot forward) surfer remaining in the draw and he really struggled in the difficult conditions today.
“I didn’t want to waste my time going for airs,” Boukhiam said. “I’m not an air guy. If the surf is big I can post 9-point-rides too. I’m happy to finish third. I came to win, but third is okay.”
Freestone went on a tirade in that heat, posting multiple scores in the excellent range. Oakley World Pro Junior Championship Head Judge Glen Elliot described the heat as “One of the best displays of technical aerial surfing in one heat in ASP history. Jack [Freestone] landed two stalefish grabs, a slob grab and full rotation Kerrupt grab air-reverse. People will be talking about that heat for a long time.”
Thus concluded another successful Oakley World Pro Junior Championship in Bali. Congratulations to both World Junior Champions, Jack Freestone and Nikki Van Dijk on their first class performances.
OAKLEY WORLD PRO JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP MEN’S FINAL RESULT:
Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.83 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.77
OAKLEY WORLD PRO JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 15.20 def. Andrew Doheny (USA) 7.50
SF 2: Jack Freestone (AUS) 19.53 def. Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 2.17
OAKLEY WORLD PRO JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP MEN’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 16.37 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 10.26
QF 2: Andrew Doheny (USA) 14.77 def. Cooper Chapman (AUS) 12.67
QF 3: Jack Freestone (AUS) 15.0 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 14.27
QF 4: Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) 14.00 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.37