An elite group of tuberiding specialists gathered at Padang Padang beach on Sunday for the opening ceremony of the 2011 Rip Curl Cup. They came from as far away as Hawaii, California, England and Brazil 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 press conference with the 32 invited surfers – 16 of Indonesia’s best and 16 of the world’s top tube riders. The opening ceremony marks the first day of the five-week event waiting period, and means that all 32 invited surfers are now on-call to be at Padang within 24 hours notice, if event directors decide to give the green light to run.
As always, the highlight of the evening was the traditional Balinese Kecak dance performance.
“The Kecak dance was unlike anything I’ve ever seen at a surf contest,” first-time invitee Chris Ward said. “It’s a cool showcase of the local culture and gets everyone fired up for the biggest contest of the year at one of the best waves in Bali.”
Contest organizers devised the heat drawing so that each four-man heat features two Indonesian surfers and two international surfers. Rip Curl has also left one final spot open in the contest for a Wild Card, to be announced later in the waiting period. Following is the official 2011 opening-round heat draw.
Official 2011 opening-round heat draw:
Heat 1: Mikala Jones (Haw), Luke Stedman (Aus), Putra Hermawan (Lembongan), Made “Bol” Adi Putra (Bali).
Heat 2: Pepen Hendrik (Bali), Jamie O’Brien (Haw), Lee Wilson (Bali), Laurie Towner (Aus).
Heat 3: Raditya Rondi (Bali), Mega Semadhi (Bali), Dean Morrison (Aus), *FINAL SPOT TBA*
Heat 4: Kane Faint (Aus), Garut Widiarta (Bali), Morehu Roberts (NZ), Wayan “Gobleg” Suyadnya (Bali).
Heat 5: Flynn Novak (Haw), Mustofa Jekson (Bali), Anthony Walsh (Aus), Marlon Gerber (Bali).
Heat 6: Wayan “Betet” Merta (Bali), Tom Lowe (UK), Bruno Santos (Braz), Tipi Jabrik (Bali).
Heat 7: Kalani Chapman (Haw), Made Lana (Bali), Oney Anwar (Sumbawa), Ryan Turner (Calif).
Heat 8: Rizal Tanjung (Bali), Chris Ward (Calif), Alex Smith (Haw), Dede Suryana (Java).
About the Rip Curl Cup
Now in its eighth year, the Rip Curl Cup Invitational at Padang Padang is Indonesia’s longest-running surfing competition and the only ISC tour event featuring top international surfers alongside Indonesia’s best. In 2011, Rip Curl continues to infuse the contest with international flavor and big names. The field of 32 surfers is split equally between 16 of Indonesia’s all-time greatest and 16 of the world’s best tube slayers. This invitational format, along with the allure of the wave at Padang and a $10,000 prize purse, makes the Rip Curl Cup the most anticipated event of the Indo surf season.
Rip Curl has set aside a five-week waiting period to hold the “one-day, one-swell” event. This year’s window will run from July 10th through Aug. 14th and the contest will be run entirely on the chosen day. When contest directors see an ideal “Padang swell” in the forecast, they will give the green light and the 32 competitors will have 24 hours to make it to Bali’s Bukit Peninsula.