Foothill Ranch, Calif., March 10, 2008 – Oakley announces an expanded nine-event international Oakley Pro Junior series and the all-new Oakley Global Challenge for 2008. The Oakley Pro Junior series will criss-cross the globe landing in nine of the world's best surf spots and offering up a cumulative prize purse of $193,000 for the series. Six of the nine events will serve as qualifiers for the new Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge in Bali, Sept. 25 to Oct. 5, with a massive $75,000 prize purse.
"It's important for Oakley to support the development of pro surfing internationally," says Oakley Surf Marketing Manager Ronny Nelson. "Based on the success of the Oakley Pro Junior series in North America, we decided to launch the Global Challenge and take our series to the next level. An elite field of juniors will qualify to go to Bali to compete in one of the best surf destinations in the world in both traditional and experimental contest formats."
The Oakley Pro Junior series started two years ago to give young American surfers the same competition opportunities as other surf-centric countries and has since grown into four Pro Juniors in the U.S., including the three Oakley Pro Juniors that construct the Macy's California Trifecta.
The 2008 Oakley Pro Junior series kicked off in North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia last month with an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-4 event that was also the first of the Global Challenge qualifiers.
Local Lincoln Taylor (North Stradbroke Island, QLD) clinched the win and $7,000, the most ever won in an Australian Pro Junior. Oakley's own Julian Wilson (Coolum, QLD) took home second place and $3,500 of the $30,000 purse.
Both Taylor and Wilson also qualified for the Global Challenge Championships where they will meet the winners from each of the remaining Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge qualifying events throughout South Africa, North America, Brazil, and Europe. The Championships will connect four days of competition during a 10-day waiting period.
The contest will be followed by a unique competition in which the athletes will choose what they want to be judged on for that specific day. So, if it's barreling, a tube-riding event will go down; if it's punting, it will be about innovative aerials.
"The events are built to encourage the highest level of surfing possible," says Nelson. "Oakley has committed to junior surfing, choosing wave quality and solid swell timing over mainstream appeal. This was proven by the first event at the remote location on North Stradbroke, as opposed to a more accessible but weaker wave."
The second event of the series and another Global Challenge qualifier will take place March 21-23 at New Pier, Durban, South Africa. This ASP Grade-2 event boasts a $10,000 purse and will determine two additional qualifiers for the Global Challenge Championships.
The three Oakley Pro Junior California stops are once again part of the Macy's California Trifecta Surf Series, which are held at arguably three of the best locations in North America: Lower Trestles, Newport Beach, and Steamer Lane. The Lower Trestles stop will be the only Pro Junior event of the year held at a North American World Championship Tour venue. The juniors can also look forward to an increased Trifecta bonus of $10,000 up from $5,000 last year.
2008 OAKLEY PRO JUNIOR SCHEDULE
1. Feb. 5-10: North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Australia (ASP Grade 4, $30,000)*
2. March 21-23: New Pier, Durban, South Africa (ASP Grade 2, $10,000)*
3. April 29-May 3: Lower Trestles, California, USA (ASP Grade 2, $10,000)* STOP #1 MACY'S CA TRIFECTA
4. May 26-27: Recreio dos Bandeirantes Beach, Brazil (ABRASP Brazilian Champion/ASP South America $23,000)*
5. Aug. 9-10: Grand Plage, Lacanua, Gironde, France (ASP Grade 1, $5,000)*
6. Aug. 29-30: Sea Isle City, New Jersey, USA (ASP Grade 2, $10,000)
7. Sept. 16-21: Newport Beach, California, USA (ASP Grade 2, $10,000) STOP #2 MACY'S CA TRIFECTA
8. Sept. 25-Oct. 5: The Global Challenge Championship, Bali, ($75,000)*
9. Oct. 21-26: ASP North America Pro Junior Championships, Santa Cruz, California, USA (ASP Grade 3, $15,000) STOP #3 MACY's CA TRIFECTA
*Denotes Global Challenge Qualifiers
For more information, updates, photos and video, check out: http://oakleyprojunior.com/