Tuesday October 16, 2012. Oakley ASP World Junior Championships
Hawaii's Ezekiel Lau placed 2nd in the Oakley World Pro Junior Championships at Keramas in Bali today. The powerful Sunset Beach surfer was a standout all event but went down in the final to Australian Jack Freestone. The final scores were Freestone - 13.83 to Lau's - 13.77, missing 1st place by a mere .07 points!! A tough loss? Or an outstanding run that highlights Zeke's talent and emerging dominance? Zeke no doubt put on a stellar performance, and ended up with a sensational result. All good things happening for the 18 year old Hawaiian who has two more years in this Pro Junior division but may well chase the ASP World Qualifying open Series given his great form and potential.
This year’s ASP World Junior Champion was decided at a standalone event, the Oakley ASP World Junior Championship Bali as opposed to a series of events. 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, big Keramas tubes and windy, rampy Keramas on the Final day.
“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.”
Lau, the powerful Hawaiian surfer impressed all who watched throughout the event, but fell short in the last heat of the event. The Final was a chess match, going back and forth with the lead changing and the two surfers with similar powerful and progressive styles battling for the ASP World Junior Title.
“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’ve got the Triple Crown coming up soon in Hawaii, so I’ll be back.”
Andrew Doheny (USA) was elininated by Lau in Semifinal 1, finishing equal 3rd, one spot short of his runner-up finish at the Oakley ASP World Junior Championships last year. Doheny was one of the most exciting surfers to watch for the duration of the event, using his unpredictable style to constantly blow onlookers away.
“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.”
Freestone went on a frenzy in that heat, posting multiple scores in the excellent range, with Oakley ASP World Junior Championships Head Judge Glen Elliot describing 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.”
OAKLEY ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS MEN’S FINAL RESULT:
Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.83 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.77
OAKLEY ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS 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 ASP WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS 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
For full event coverage go to www.oakleyprojunior.com
And check out this contest highlight vid