You couldn’t have dreamed up a better final day for the Oakley Pro Junior at North Stradbroke Island today. Six-foot conditions were some of the best Queensland, Australia has seen in a year and the morning heats surfed better waves than any WCT contest last year.
After three days of solid competition at two different venues on the island, the final heat pitted local lad Lincoln Taylor against Oakley's former ISA World Junior champion Julian Wilson. It was a classic story of local underground grom versus the sponsored champion.
Wilson surfed extremely well all day, consistently notching high scores and drawing applause from the beach, but the local Straddie surfer scored the best wave of the heat and captured his maiden pro junior series victory.
"I'm over the moon," said Taylor, whose previous best ever result on the pro junior series was a quarterfinal finish. "It's my last year on the series and I really wanted to win this event in front of all my family and friends. I couldn't have asked for a better place to do it. Every surfer dreams about winning an event at their local beach. I can't believe that it happened to me."
Taylor collected $7000, the most ever won in an Australian Pro Junior, and 3,500 rating points for winning the 9-star rated ASP Australasian tournament.
"There was like a 20-minute lull through the final and I couldn't buy a wave," said Oakley's Julian Wilson. "I think Lincoln put on an island curse on me. He caught all the good waves in the final and dug deep when he really needed to."
Wilson and Taylor both bagged a trip to an exotic location to compete in the Oakley Global Challenge against winners from each of the six Oakley Pro Junior events throughout Brazil, Europe, Japan, USA and South Africa this year.
"I can't wait to surf against the best junior surfers from around the globe," said Taylor.
Just before the final, the Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel Expression Session was an explosive demonstration, with the Oakley team throwing down a storm of progressive maneuvers. Oakley's Hawaiian Sebastian Zietz who took home $1000 for the session's best wave.
Stay tuned to www.aspworldtour.com/oakley or www.oakleyprojunior.com