Gianyar-Bali: In an exciting final today at the Billabong Pro Junior in Bali, Dean Bowen put on a spectacular backside surfing display as well as showed off his tactical contest skills in the 30 minute final against Teale Vanner, coming back to the beach the winner of the comp, $7,000 richer, and the #2 Pro Junior ranking in the ASP Australasian Tour.
Bowen jumped out into the lead quickly, scoring on big turns and aggressive lip bashes rather than taking his chances on one of the rare tube rides that might come through. Keramas is known to be very difficult for the backside surfer, especially for long and deep barrels, so Bowen wisely chose the lip as to use in his points scoring foray.
Once he had gained the lead, he used his priority in the man-on-man final to keep Vanner scrambling on the inside. In the final minute, sitting on priority with Vanner needing a pair of 7.5 waves to win, Bowen used that priority to drop in on Vanner and eliminate his rival’s last chance for a high scoring wave, sealing the victory for the young pro junior from New South Wales.
Vanner had been in great form all day, scoring big and exercising his full repertoire of maneuvers, racking up points heat wins and even a 10 point barrel in the quarterfinals. He failed to complete a couple of maneuvers that would have gotten him in good position, which made it extremely difficult to catch Bowen.
Contrary to yesterdays crazy waves and weather, which saw rain, fog, mist, and an extreme high tide coupled with impressive 8 foot waves (and some even bigger closeouts), today’s Keramas was lined up, 3-5 foot and glassy, only a few rain sprinkles, and the appearance of more and more sunshine as the morning progressed.
The first two heats were especially memorable, as the slowly brightening sky revealed surfer after surfer ducking in, disappearing, and then being spit out of barrel after barrel. A perfect 10 in each of the heats, and lots of scores in the high 8’s and 9’s. There were some lulls in the sets, but the rising tide kept the momentum up with 3-4 wave sets coming out of a seemingly flat ocean several times during each 25-minute heat.
The last remaining Indonesian surfer to advance through yesterday’s heats was Raditya Rondi, who unfortunately failed to make it out of a couple of barrels that might have had him in the quarterfinals had he been able to find the exit. He along with Dean Bowen were the only two goofyfooters that made it into Round 4. He put in a good effort, but at the horn he was in 4th spot so it was over for him.
Another interesting moment in the day was when the local Police decided to try to launch their Zodiac in the wrong place. They apparently underestimated the force of the waves, and to the entertainment of the crowd, found themselves getting pitched sideways into an almost barreling closeout! The standby jet ski with Kuta Beach lifeguards Made and Wayan raced over and had the soaked policeman on the beach in record time, then dragged the Zodiac back up onto the beach, the water tour over for the day.
It was a great four days of competition with just about every kind of wave and weather condition imaginable, and big shouts out to Billabong for putting together a great competition, to the local police and lifeguards for their security presence, to sponsors Nixon, Sony, Von Zipper, Hawaiian Tropics, the BIMC hospital and to the ASP and the Coca-Cola ISC for running a great event
1. Dean Bowen
2. Vanner Teale
3. Chris Bennett
3. Dale Staples