1 July 2012, Jelenga Beach, West Sumbawa: In a riveting 30 minute duel in epic conditions on the final day of the O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge at Yoyos Bay in West Sumbawa, Bali’s Raditya Rondi aggressively took charge of the solid 6 foot plus waves and posted a string of impressive scores to best fellow Bali ripper Pepen Hendrik, adding a second West Sumbawa trophy sword to his trophy collection and receiving a winners check for Rp 15 million ($1,600 USD), proving he was indeed the “Freak of the Reef.”
Raditya won the previous West Sumbawa Coca-Cola ISC sanctioned event held in 2009, and was runner up in 2008, but both of those events had their finals at Scar Reef, which is a left handed wave. This win is especially sweet for the talented goofyfooter as he bested a field of the top seeded Indonesian surfers and one of Australia’s top pro juniors at a right hand wave, truly earning his win.
“I’m so happy right now…don’t know how to say it, just so happy, said Raditya immediately after the final. “The conditions were really hard in the final, with strong wind and big waves. I was so lucky to beat Pepen in the final, so I’m stoked.”
When asked further about his experience at the event he replied, “It was a great event and I think I’m lucky to win. I was stoked to beat Josh in the semifinals, as he is one of top juniors in Australia, and that I won over Putra in the quarters, then to beat Pepen also, it was pretty good eh? I want to say thanks to all the boys, to the judges, to the ISC crew and the government for making this such a great event, and I hope we can come back and do it again next year!”
Raditya Rondi’s nickname is “Cabul”, usually shortened to “Bul”, and today he lived up to the moniker by charging the largest set waves like a bull, gouging deep bottom turns, carving up the big faces, and floating over long sections to earn big scores from the judging panel on the beach. His wave count was 5 waves (6.5, 3.5, 8.75, 7.15, and 8.0) to his opponent Hendrik’s 3 (7.25, 6.4, and 7.5) for a final total score of 16.75 to Hendrik’s 14.75.
Coca-Cola ISC President Tipi Jabrik was watching the action over the judging panel’s shoulders on the final day and commented, “I really liked what I saw out there today with Raditya’s performance. He was definitely the in-form surfer of the day. He was very committed on each maneuver and seemed to be only looking for the biggest waves to attack. I think some of the guys underestimated him because he has such a good small wave repertoire, plus he was on his backhand here at Yoyos. But remember, he was the number two-ranked Indonesian surfer last year, and who knows…he may end up number one this year!”
Pepen Hendrik was smiling after accepting his West Sumbawa “Perang” sword and second place winner’s check, saying “I’m used to getting second place so I’m ok with my result. It was a lot of work out there after surfing two other heats this morning, with strong current and wind, but the waves were great and anytime I can get into a final I’m happy.” Pepen is the oldest Indonesian surfer that regularly competes in the Open Division at 36 years old, and can almost always be found on the podium in every contest he enters, he is that consistently good. He has finished in second place in the previous two ISC competitions, in the Mentawai Islands in May and in Cimaja-West Java in June, so this makes for his third second place finish in a row.
In the Women’s Division competition that took place on Day Two of the event it was Michaela Partin (USA) who added another winner’s check to her collection with her second win of the year, having won her first comp in Indonesia at an ISC/ASC event in the Mentawaii Islands in May. Coming in second was Salini Rangganis from Java, and Alia Murizi from Kalimantan.
O’Neill’s Tai Graham was nothing but stoked after the conclusion of the event, saying “I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our first event here in Indonesia. We challenged the boys to come here to West Sumbawa and put it all on the line, and in some pretty heavy conditions on finals day Raditya proved he was truly the Freak of the Reef by fearlessly charging the biggest waves and going for the most risky and highest scoring maneuvers. We’re stoked and want to thank the ISC for all their help, the government of West Sumbawa and PT Newmont for their sponsorship and support, and for the gracious hospitality of Nichole, Cahyo and all the crew here at Ubantu. We’re really looking forward to doing this again next year, but even bigger and better!”
The six star O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge was sanctioned by the Coca-Cola Indonesian Surfing Championships and took place in the scenic area around the PT Newmont mining site in West Sumbawa over a 4 day period from June 28 to July 1st. The competition was run primarily at the backup location of Yoyos Bay in the Sekongkang area, as the primary site of Scar Reef at Jelenga Beach only produced a few hours of its world renown waves on June 30th so only 3 heats were run there.
As part of the Coca-Cola ISC’s “Keepin’ it Green” environmental program, Curtis from Bali’s ROLE Foundation coordinated a tree planting effort at Jelenga Beach to help offset the carbon footprint of the surfing tour, as well as to lead by example and involve the locals in planting more trees. In addition, each day during and after the contest, Curtis and some volunteers made up of surfers and local crew picked up trash to ensure that the beach was left cleaner than it was found.
Young Ajis Gaga from Lombok received the “Keepin’ it Green” award from Curtis for being the most consistent and helpful volunteer who helped pick up trash each day without fail. Congratulations Ajis and keep up keeping it green!
You can see press releases, photos, wave and heat scores, and videos of the O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge at http://isctour.com/events/scarreef , on Facebook at Indonesian Surfing Championship (ISC), and at www.oneill.com.
The O’Neill Freak of the Reef Challenge Contest Results:
1 – Raditya Rondi (Bali)
2 – Pepen Hendrik (Bali)
Equal 3rd – Josh Hay (Aus) and Garut Widiarta (Bali
1 – Michaela Partin (USA)
2 – Sally Rengganis (Java)
3 – Alia Murizi (Kalimantan)
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.