Thirty two of surfing’s elite gathered at Padang Padang beach on the island of Bali Sunday for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Rip Curl Cup. They came from as far away as England, Japan, Hawaii and New Zealand to draw their heats and find out who they will surf against in the opening round of competition.
Hundreds of spectators packed the beach to watch the presentation and the following press conference with the 32 surfers – 16 of Indonesia’s best and 16 of the world’s top tube riders. Contest organizers devised the heat drawing so that each four-man heat features two Indonesian surfers and two international surfers. Rip Curl also left one final spot open in the contest for a “Mystery Surfer,” to be announced later in the waiting period.
After the draw was complete, current Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour ratings leader Pepen Hendrik found himself in Heat 5 with the mystery surfer.
“It could be someone really heavy,” Hendrik said. “If they are leaving one spot in the contest open, it’s probably for a really good surfer. I’ll just have to wait and see.”
One thing was clear after the contest bracket had been filled out with the names of this year’s invited surfers: There will be no easy road to the finals. Two-time invitee Koa Smith (Hawaii) will surf in Heat 6 against Padang kingpin Rizal Tanjung, Bali standout Marlon Gerber and Australian charger Anthony Walsh.
“There are no easy heats in this contest,” said Smith. “The waves are usually so good, it comes down to making it out of the barrel. You’re either gonna get a 10 or a two. It’s anybody’s game.”
Small waves were breaking over the inside section of reef at Padang Sunday evening, but no contest-worthy swell is on the horizon this week. For now, the draw has been set and it’s on when it’s on…
Official opening round heat draw:
Heat 1: Putra Hermawan (Bali), Takayuki Wakita (Japan), Mega Semadhi (Bali), Ozzie Wright (Australia).
Heat 2: Kalani Chapman (Hawaii), Ryan Turner (California), Rahtu Suargita (Bali), Wayan “Gobleg” Suyadnya (Bali).
Heat 3: Wayan “Betet” Merta (Bali), Makua Rothman (Hawaii), Lee Wilson (Bali), Morehu Roberts (New Zealand).
Heat 4: Garut Widiarta (Bali), Tipi Jabrik (Bali), Flynn Novak (Hawaii), Ian Walsh (Hawaii).
Heat 5: Pepen Hendrik (Bali), Ryan Hipwood (Australia), Made Lana (Bali), *FINAL SPOT TBA*
Heat 6: Rizal Tanjung (Bali), Koa Smith (Hawaii), Marlon Gerber (Bali), Anthony Walsh (Australia).
Heat 7: Ry Craike (Australia), Tom Lowe (England), Made Lapur (Bali), Raditya Rondi (Bali).
Heat 8: Mikala Jones (Hawaii), Mustofa Jekson (Bali), Dede Suryana (Java), Jamie O’Brien (Hawaii).