KERAMAS, Bali (Wednesday, July 21, 2010) – With Keramas rivermouth in Bali delivering good clean 1.25m (3 to 4 feet) surf, the opening day of the Association of Surfing Professionals Billabong Pro Junior Asia highlighted the strength of the broad international field here to surf this event.
The opening five heats saw winners from Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and Hawaii.
Fittingly two Indonesian surfers, Kadek Julyarta and Ida Simarai (both Bali), won their heats with all eight round one heats completed.
Ida Simarai, hailing from nearby Kuta Beach, confidently attacked the clean waves at Keramas in his impressive win over New Zealand surfer Tane Wallis.
“I surf here a lot and like this wave,” said Simarai. “It’s a big event for all of the Indonesian surfers and it’s great to surf against so many different surfers from all over the world in our waters – we are all confident we can do well here and I especially feel good surfing Keramas and I hope to win many more heats in this event – I want to make the final!”
Young internationals surfers Koa Smith (Hawaii) and Ohhara Hiroto (Japan), at 15 and 14 years of age respectively, were super impressive advancing to round two.
“I’m surfing all the Pro Junior events in Japan this year,” said Hiroto after his heat. “For all the Japanese surfers this is the biggest event on our circuit and I love surfing this break at Keramas.”
“I know most of my competitors are bigger and stronger than myself but I feel confident here and believe I can compete against these surfers – it’s great experience for me.”
The days highest scoring surfer was 19 year-old Australian Nick McDonald (Sunshine Coast/Queensland) .
McDonald showed his versatile approach on his opening ride carving three strong top-to- bottom turns and finished with an aerial across shallow reef to score and excellent 8.5 ride and finished the heat on a winning tally of 15.50 out of a possible 20 points.
“My year has been a disaster as I have just recovered from an ankle injury sustained about 4 months ago,” said McDonald. “This is my first event back and it was really a last minute decision that I entered here – I love coming and surfing Bali so I decided to get over here and compete and I feel good for sure after that heat – early days though so hopefully I can build on that result.”
Tomorrows round two heats see the introduction of many seeded surfers like Chris Salidbury (AUS), Beyrick De Vries (South Africa) and Alex Rix (NZ) to name just a few while the very top seeds come in during round three.
The event is expected to start early tomorrow around 6:30am and similarly each day to take best advantage of tides and wind conditions.