Heath Joske Wins Billabong Pro Junior At Keramas

(Keramas-Bali, June 20, 2008): Last year’s Billabong Pro Junior Series winner Heath Joske is poised for a repeat performance this year with his emphatic win today at Keramas Beach in Gianyar after besting Nick Vasicek in a final that required very strategic wave selection to get to the top spot on the podium.

The 30 minute final started off with both surfers unable to find their way out of several 4-5 foot sheet glass barrels followed by a long lull, but then Joske locked into a fast closing barrel that he fought his way out of to post a 6.33. He followed up with a 7.17 to combo his opponent Vasicek, who gamely fought back but could only find a 7.37 before the horn blew.

Earlier in his semifinal heat against Brendon Leckie, Joske said, “These waves are so much fun, probably the best waves I’ve ever had in a heat”. Then from the podium after his win he added, “I’m so stoked to come here again and surf, and to come away with a win today is just insane. I really want to thank Billabong for putting on the series and all the support from the local people here. It’s so great to be able to come to Bali and surf such great waves”.

It was another day of classic Keramas, just as good as the previous two days but a bit different, with longish lulls between the once-again 4 to 6 foot waves. Deep barrels were still on offer, but many of the waves would bend around the reef so the end section would pinch off and block the exit, requiring patience and a bit of luck for even these extremely talented young Pro Juniors to find their way out.

The Quarterfinal action got started at 7:30 with Heath Joske taking on Billy Kean. Both surfers were cautious at the start of the heat, feeling their way along until Joske opened things up with a nice double barrel to get the lead, and the lack of open exits on several potentially good scoring opportunities left Kean without a chance increase his score.

In Quarterfinal Two, despite posting a near perfect 10-point ride, Madison Williams fell victim to an in form Brendon Leckie, who then used his priority near the end of heat to secure his entry into the semifinal.

An uncustomary lull in Quarterfinal Three had Nick Vasicek winning his heat with the lowest point total of the day against Dean Iezzi. Iezzi only needed a 4 point wave to take over the lead, but the ocean went quiet and left Iezzi thinking about what might have been.

The action picked up by the time Semifinal One rolled around, as Heath Joske stepped it up another notch by pulling into one of the best barrels of the competition against Brendon Leckie and scored himself an almost perfect 9.77. Leckie was never really allowed into the Final as Joske rattled off one high scoring wave after the next in a truly dominating display of competition surfing.

Nick Vasicek and Sam Wrench traded blows wave for wave in Semifinal Two as some of the biggest set waves of the day came rolling through, sweeping up over the beach and under the judging tower. Vasicek came up with the win after scoring a 9.5, which Wrench gamely responded to with an 8.2, but was just caught short in the end.

Spectators and competitors alike were treated to an impromptu Billabong Expression Session, with WCT surfer Taj Burrow paddling out in the break before the highly anticipated final. Teebs showed why he is a consistent World Title contender wowing the crowds with long drawn out barrel rides and vicious hacks off the lip on the inside section.

Joske has set himself up for the Billabong Pro Junior Series in ideal circumstances. The win at Keramas sealed an epic three days of competition and has everyone looking forward anxiously to the next event. The series moves to Kuta Reef on July 9 -13, then on to the local’s favorite of Canggu on August 13 – 17. The Billabong Pro Junior Series Indonesia is proudly sponsored by Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, Hawaiian Tropic Suncare, Nixon, Von Zipper, and Kustom.

About The Billaabong Pro Junior Series:

The Billabong Pro Junior Series is sanctioned by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships as part of the Pro Junior Championship Division. The series is the most lucrative on the Indonesian calendar, attracting surfers from Australia, Indonesia, USA, Hawaii, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Europe.

In line with the ISC’s goal of seeing talented young Indonesian surfers on the WQS and eventually on the WCT, Billabong is delighted to be an integral part of attaining this goal, as the Billabong Pro Junior Series is widely recognized as the premiere career booster for surfers aged 20 and under with world renown surfers such as Andy Irons and Joel Parkinson having launched their careers with wins at the Billabong ASP World Junior Championships.

2008 Billabong Junior Series

June 18-22: Billabong Pro Junior Series Keramas
July 9-13: Billabong Pro Junior Series Kuta Reef
August 13-17: Billabong Pro Junior Series Canggu
August 13-17: Billabong Occy’s Grom Comp Canggu