26 October 2009, Kuta-Bali: In a thrilling finish to three great days of surfing action at the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival on Kuta Beach, Raditya Rondi took the Men’s Open Division win by besting Mega Semadhi by the narrowest of margins, earning himself a check for 8 million Rupiah, getting a crazy cool guitar, and jumping up to 3rd place in the 2009 Coca-Cola ISC rankings. Final point scores were Rondi’s 13.75 to Mega’s 13.65, out of a possible 20.
Winning the 20-minute final by just a tenth of a point, Rondi was ecstatic. “This win means so much to me, because it’s at my home break in front of all my friends and family. I just got off the plane from the Philippines on Saturday afternoon, so was a bit tired from traveling, but as I hit the water this morning I felt great and wanted to win this thing!” he said with his big trademark grin a mile wide. “Mega was surfing so good that I knew I just couldn’t think about it, just try to find the best waves and surf my best. So that’s what I did….so good eh?” he added.
Mega was a big unlucky as the horn blew the end of the final just a second before he stood up on a wave, that had it scored, would almost certainly have had him winning the final. But it was his best result and first podium finish of the year, so with 2,500 points and a check for 4 million Rupiah, and a Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival guitar in his hands, he was still smiling. “I felt really good surfing here the last two days. The waves were a bit small but perfect for guys like me, Garut, Dedy, and Raditya, so I knew I could win. I just needed a couple of extra seconds!” he said.
With some of the previous top seeds bowing out in Round 4 and Rondi winning this event, the race for the 2009 Coca-Cola Men’s Open Championship is still a wide-open race between Garut Widiarta, Lee Wilson, Raditya Rondi, and Dedy Santoso with just one more event left on the schedule.
The final day’s action began at 7:30 am with low tide 2-3 foot glassy waves as the Men’s Open Round 3 seeded competitors battled it out with those advancing from Rounds 1 and 2 on the previous day. The weather was hot and smoking and so was the fight for the top podium spots, with top seeds like Lee Wilson, Dede Suryana, Devis Ratif and Mustofa Jeksen falling by the wayside.
Once the finalists in the Men’s Open had been decided, the Masters Division took to the water for two heats to determine their finalist, then it was right into the Women’s Final. There were only three women competing as Eria had to return to Japan, so it was up to the three Indonesia women to see who would top the podium. At the horn it was last year’s ISC Women’s Champion Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea who was victorious.
Next up were the Rip Curl GromSearch finalists, with Putra Hermawan running away with the one-sided final against his Rip Curl Team mate Putu Anggara. Hermawan will be going to Australia next year for the Rip Curl GromSearch World Finals at Bells Beach. From the podium he was beaming, and said, “I’m so happy to have won so I can go to Australia and represent my country. Thanks so much to Rip Curl, to the ISC, and to my family who always supports my surfing. Oh ya, thanks to the boys too!”, he added getting loud cheers from his surfing mates. Runner up Putu Anggara received a custom made Light Surfboard for his excellent performance in the race to the finals.
While the wave conditions were nowhere near as good as those a Padma Beach where the main Longboard Division competition was held last Friday, the three finalists still put on a good show and at the horn it was Ian Siguan that racked up the best scoring waves and will take the beautiful hand carved trophy and 2.5 million Rupiah home to the Philippines. From atop the podium Ian was extremely delighted with his win, saying “Thanks so much to Rip Curl for the invitation to this event and to my sponsor for sending me here. It’s been great to meet the other guys and compete here in Bali, and to get the win is just incredible. Thanks everyone!”
The Masters Division was next, with Ketut Wirtawan getting his first ever ISC Masters win, and runner up Nyoman Wastika having his first surf as a Master. Third spot was taken by Wayan Gantiyasa, who has been surfing this beach since he was a grom many years ago.
The Awards Presentation followed after everybody had walked up the beach to where the giant stage was set up, where in addition to the separate division winners getting their cash and trophies, Gogo Sanjaya received the Coca-Cola Best Maneuver Award for his air reverse that got him a 9.25, the highest single wave score of the event.
Additionally, Putra Hermawan received the latest model Skullcandy headphones for his Best Trick Award, as did Charly A for his Best Wave Award in the GromSearch Final.
Then with the sun sinking in the west the MC’s introduced some exotic fire dancers to warm things up before the huge speakers started throbbing and the music part of the Rip Curls Surf and Music Festival was off and rocking Kuta Beach far into the night.
The Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival and Rip Curl GromSearch were both sanctioned by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Championship tour, and are sponsored/supported by Maxim, TRAX, Rolling Stone, SurfTime, GUS, Magic Wave, Skullcandy, ESS (Eat Sleep Surf), Fren, and Light Surfboards.