Hawai‘i’s Payne pockets biggest ever payday at Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge

Hawai‘i’s surfing hot shot Dusty Payne barreled his way to victory in the Oakley Pro Junior Global Challenge to claim the world’s biggest ever payday for a pro junior event in Bali, Indonesia, Monday.

Keramas, the perfect right-hand reef break, lived up to its hype, serving out epic 6- to 8-foot barreling waves for the final day of the inaugural $75,000 competition.

 Payne, 19, rode barrel after perfect barrel to beat French-surfer Marc Lacomare in an extended 45-minute man-on-man final.

Claiming his first win in over eight years, the exciting natural footer excelled in the Hawai‘i-like conditions, setting the pace on the final day of competition by top scoring across the quarters, semis and final to pocket a mind-blowing $20,000.

 “I’m so happy,” said Payne. “I haven’t won an event in so many years. It’s like the best feeling in the world. That’s why I still compete.”

 The pressure-packed final saw Payne seal the deal with a 7.73 with just five minutes remaining and then went from strength to strength locking in an 8.50 in the dying minute to put the result beyond doubt.

Payne finishing with a 16.27 two-wave combined total to Lacormare’s 14.33.

 “I was behind for nearly the whole final because Marc got a good wave at the start of the heat,” he said.

 “I just kept busy and luckily I was able to jag a few bombs that allowed me to execute a mixture of moves.”

 Gouging goofy-footer Lacamore opened his final account with a 7.50 for an early lead in the close fought final but with minutes remaining he required a 7.10 but only managed a 6.83 on his final ride.  

At the completion of the final, Lacomare said he was proud of his result.

“I’m really happy right now,” said Lacomare, who surfed away with $7,500 for his runner-up finish.

 “Although I didn’t win, I still posted a really good result against the world’s best juniors. Dusty (Payne) has been surfing amazingly all week, so to go up against him in the final was incredible.”

 Wave selection proved to be the key as epic barrels pulsed through all day. A light on-shore wind changed conditions for the final but both surfers displayed their versatility with carving maneuvers as the sets continued to push through.

 In the first semi, Payne used smart surfing strategy against Australian Mitch Crews, opening quickly with a 9.00 tube ride and then waited patiently in the line-up for his second scoring ride. 

 With 10 minutes remaining, Payne posted his second scoring ride of an 8.50 to take the heat lead. The natural footer carved the crystal clean wave face with big hacks in the pocket and critical turns to display his versatility and lock in a finals berth.

In the second semi, Frenchman Lacamore epitomized the depth of surfing talent emerging from Europe combining his natural talent with surf savvy to eliminate South African sensation Shaun Joubert.

The stylish goofy footer used steep take-offs to drop deep into the fast breaking barrels to post a 9.00 and an 8.00 and secure a finals berth with a heat total of 17.00 points to his opponent’s heat tally of 15.97 (out of a possible 20).

Both Crews and Joubert amassed $4,500 for their equal third placing.

Finishing equal fifth Monday were the Brazil duo of Miguel Popo and Peterson Crisanto, Indonesian-made ‘Garut’ Widiartha and South African Nick Godfrey.

All four surfers collected $3,500 for their efforts.

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