Interview: Padang Cup, cross your fingers… it looks like it’s ON



This week we reported in our Surf Forecast a big swell coming, a swell with good potential for Epic Padang.
Watching these conditions we chased up Mr. James Hendy, Rip Curl South-East Asia Marketing Manager, to get you fresh news about what is going ON.


James, there is a good Swell coming. Is the Rip Curl Padang Cup going to be ON?
Looks like it, yeah!!! Looks like we are ON for Tuesday and Wednesday. We are going to have a 2 day contest, preferably we’d like to run it in one day but with the tides the way they are we might run it in 2 days. We are going to have 2 days of big swell so it might be perfect.

Two days, it sounds more exciting doesn’t it?
For sure if we can spread it out, it would be better. In the past years it was easier to do it in one day, because the tides were in our favor. In 2009 we had a neap tide and it was high tide in the morning so we could run 9 hour straight in one day and crown the champion at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. It was the perfect scenario. We might run it in 2 days but it can be good to run in one day too because you guarantee that it would be ran in the peak of the swell.

This year you have a list full of big names for the contest, in your opinion who are the 10 most promising?
The 10 just off the top of my head would be…. (Long time thinking)
Bruno Santos, Jamie O’Brien, Laurie Towner, Chris Ward, Dean Morrison, Made Adi “BOL” Putra, Garut Widiarta, Wayan Betet Merta, Made Lampur and obviously Rizal Tanjung, the best surfer and the most experienced one in Padang… Well, we have the best international names we could possibly get for this event, I think the local riders are still the locals, they know all the secrets inside, what is the best wave to take, 2nd 3rd of the set or last of the set, they know all the intricacies of the spot that can make the difference.

Padang Cup 2011 has the biggest prize money and the biggest structure, are you guys thinking about a possible ASP event in Bali?

It’s not an intension of us to make the Padang Cup a WT stop or an ASP event. If the opportunity come up and we are offered the Padang Cup that position, to be a specialty event, it’s something that we would consider because it just means that the caliber of the riders that we can attract doing that would increase. We can tap into the top 16 surfers in the world if we make it an ASP specialty event. But at the moment we are really happy with what it is, we don’t have any bigger visions than what is as far as it being a core real locals versus International, exciting, unique, tube riding specialty event.
About the Prize money we don’t have any international big support. It’s all done by Rip Curl South-East Asia budget , that is why we can’t do it a 100,000 dollars prize event, and another thing as well is that people don’t come here for the 10k prize money, they come here for surfing perfect Indonesia waves, the best wave in Indonesia or one of the top five best waves in Indonesia with 2 or 4 other surfers, it’s the main attraction for this guys coming.

You are tracking the swell, we know it’s going to be a big swell, what are your expectation?
We’ve got the biggest looking swell we had in the recent years, last year it did not run because we did not have a good swell. We always promised ourselves that if the swell does not come or if it is not at least 6ft we just wont run the contest.
We’ve been tracking it with our Swell Forecast partner, and we should see at least 6-8ft, solid 6 to 8 ft Padang from a really good Westerly direction, 217 degrees, which is perfect for what we need. We are expecting conditions similar to 2009 when Jamie O’Brian won and better conditions than 2008 when the WCT was here. But we still have 4 or 5 days for the swell so we shouldn’t count our chickens before they are hatched.

What about the tides, are they good for the event?
The tides are not that favorable, we’ve got spring (big variation) tides and the high is in the middle of the day so it creates a bit of a problem because we need 8 to 9 hours for the event and the high being at midday with 2.3 meters is normally too high for the perfect Padang; unless it’s really big, but usually creates a lot of washes and the waves get fat. Ideally we would like to stop when the tide is 1.9 and re-start when it’s back to 1.9 again to continue the event. So we are glad that the swell period is held for 2 or 3 days so we can offer the surfers the best barrels Padang can offer.

How is the event venue, the structure once we know the access to the beach and the view of the peak is a bit restricted?
We have the contest controls set up for the surfers at the cliff overlooking Padang which is the closest we can get to it. Then we have the loudspeakers-system so we can talk to the surfers direct on the cliff to tell them the heat scores and keep them up-to-date with what is happening with the heat. We also have a beach camp area with a tower and photography and videos spots with different angles of the site. And the channel control, what would be the link between surfers and tower, giving feed-back about what the surfers are feeling and all the aspects to make it a great event. And then we have the beach area with all the hot girls that are always a highlight.

Any chance of a live broadcast?
It’s hard for us to do a Live broadcast because of the location. But we invested a lot this year to have the heats on demand so hopefully people who go to, the event micro-site, can watch the heats on demand about half an hour after the each heat is finished.

What about for the spectators on the beach, something special for them?
It’s always hard to see the waves at their best without being in the channel, so we are going to have a live replay scream on the beach where people that are set on the beach can see what is happening. We are going to have the live replay, the live mixing with slow motions and different angles and the live interviews.

Party? Last year it was an insane party, one of the best parties in Bali, anything planned for this year?
We are going to have a HUGE PARTY on the roof-top here at Rip Curl HQ, on the 13th of July which is the last night of the waiting period. It’s going to be huge and everyone can come to see the highlights of the event and celebrate.

Thank you James!!!


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