KERAMAS, Bali/Indonesia (Tuesday, June 25, 2013) - The Oakley Pro Bali resumed competition today and the world-class Balinese righthander of Keramas delivered barreling six-to-eight foot (2 - 2.5 metre) waves for the elimination Round 3.
Event No. 5 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Oakley Pro Bali endured four lay days of small surf before Keramas reawakened today and the world's best surfers threaded barrels, lofted airs and executed turns, whittling the event's original 36-man field down to the final 12.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 32, reigning ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 7, put on a clinic in his morning bout against an on-fire Damien Hobgood (USA), 33, amassing an excellent 18.60 out of a possible 20 for flawless barrel-riding and searing carves.
"That was really really fun," Parkinson said. "We had non-stop waves for the heat and were just going back-and-forth on exchanges. I've been coming to Keramas for years and it's one of my favorite waves in the world. The conditions this morning were absolutely incredible - sheet glass and big barrels. You can't really ask for much more."
John John Florence (USA), 20, in only his second event back since an injury at the opening event of the year saw him absent from the tour until last week in Fiji. Florence once again teed off against fellow Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz (HAW), 25, and used his preternatural barrel sense and progressive power surfing to take the win and advance into Round 3.
"Sebastian (Zietz) and I have had a lot of heats together lately," Florence said. "He's a couple of years older than me and he's a really strong surfer. We had a really good Round 1 with lots of high scores and the waves this morning are ones that we both like to surf in. Unfortunately for Bass, he broke his board on his opening wave and I think that put him out of rhythm for the rest of the heat. The waves are really firing right now."
Kelly Slater (USA), 41, 11-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 1, followed suit with a win over local standout Putra Hermawan (IDN), 20, but one that was a departure from the icon's characteristic dominance in similar conditions.
"It was a frustrating heat for me," Slater said. "There weren't a lot of opportunities and the few that came through, he (Hermawan) had them. I was lucky that he didn't end up taking advantage of them. When it's stop and go like that, you have to use what you have so I ended up taking a lot of smaller waves and building some medium scores. Turned out to be enough, but yeah, definitely frustrating with the kinds of waves that have been coming through out here today."
Following a pristine morning of freight train barrels, the dropping tide and afternoon winds shifted the performance focus from tube-riding to turns and aerials in the latter half of the round.
Michel Bourez (PYF), 27, demolished the rippable afternoon conditions, blending powerful carves with explosive fin-free surfing to post a 16.94 out of a possible 20 and eliminate South American upstart Gabriel Medina (BRA), 19, in Round 3 of competition.
"Very fun waves out at Keramas today," Bourez said. "I'm feeling strong and healthy and I have very good boards at the moment. I had a good start to the year with a 3rd on the Gold Coast, but have had some poor results too already. Keramas is a wave that is very rippable for all the guys on tour. I feel like I can surf it well if I get the right waves in my heats."
"I did my best to stick to my game plan," Patacchia said. "I started strong and I know most of the guys on tour can do airs on nearly any wave out there, but they're high-risk maneuvers and you have to stick them. I definitely waited longer than I wanted to for my second wave score, but it came and I surfed it as well as I can. I knew I could get the score on it and I was just thinking that if you can't get the score here, you don't belong on this tour."
Patacchia would claim the sole goofy-foot over natural-foot victory today in conditions that most pundits would have given the advantage to the South African.
"I knew I was the last heat of the day and I knew that the wind would switch and these would be Jordy (Smith) conditions," Patacchia said. "I definitely felt like the underdog, but I had a plan and I stuck to it and surfed as hard and as smart as I could and it paid off. Really psyched to get through that heat and it gives me a lot of confidence to get past someone like him."
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 6:45am start.
Highlights from the Oakley Pro Bali will be available via www.oakleyprobali.com
Surfline, official forecasters for the Oakley Pro Bali are calling for:
The current SW swell will continue on Wednesday. A larger SSW swell will build in through Thursday afternoon before gradually easing Friday. A new, long period SW swell will gradually build through Saturday as the old SSW swell fades.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com