28 June 2012, Jelenga Beach, West Sumbawa: The O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge in West Sumbawa got started today with the first round being completed at scenic Yoyo’s Beach in 3-4 foot waves and sideshore winds, providing the perfect setup for Indonesia’s top surfers to work out the travel kinks and get their game on.
The six star Coca-Cola ISC sanctioned professional surfing competition has drawn Indonesia’s top ranked surfers to compete in the beautiful and unspoiled West Sumbawa area, with a total prize purse of Rp 60 million rupiah up for grabs in the Men’s Open, Women’s and Master’s Divisions, along with valuable Coca-Cola ISC Championship points.
“Today’s decision to get started at Yoyo’s was an easy one,” said O’Neill’s Tai “Buddha” Graham. “The conditions were perfect to get the boys out there and get warmed up. We got the Round 1 heats done and expect to be back here early tomorrow morning for the next couple of rounds. Yoyo’s always produces consistent swell and has those offshore to cross-shore winds that make for great aerial surfing, so we’re looking for lots of intense competitive heats tomorrow.”
The swell forecast is looking perfect for the event, with a building swell that should peak on Saturday afternoon for a great finish at Scar Reef. It promises to be another epic event on the Coca-Cola ISC Tour, as it travels around Indonesia surfing the best waves in the archipelago.
The first highlight of the day came in the first heat, which saw Bali’s Made Darmayasa nab the highest single wave score of 7 points (out of a possible 10) as well as the highest heat score of 12.75 (out of 20), mixing up big turns and a couple of air reverses. Australian Josh Haye took second in the same heat, with the second highest single wave score of 6.50 and the second highest heat score of 11.50.
Getting the nod for the most intense heat of the day was Coca-Cola ISC President Tipi Jabrik winning his heat after driving all night and half the day from Bali to the contest site at Yoyo’s. He arrived with about 15 minutes to spare before the start of his heat, and once out in the water was quickly relegated to last place in the 3-man heat as 12-year-old Made Tedi from Bali had charged into the lead. 3 times younger than Jabrik, Tedi was charging the (for him) double overhead waves intent on a heat win, and Jabrik admitted to feeling the heat from the youngster.
“I was kinda relaxing during the first part of the heat, thinking I just needed a couple of 5 or 6 point waves to get the lead,” he said. I got a 5 midway through the heat and was in second, but then one of the other guys got a good score and knocked me down to third again. That got me nervous, as I didn’t want to get knocked out so early after driving so far! Thankfully a couple of set waves came in late in the heat and I got a good score, 7 points or so, and that put me into first. That was a relief for sure!” It was a heat that both Jabrik and young Tedi will certainly not forget.
Another highlight was the battle of the Andre’s in Heat 6, where West Java’s Andre Julian and Lakey Peak Sumbawa’s Andre Anwar, both goofyfooters, duked it out for first place, trading the lead numerous times during the heat each trying to out do each other with deep gouging bottom turns, blasting the tops of the waves, and pulling off long floaters. In the end it was the younger Andre Anwar that got the nod by a slim .15 of a point, the final heat scores 9.90 to 9.75.
Tomorrow promises even more intense competition as the top 16 seeded ISC surfers take to the water to meet the challengers that advance from Round 1, with number one seeded Lee Wilson leading things off in Heat 1 of Round 2.
After the surfing action and concluded for the day, the crew all returned to the Scar Reef HQ at Jelenga Beach for the official opening ceremony. Speeches by Tipi Jabrik and the Regent of West Sumbawa KH. DR. Zulkifli Muhadlihas were followed by the traditional ringing of the gong by Tai Graham, while Tipi Jabrik and Regent Muhadlihas looked on. Local traditional dances and music followed to complete the event.
You can follow the O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge on http://isctour.com/events/scarreef and on Facebook at Indonesian Surfing Championship (ISC)
The O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge is sponsored by the Government of West Sumbawa, PT Newmont, and O’Neill Indonesia, with media coverage by Coca-Cola ISC partners Surfersvillage.com, Lines Magazine, Alam TV Bali, SurfTime Magazine, BaliBelly.tv, Baliwaves.com, RVM, the Outdoor Channel, MyLifeOnBoard.com, and assisted in the Coca-Cola ISC’s “Keepin’ It Green” program by the ROLE Foundation, GUS, and Climate Wave.