Oh, so close.
Andrew Doheny of Newport Beach barely missed out on what would have been the biggest win of his young surfing career, losing in the final heat Tuesday at the Oakley World Pro Junior off the black sand beach in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.
As it is, the second-place finish is still a huge success for Doheny, who turns 19 next week. The Oakley World Pro Junior was the first of three events on the ASP World Junior Tour, with the next tour stop coming later this month in Rio de Janeiro. The final stop that will determine the World Junior Tour champion will take place in January in Sydney.
Doheny was one of only six surfers from the North American region — out of only six regions worldwide — to qualify for the World Junior Tour, and his second-place finish puts him in good position for a possible World Junior title.
"I'm super stoked because I'm not the best contest surfer," Doheny said. "I came here last year and lost in the first round, so I said to myself, 'As long as I win that heat, I'll be happy.' Then, I ended up getting second. I did a lot better than I thought, so I'm really happy."
Doheny went up against Caio Ibelli of Brazil in the quarterfinals and narrowly escaped with a victory, outpointing Ibelli, 17.16-16.27. In the semifinals, Doheny faced his North American region teammate, Conner Coffin of Santa Barbara, and again slipped by with a win of less than one point, 15.37-14.73.
In the championship heat, Doheny surfed against Davey Cathels ofAustralia, but this time, Doheny wound up on the wrong end of a tight contest, Cathels outpointing Doheny, 18.03-17.10.
The second-place finish earned Doheny $10,000, the same amount of prize money he got back in May of this year when he won the VQS Championships at his home break at 54th Street in Newport, part of Volcom's Totally Crustaceous Tour.
That victory also earned him a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a wild-card entry to the Volcom Pipe Pro at Hawaii's Banzai Pipeline next year.
Heading into the second tour event in Rio from Oct. 24 to Nov. 2, Doheny is in second place with 8,000 points. But Cathels, who earned 10,000 points for the first-place finish, initially had planned to skip the second tour event and instead surf an ASP Prime event — the same designation as Huntington's U.S. Open of Surfing — in Santa Cruz.
Cathels said he is reconsidering but hasn't yet decided which event to surf.
Hughes takes a stand
The Standup World Tour completed its Huntington Beach Pro event last week, the first time the standup paddleboard tour has held an event on the U.S. Mainland. It was the fourth stop on a six-event tour.
Though the tour is dominated by Hawaiians and French, Huntington Beach local Daniel Hughes, 18, entered the event and competed against 67 others in the trials in an effort to qualify for the main draw.
Hughes not only qualified for the main draw, he went on to place seventh, higher than four of the Standup Tour's top 10 overall competitors.
Antoine Delpero of France won the Huntington event, and Kai Lenny of Hawaii is the tour leader going into the final two tour stops.
We are the World
ASP World Tour update: The men are currently competing in the Quiksilver Pro France, the eighth stop of the 11-event World Tour series. Kelly Slater, fresh off his win at the Hurley Pro at Trestles a couple weeks ago, maintains his overall lead in a quest for an unprecedented 11th ASP world title.
Australia's Owen Wright, who has faced Slater in the finals in each of the last three World Tour events, is in second place, followed by Joel Parkinson in third. Huntington's Brett Simpson is in 20th place.