Jack Freestone Wins Red Bull Airborne Bali

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Keramas, Bali/Indonesia (Friday, May 17, 2019) – Jack Freestone (AUS) won the Red Bull Airborne Bali, a World Surf League (WSL) specialty event that highlights aerial surfing. Freestone, 27, flew through the Qualifiers and Final in three-to-four foot (1 – 1.2 metre) waves at Keramas, a break adored by the air specialists due to the mega ramps offered by the wave. 

Freestone was an early standout and easily qualified for the Final with epic performances through both of the Qualifying heats. Freestone has long been known for his prowess in the air. He continuously dishes up some of the most mind-boggling freesurfing sections with an array of technical, vertical, and powerful aerial maneuvers. In the Final, it was a huge frontside air-reverse to the flats that saw Freestone clinch an unassailable lead, gifting him his first Red Bull Airborne victory.

With all three Airborne events won by Championship Tour (CT) surfers so far, Freestone would love to copy Italo Ferreira’s success from the Gold Coast and take out both the Red Bull Airborne and the CT event in the same week. 

“I’m so stoked to win this event,” Freestone said. “It was so much fun. To share the water with all of those guys was so sick. I’ve got a really good relationship with Keramas. I love it and it seems to suit me perfectly. My plan now is to take this confidence into the main event and hopefully get through some CT heats this weekend.” 

Kalani David (HAW) © WSL / Dunbar
Eli Hanneman (HAW) Credit: © WSL / Dunbar

Freestone had Hawaii’s Kalani David (HAW) and Eli Hanneman (HAW)nipping at his heels throughout today’s Final. Both surfers landed their fair share of airs in the Final but were unable to get the height and rotation needed to move up to first. Mason Ho (HAW)Ian Crane (USA), and Eric Geiselman (USA) showed glimpses of brilliance earlier in the day but struggled to find the landing gear on some huge, reverse, flip, and straight air attempts in the one-hour Final.  

“This event is the best thing that has happened for a lot of these guys,” David said. “It’s so great that WSL, Red Bull, and Josh Kerr put this event on because it gives the freesurfers and air specialists an opportunity to showcase their talent on the world stage. This kind of event definitely pushes performance levels for sure. In the Final, Jack (Freestone) and I were just going back and forth, trying to go bigger and better than one another, which was cool. This is definitely the coolest event I’ve ever been a part of.” 

An honorable mention must go to the group of surfers who narrowly missed the Final cut (falling below the Top 6 spots), including Chippa Wilson (AUS), who threw down some of the most technical airs of the event, including an impressive backhand big spin. Indonesian competitors Bronson Meydi (IDN) and I Made Darma Yasa (IDN) went huge in front of their home crowd but just fell short of a Finals appearance. Maui’s Matt Meola (HAW) also turned heads with his almost flawless rodeo flip during the Qualifying Round. 

For highlights from the Red Bull Airborne Bali, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The Corona Bali Protected, the third stop on the 2019 WSL Championship Tour, paused at the women’s Quarterfinals and the men’s Round of 32. The next call for these events will be tomorrow, Saturday, May 18, at 6:25 a.m. WITA for a possible 6:35 a.m. start. At this time, event organizers will reassess the conditions to determine the day’s competition schedule. 
 
The Corona Bali Protected will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.comand Facebook.com/WSL . Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com