The Oakley Pro Bali, Stop No. 5 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), will commence its competition window tomorrow morning with a strong likelihood of running in the opening days.
Coming hot off the heels of a thrilling event in Fiji last week, the world's best surfers have arrived in Bali, prepared to battle one another at the world-class venues of Keramas and Canggu.
John John Florence (HAW), 20, returned to elite level competition last week at the Volcom Fiji Pro and all eyes will be on the young Hawaiian as he makes his maiden competitive run in the high-performance walls of Keramas.
"It feels really good to be back and healthy," Florence said. "We had incredible waves last week in Fiji and everyone is really excited to be here in Bali. Both Cloudbreak and Keramas are considered high-performance waves, but they're very different. At Cloudbreak, it was about commitment in barrels. Out at Keramas, there are barrels, but there are also some of the best sections on the planet for really major maneuvers. We're going to see some crazy stuff this week."
Florence will take on rookie Sebastian Zietz (HAW), 25, and Miguel Pupo (HAW), 21, in Round 1 of competition.
Bruce Irons (HAW), 33, former ASP WCT competitor and winner of the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Search Bali, will compete as a wildcard in the Oakley Pro Bali.
"I'm super thankful to Oakley for giving me this opportunity," Irons said. "I love Bali and Keramas is one of the best waves in the world. Hopefully it turns on for us. The guys on tour today are no joke. There are no easy draws. I'm just going to do my best."
Irons will face two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009) and current ASP WCT No. 2 Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, and Brett Simpson (USA), 28, in Round 1 of competition.
Oney Anwar (IND), 19, took out the local trials at Keramas this morning and will face Jordy Smith (ZAF), 25, and Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 24, in Round 1 of competition.
Smith has been on a tear this season, collecting a win in Brazil and currently sitting at No. 3 on the ASP WCT ratings. The powerful South African is one of the most anticipated surfers heading into the perfect righthanders of Keramas.
"I have been coming to Bali for a number of years and Keramas is always a highlight," Smith said. "It has a nice barrel section and then a perfect wall for you to unleash on. I've been looking forward to this event all year and the boys are going to go mad out here."
Surfline, official forecasters for the Oakley Pro Bali are calling for:
Medium size, long period SW swell will build in for the first two days of the event waiting period, Tue/Wed the 18th-19th, easing for the second half of the week. A similar sized swell for Keramas is on the radar for the 22nd-23rd, with more swells on the long range radar for the final 5 days of the event holding period at this point.
Event organizers will convene tomorrow at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7am start.
When competition commences, up first will be Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, Bede Durbidge (AUS), 30, and Dusty Payne (HAW), 24, in the opening heat of Round 1.
The Oakley Pro Bali will be webcast LIVE via www.oakleyprobali.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
OAKLEY PRO BALI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Oney Anwar (IND)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Damien Hobgood (USA), Jack Robinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Nat Young (USA), Kai Otton (AUS), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), John John Florence (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Log on to Fantasy Surfer now to select your team and win the exclusive Oakley Pro Bali prize pack!