16 September 2011, Rote Ndao – Indonesia: The first day of the 3rd annual Rote Open presented by Billabong saw all divisions in action at Rote Island’s premiere righthand reef break of Boa Beach today, in pumping 3-4 foot waves with side to offshore winds providing a perfect setting for some extremely high performance surfing, led by Made “Bol” Adi Putra in the International Division and Lee Wilson in the Coca-Cola ISC Open Division.
In the International Division today that had surfers from Australia, France, Hawaii, and Indonesian competing fiercely for a spot in the finals and a shot at the $4,000 first place prize money, the highlight was the battle between Australia’s Tai Graham and Bali’s Made “Bol” Adi Putra in Heat 3. Graham quickly jumped into the lead posting a whopping 7.75 (out of a possible 10) points, but then Adi Putra went to work on his backside and wowed the crowd by posting a 7.75 point wave of his own and then capping the win in the final minute with a massive backside full rotation air reverse for 8.5 points, the highest wave score of the day.
Lee Wilson made the best use of the windy conditions in the Coca-Cola ISC Open Division by posting 8 point waves in each of his two heats today by way of massive aerial maneuvers, and ended the day’s session with the highest combined heat score in the Open Division, 14.8 points out of a possible 20 as well as the highest single waves scores of 8 points. “The wind was perfect for aerials today, so rather than try to do a bunch of turns that may or may not score very well, I just looked for the best ramps and went for it,” said Wilson. “I was watching the conditions closely and they went through a lot of changes during the day, so I knew me best bet was in the air. I’m glad it paid off!”
Number 1 ranked Marlon Gerber also made it through his two heats today and is into the quarterfinals, along with last year’s Rote Open winner Putra Hermawan and last year’s runner up Pepen Hendrik. Gerber is trying to break his jinx here and looks to be very in form. “I’ve been runner up in about four Rote contests going back as far as 2001, so I’d really like to finally get win here,” said Gerber. “And Pepen (Hendrik) and I are very close in points for the 2011 championship, so it would be an even sweeter victory.”
Also surfing today were the Coca-Cola ISC Women’s and Masters Divisions, with the Locals Division having been held on Wednesday the 14th.
The start of the Rote Open 2011 presented by Billabong surfing competition was delayed by two days due to the extreme winds and treacherous seas between the city of Kupang in West Timor and the island of Rote, making travel by ferry impossible. Most of the competitors and the contest crew had arrived in Kupang on the afternoon of the 12th, but were not able to take the ferry to Rote Island until the morning of the 15th when the winds and seas had finally calmed down enough to make travel possible.
The Rote Open 2011 presented by Billabong was officially opened in an opening ceremony at Boa Beach on September 15th by the Vice Regent of Rote Ndao Marthean L Saek, who expressed his thanks to the participants for coming to surf in Rote and hoped that they would enjoy the waves and their time there, as well help to spread the word of how beautiful and natural is the island paradise of Rote.
Tomorrow will see the remainder of the competition and the crowning of the winner’s in all divisions, with the start being slated for 8:30 am. So if you’re in the area, come on down to Boa Beach to watch some great surfing!
The Rote Open 2011presented by Billabong is sponsored by the Regency of Rote Ndao, Billabong Indonesia, Von Zipper, Nixon, Kustom, Tresna Tours, Garuda Indonesia, Trans Nusa, Telkomsel, Bank NTT, Jayakarta Suites, T-More Hotel, Anugerah Hotel, Bintang Flores Hotel, and Express Bahari with media support by Surfersvillage.com, Alam TV Bali, Baliwaves.com, Surftime Magazine, Magic Wave Surf Community Newspaper, Lines Magazine, RVM, and Balibelly.tv.