A battle between the strongest young competitors in the world has crowned Australian surfer, Jack Freestone, the 2012 Oakley World Pro Junior Champion, his second Oakley Pro Junior win. This time in Bali, Freestone won the ASP World Junior Title after fighting a tough Final heat against Hawaiian powerhouse Ezekiel Lau in a close match-up, Freestone taking the win with a 13.83 heat total score over Lau’s 13.77. Kermas offered smaller waves on the final day of the event in 2 to 3 ft punchy surf today, but the competitors made the most of windy conditions with huge aerial rotations, also able to combine various maneuvers on what was on offer. Both were recognized as the strongest surfers in the competition, with Andrew Doheny (USA) on their tails in third place and Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) knocked out by Freestone’s near-perfect Semifinal heat, when he scored 19.53 points out of 20.
Freestone joins the elite trio of surfers, ASP WCT No.1 Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Pablo Paulino (BRA), all of whom have claimed multiple men’s junior titles.
“It’s amazing to follow in Joel (Parkinson’s) footsteps,” Freestone said. “He’s my favouite 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.”
“When I won the ASP World Junior Title in 2010 it was just luck,” Freestone said. “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 wasn’t even going to enter this event a few months ago, but I’m so glad I did! I feel amazing right now.”
Ezekiel Lau thanked the immense support from home and to his sponsors for the opportunities, and was a stand-out throughout the entire competition knocking out big names on the way to the Finals. Only a 0.06 margin made the difference between the trophy and runner-up.
“I came here to win, but Jack (Freestone) was in rhythm and caught the best waves in the Final,” Lau said. “Congratulations to him. You just have to move on; I’ve got the Triple Crown coming up soon, so I’ll be back.”
Watch the highlights and skim the photos from earlier Rounds in the Bali:
Be sure to check back on TheSurfChannel.com for videos of the final moments and heat highlights. For full results, check www.oakleyprojunior.com.