19 September 2009, Nemberala, Rote Island: In a very closely contested 30 minute final at scenic Bo’a Beach on the East Indonesian island of Rote, Garut Widiarta narrowly defeated Marlon Gerber to bring home 20 million Rupiah (USD 2,000) and 3,500 points in the inaugural Rote Open 2009 presented by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour.
“I feel a bit lucky to have been in this final and win against Marlon, especially because it’s on not an easy wave to surf on my backhand. Marlon has been surfing insanely in every heat, so I’m actually surprised that I beat him” said Widiarta after the final. “All the guys were surfing so good, like Lee (Wilson), Dede (Suryana), Betet (Merta) and Marlon, so I was really fortunate to come out on top.”
“Winning this event here at Rote means a lot to me, because now I have a real shot at the ISC Championship. I’m honestly tired of being number two or three or four. I want that number one spot”, he added with a grin.
Marlon Gerber was good-natured about his loss, saying, “It was pretty hard out there, being up against Garut who is surfing so well and with the wind conditions what they were. I know I just needed one more good wave, but I just couldn’t find it in time.” Gerber had been blowing up in each heat, carving big turns and taking to the air at every opportunity, seemingly unstoppable until he met up with Widiarta in the final.
Widiarta had earlier send reigning 2008 ISC Champion Dede Suryana packing in Round 4 and then bested current number one ranked Lee Wilson in Semifinal One, while Gerber had gotten the better of Betet Marta, Tai Graham, and Made Awan on his run to the final.
The event had been blessed by solid surf each day of the three days of competition at the right-hand point break of Boa’s Beach, with conditions ranging from 6-foot glassy conditions on day one to 3-4 foot wind blow surf for the final. Bo’a Beach is a very consistent wave that can be surfed on virtually every tide and seems to always have a surfable wave on offer, making it an ideal contest in addition being an excellent vantage point from which to view the surfing action. Hundreds of spectators thronged the beach each day of the competition to view these surfers compete.
The government of Rote Ndao in conjunction with event organizer PTR Communications and the Coca-Cola ISC Tour produced this four-day surfing event on the island of Rote in East Indonesia in an effort to promote tourism and provide a great venue to hold a six star prime ISC tour surfing competition. The event was opened to international and Indonesian surfers with 90 surfers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Switzerland, Uruguay and the USA competing in four divisions; Open Pro, Masters, Women’s, and Local.
Each day at the contest site the local government officials and event organizers treated the contestants and spectators to cultural programs including dancing, music, and speeches to show off their unique and interesting culture.
At the closing ceremony the governor of Rote Leonardus Hanning expressed his appreciation to all for producing such an excellent event, and committed to having PTR Communications and the Coca-Cola ISC Tour back next year and as long as he is in office (a five year term).
Coca-Cola ISC Tour CEO Tipi Jabrik was also very happy with the event, stating “The waves, the people, and the place here are very special and unique. We’ve had a great competition and I’m looking forward to next year already. Many thanks to the government and to the local people for being such kind and generous hosts.”
1. Garut Widiarta (Bali)
2. Marlon Gerber (Bali/Switzerland)
3. Lee Wilson (Bali/Australia)
3. Made Awan (Bali)
1. Made Lapur (Bali)
2. Wayan Widiarta (Bali)
3. Made Lana (Bali)
4. Diego (Argentina)
1. Herlani Theresia- (Indonesia)
2. Stella Hermina (Indonesia)
3. Jennifer Mikotha (Canada)
4. Chika Kirin (Indonesia)
3. Bastian Mboro
4. Mus Ely
The Rote Open 2009 is presented by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour and sponsored by the government of Rote Ndao, PTR Communications, Garuda Indonesia, Merpati Airlines, Trans Nusa Airlines, and Heineken, and was sanctioned by the Coca-Cola ISC Tour.
Photos and text by Tim Hain – Coca-Cola ISC Tour