3 November 2009, Keramas-Bali: In a 30 minute final conclusion to five days of intense surfing competition at the 6-Star Prime Quiksilver Open 2009 at Keramas Beach in Bali, Tai “Buddha” Graham bested newly crowned 2009 Indonesian Surfing Champion Lee Wilson to boast his first Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour win and top the podium to receive a trophy and the 20 million Rupiah winner’s check.
Graham, who also doubles as an announcer at most of the ISC Tour events and hails from the Gold Coast of Australia, was in shock when he returned to the beach. “This is unreal,” he said. “It’s gonna take a bit for it to all to sink in I think. I never expected to win an event like this….ever. I was just happy to get to nab some big Keramas barrels with just a couple other guys out…but never dreamed I’d be atop the podium at the end of it all!” he added.
Graham surfed from Round 2 and was a standout in the big and hollow waves that were the rule during the majority of the event. And he did it all with a broken toe, sustained at Cloud 9 in the Philippines three weeks ago. When asked how it felt, he laughed and replied “Hahaha….what broken toe? Can’t feel a thing now mate! But ya, at times I felt it a bit doing bottom turns, that’s why I mostly just went for the barrel. I couldn’t have ever imagined winning a heat like this in 3 foot windy Keramas, not to mention a final against Lee. Lee is my good mate, and it was good fun to be out there, just him and me. But to actually win the final…it’s unreal. I’m gonna have a party later for all the boys…yewwwww!
First to congratulate Graham was Lee Wilson, who was still beaming after his earlier quarterfinal victory over Jake Paterson, which won him the 2009 Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championship. “Tai is such a good mate of mine, and so fun to surf with, I couldn’t be happier to have him win one over on me. I got off to a good start with a 7-point wave, but couldn’t follow it up with anything big. It was hard to find good waves out there with the wind up, but somehow Tai did it and racked up the points. I’m really stoked for him,” he said grinning and giving Graham a hug.
It was tense day and memorable conclusion to the final Coca-Cola ISC Tour event of the year, as the championship was decided in the first heat of the day. At just before 8:00 am, Wilson and Paterson paddled out for the first quarterfinal that had all the eyes and ears on the beach at full attention. Should Wilson fail to best Paterson, the championship would go to first-ranked Garut Widiarta. Both surfers traded waves in a very evenly matched battle, but at the horn Paterson’s last wave score came up a 7.65, just short of the 7.90 that he needed to best Wilson. Final heat score? Wilson’s 15.55 to Paterson’s 15.40.
The five days of surfing action at Keramas Beach for the Quiksilver Open 2009 also included running the Roxy Open ISC Women’s Division, which was won by Mina Nagasima from Japan, and the ISC Master’s Division that was won by Jake Paterson. It was truly an epic and memorable way to finish up the ISC Tour season.
Receiving the Coca-Cola Best Maneuver Award for a 10-point air reverse in his semifinal heat against Pepen Hendrik was non other than the newly crowned champion Lee Wilson. A very full day indeed for the new champion!
Men’s Open Results
1. Tai Graham
2. Lee Wilson
Equal 3rd – Tipi Jabrik/Pepen Hendrik
1. Jake Paterson
2. Nyoman Wastika
3. Ketut Menda
4. Ketut Wirtawan
1. Mina Nagasima
2. Yasnyiar “Bonne” Gea
3. Gee Cormack
4. Febri “Rohaye” Rahma Ningsih